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Of love, of sadness, of hope

She's defying the odds for pancreatic cancer, but it will take gene-targeted therapy to give her a real chance
Screenshot, Naomi's Healing. (Courtesy)
Screenshot, Naomi's Healing. (Courtesy)

I remember the first time I met her. She was maybe 18, I was all of 22. I heard a lot about her, but nothing could have prepared me.

The first thing I noticed was her laugh. Loud, boisterous, uninhibited. If you know her you know exactly what I mean. A laugh that’s infectious in its abandon. Everything about her was exaggerated; her presence filled the room. The stories and the jokes. Acting out old SNL skits like she was Live from New York at that very moment.

So full of life.

That’s Naomi as I will always remember her. Rachel’s kid sister. Funny silly outrageous Naomi.

That was over 25 years ago. Rach and I got married. So did Naomi. We had a slew of kids. So did she. Our lives intersected but not really. Sometimes we lived in the same country, most times not. Most times we got along, sometimes not. There were ups and downs to be sure. But for me she was always that 18-year-old free spirit unbound, like we all are at that age, by the laws of nature and time.

Today Naomi’s sick. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer some 18 months ago. Some say she’s already beaten the odds. For a 44-year-old with 6 kids the odds still aren’t great.

Fuck cancer. Fuck fuck fuck cancer.

There’s too much riding on this to give up. There are treatments, experimental drugs, hopes, dreams, and prayers. The statistics are terrible and well known. No need to repeat them. Now is for helping. Not just those of us who love Naomi but for anyone who ever had a parent, a child, a friend who suffered when it felt nothing could change their fate.

Will the treatment work? We can only try.

To help Naomi and her family please go to Naomi’s Fund.

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