The last two days were spent in DC. It was the Digestive Disorder Coalition Convention, and the name should be kind of self-evident. I saw Vanessa, Michael, Robyn, Erika, Candace (for the record, if I was about twenty years younger and taller, I’d have a shot), and the colon cancer peeps. However, I met lots more than the colon cancer survivors. I’ll call her Penelope (it’s her actual name) who had Gastroparesis (I made her promise to vomit on the other guy if necessary) and Murray (not his real name), the 14 year old with Celiac Disease. I also met Travis with FAP, which is genetic, similar to Lynch. I told him that he looks like Alexi Lalas. He said I looked like Zinadine Zidane. We’re going to do a soccer show one day. We were supposed to meet with out legislators from the Senate and the House, but as always happens, schedules get messy. Some were expecting us. Others weren’t. One meeting was in the Senate building, followed by another in a House building, followed by another in the Senate building again. By the time I addressed both house of congress (a special session just for me), my blue suede shoes had worn down, my butt was chafing, and I was sweating like a pig (why was bacon served at this conference by the way?). Most staffers made time for us. We wanted to make sure that when the time came, gastro disorders had a seat at the table for funding. I, as the former elected official, understand that budgets aren’t easy. No one likes to lose, and no one likes to be the one who decides winning and losing. If budgets were easy, they’d call it chocolate or maybe sex, or maybe chocolate sex. Speaking of chocolate, another organization is doing a campaign around what we call our butts. Chris4Life asked, so I told them mine, Thundar the Bavarian. My other name Chocolate Thunder seemed too personal for public knowledge, so keep it to yourself. Feel free to add yours.
One Congressman that was not expecting us was Congressman Donald Payne Jr, newly elected from Newark, NJ, replacing his father, Donald Payne Sr, who had died of colon cancer almost exactly a year ago. It’s always difficult pitching yourself to someone who has lost. But I would also be remiss if I didn’t say anything. I was low key, but I talked about AliveAndKickn and stuff. Facts and being human. Statistics and target audiences. Gender and ethnicity. Soccer and Colondars. Documentaries and Congressional resolutions. Two hours later, we had a plan for New Jersey, and maybe beyond. All I need is to have the Red Bulls cooperate, a “feet” easier said than done. I should tell them to honor Penelope. Red Bull is one of the few things she can tolerate, as long as it’s sugar free. I’ll keep you informed, but if March 16th goes as hoped, this could get really interesting.
I also was able to meet with several of the ladies from Prevent Cancer. I like this group. Good message. Upbeat but direct. Over the phone, they had asked me to be the host for one of their awards luncheons. Rather than disappoint them on luncheon day, I offered to meet them ahead of time. Photoshop can be misleading. After all, Robin’s not real…she’s just someone I crop into my pictures to make me look better. If they changed their mind, I’m sure Bradley Cooper could stand in at the last moment. I’m sure Robin would be happier with Bradley Cooper, or maybe Gerard Butler, or Gerard Depardieu, or anyone else named Gerard for that matter.
Hopefully they still like me. The Laurels Awards is March 21, so they have time.