I spend too much time on silly stuff. Too much time dilly dallying on Facebook, spewing about politics and such. I spend a bit too much time watching crap TV. I have somewhat rehabbed myself off reality TV, by and large, so that's a good thing, one less thing I have to feel guilty about, knowing that unless I see compelling evidence to the contrary, we all have one life to live, and in that vein, it is probably a good idea to spend the time alloted not wasting it.
Some could argue that I spend too much time on boxing. I'd argue that in this sport I make my living, through TSS, and ESPN New York, etc. I am these days better about leaving the ole Blackberry at home on the weekends, so I'm not tethered to the latest UK news, and thus ignoring or giving short shrift to my family, so I would protest fairly vehemently that I don't spend too much time, waste too much time on boxing. Furthermore, it is within the sport, from the people who perform in the ring, where I learn a lot of the life's lessons that are useful in maintaining or obtaining life skills to soldier on when I get down…about the next bloated Con Ed bill…or the madness that is the mind of a three -year old in mid meltdown….It is from the stories of people like Robert Guerrero, and his wife Casey, who battles–and I don't use that word loosely, she does battle the disease, with the same fervor her hubby shows in the ring–leukemia that I derive strength, and hope. Through stories like theirs I slough off some of the cynicism that tends to accumulate as you 1) get older, and see society make the same mistakes over and over, such as when I hear about the latest mass murder committed with an assault weapon and 2) work in the news business, where too often you focus on negatives, because negative, or controversial stories, simply get more traction from readers because there is drama there, and people like drama, whereas there is less drama in your average “feel-good” story unless there is a novel or stunning hook to it.
Robert (29-1-1 with 18 KOs; fighting for the first time since April 2011 after a shoulder injury) fights on Showtime Saturday, in a tussle for the interim WBC welterweight title, against Turk Selcuk Aydin (23-0 with 17 KOs) in California. This is a fight I expect Guerrero, who has faced down a stiffer level of foes than has the German-based hitter, to win.
His wife, as seen in this video provided by Showtime, fights on a daily basis against leukemia, a battle which to be brutally, painfully honest, I do know how she will fare.
She had a bone marrow transplant in January of 2010, made necessary because without it, she would have died. Casey was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007, and has fought, for no pay, for no acclaim, to little fanfare, since then. She had three relapses and then docs told her she needed that transplant to get a chance at more time living, with her husband and two children.
The Gilroy, CA residents–they started dating at 14, and today, Robert is 29– are seen in the video in Arizona, and we hear Casey talk about her impending meeting with her organ donor. We see the Guerreros interact, and smile and laugh, with their boy, and their girl, and I marvel at their ability to not shrink from the experience, to allow the world a glimpse into the pain, and the perseverance, that is their life.
He hears the cheers when he beats top-level boxers, and wins titles, and gets paid large sums of money…and yet, all that is rendered nearly meaningless when he gets news like, “the cancer has spread to your wife's brain.”
“If I don't get a transplant the chemo is not going to help anymore,” Casey says on the video, looking back to a darker time. “I'm going to go in, and come out as a fighter,” is how she thought before heading in for the transplant operation.
They waited for a DNA and blood type match, and someone was found, in Germany. Two years later, the Guerreros meet Katerina, the donor from Germany.
Check out their meeting in the video and feel free to share in the happy news that today, Casey is cancer free. And feel free to take away from the video some perspective, as I have, that it seems like maybe most of us spend too much time focusing on weigh-in woes, and silly, infantile squabbles among multi-millionaire power brokers and that stuff, instead of substantial, truly meaningful, truly important stories like this one.
Oh yeah, you can watch the fight on Showtime, this Saturday, beginning at 10 PM ET.