This past Wednesday the Youth Advisory Board of K Cancer Baseball was given two “Once In A Lifetime” opportunities in the same day!
At 9:00 (preceded by cinnamon rolls at Colectivo Coffee) Lucas & Adrian pitched their business to the 1 Million Cups group at 100State in Madison, Wisconsin. The 1 Million Cups crowd was made up of everyone from first time Early Stage Entrepreneurs to experienced business leaders. The guys did an excellent job with their presentation! When the presentation was over the entire Youth Advisory Board was brought to the front and a question and answer session ensued. This is where the first voice in my title comes from.
The first voice is the fresh voice of THE UNINFORMED OUTSIDER. As far as I know there were no medical professionals with pediatric cancer experience in the room. It was a group of incredibly bright “achievers” who brought creative insight to the challenges facing K Cancer Baseball as it goes about accomplishing its mission. They brought ideas to the table that someone with inside knowledge of the field would not have considered. They saw the forest because they have never skinned their knees climbing these particular trees!
You do yourself a disservice if you do not listen to those around you just because they aren’t in the “club”.
From there we went to the University of Wisconsin Hospital for a meeting with the staff of their Pediatric Oncology department. We were privileged enough to spend some time with some incredible people! We spent over an hour with a group that included the UW Health Marketing Consultant, the Director of their foundation, the head of community development, the senior nurse who is responsible for the Pediatric Oncology nurses. and (the part that just blew us away) Dr. Paul Sondel.
This is the second voice I referenced in the title of this post. The voice of THE EXPERT.
Dr. Paul Sondel, M.D., Ph.D., is the Reed and Carolee Walker Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He received his M.D. magna cum laude in 1977 from Harvard Medical School. He was promoted to professor in 1987, and became leader of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Program in Immunology and Immunotherapy in 1990, when he also became Head of the Division of Pediatric Oncology.
Dr. Sondel has been a leader in scientific policy through multiple national committee roles, including The National Institutes of Health, The American Cancer Society, The Children’s Oncology Group (COG), The National Cancer Institute, where he was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, where he was the Chair of their Scientific Advisory Committee and is now chair of their cancer center’s external advisory board.
Clinically, he has worked with COG in contributing to the progress of the past 30 years in the development of curative treatments for childhood cancers. He is devoted to his own patients, and committed to leading a multidisciplinary team that is providing comprehensive and compassionate, state of the art treatment for all childhood cancer and hematology patients at the University of Wisconsin.
I said all that to say this, he is THE AUTHORITY on childhood cancer!
The Youth Advisory Board presented K Cancer Baseball to Dr. Sondel’s team. Dr. Sondel was incredibly attentive and took notes throughout their presentation. When they concluded, he congratulated them on their efforts and their knowledge of the situation facing State-line families who are battling childhood cancer. He then spoke at length about some of the issues that we were not aware of. He highlighted some additional services we may want to provide to truly be a help. He then offered to partner with us as we look to make State-line families aware of the help we may be able to provide. I can tell you that he cut the learning curve down tremendously!
Ego can keep you from listening to the second voice, the voice of THE EXPERT. You may be tempted to say, “I don’t need their help. I can do this!” If you do, you are destined to fight battles that you could have avoided with some guidance.
From there his team was kind enough to take us on a tour of the American Family Children’s Hospital where young patients are treated with world-class technology and methods. This is where the magic happens. The facilities were amazing. They took everything into consideration. After seeing the attention to detail that was taken in regards to everything from the front door to the play areas, there is a comfort level that you are in a place that truly cares for children.
It was just an incredible day. We left with the understanding that what we are trying to do (help State-line area families as they battle childhood cancer) is worth doing, and it’s worth doing right!