Sunday, August 31, 2008

Riding the airwaves for chordoma

When I was 20, I was studying at Syracuse and thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Josh Sommer is around 20, and he's curing cancer at the Chordoma Foundation.

Who feels like a slacker? Oh, that's right. Me.

I know I don't explicitly bring up work here often, but I feel compelled to share an interview I did a couple weeks ago for our Social Citizens blog. (Check it out -- some neat discussions going on there.)

Josh was my subject. He's the college-student founder and executive director of the Chordoma Foundation, which works to accelerate research to find a cure to this rare cancer. Now, any person who takes on this role while still in school is already worthy of high praise. But Josh also HAS chordoma, making his mission and work that much more urgent and poignant.

No wonder I was in a tizzy of emotions when I sat down to interview him. On the most superficial level, I was worrying about our recorder working, my rusty interview style, and all the post-production ahead of me. And on my deepest human-to-human level, I was overwhelmed by his courage, compassion, and incredible drive to help others first, and himself second.

Anyway, I don't want you to keep reading my rambling prose. I want you to listen to Josh telling his own story in our interview podcast. It's on the longer side -- about 25 minutes -- but worth every minute, I promise.

Perhaps you'll even be inspired in some way to help Josh accomplish his mission. If so, then sharing this podcast was the least I could do for someone I developed tremendous respect and admiration for in the first hour of knowing him.

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