A Message from Eric Eichner

Sy’s Fun:D. What the hell is it and what does it mean to me?

These are questions I’ve asked myself over the last few years. The former I asked when a friend was looking for a volunteer for an event and the latter– well the latter I revisit often as I sit looking out my office window reflecting on how Sy’s Fun:D has changed me as a person. We can read the mission statement a million times (it may take a while, but it is possible) and know what it states, but what does it mean to me?  So, let’s look at it: “We provide meaningful gifts to young adults ages 18 through 39 dealing with the challenges of cancer; helping them pursue their creative passions and pursuits, as well as providing funding for integrative therapies.”

I’ll start at the beginning: “We…” who is/are the “We.” Well, there’s Sy’s Fun:D itself- “The Board,” the folks “in charge.” In reality “We” is You and I working together so that Sy’s Fun:D has money to spend on those “meaningful gifts” for young adults (who we define as 18-39 years of age). Personally, I look at “helping them pursue their creative passions and pursuits” and think it’s more about helping them “live.” Not to just get through things but to embrace some aspect of “normal.” Something that isn’t cancer which occupies far too many thoughts during far too many moments of their day.

Princess Herceptin

Princess Herceptin with Eric.

My wife (Michele) would have fit “our” demographic perfectly when she had breast cancer, had Sy’s Fun:D existed then. I found so many times during her treatments and recovery that she simply wanted to be “Michele,” not “cancer girl,” “Princess Herceptin,” “Survivor,” or anything else that focused on that one large, but small aspect of her life. She wanted, if only for a moment, to forget she had cancer, was going through treatment, or was still feeling the after effects of everything.

So, what is “meaningful” when it comes to a gift? It’s really not for me to define. It’s for the many applicants we have to determine. What may have helped my wife might not help someone else. We are all different, just like cancer and the treatments. I do believe that if an applicant wants or needs an integrative therapy, then that is a meaningful gift. To ease one’s pain or discomfort may indeed be that thing that brings some normalcy to their lives: to help them live, if even only temporarily.

So, a comforting massage may be as important or joyful to one as a digital camera is to another. Gifts we can give. You. Me. We. We can give these incredible gifts to people in need. I found out it truly is not hard or costly. The more that people help with a small donation here and there, or volunteer at one of our fund raisers over the course of a year, the more it adds up. It all adds up to sizable amounts of money to fund these gifts and a sustainable workload because the work is spread among many folks. It’s pretty amazing what $5 will do and how little we miss it being in our pocket. It is also amazing what a small donation of time does for the fund and how little it impacts our busy schedule.

So, simply put, Sy’s Fun:D is a group of people who want to make a difference, and doing so fills my heart.

Learn more about Eric. Click here to view his bio!

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