Announcement to Family and Friends

April 4, 2001

Dear friends and family--

I hope this note finds you happy and healthy. I wanted to let you know firsthand of a sudden change in my life, and that of my family. On Monday I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The news came as a complete shock, as the preliminary diagnosis had been of a mere ulcer. Some of you may recall me saying that destiny had compelled our family to leave Maui this year for New York, that we couldn't even understand the reason we moved and could only wait for time reveal it. It would appear that the answer is now at hand. We are lucky in more ways than we can count. We have a tremendous support network here, the best medical help, and the health insurance to insulate us financially. Those factors enable us to focus solely on getting healthy.

We've started meeting with doctors and doing all the necessary tests to determine our next course of action. At minimum, our lives will be messy for the next several weeks and months. For those of you wanting to know more about the seriousness of the condition, the doctors tell me they hope they've caught it in the early stages and that the cancer remains localized (on the upper stomach wall near the esophogus), but they can't yet know for sure. The standard of care in these cases, they say, is surgical removal of the stomach followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment. We're seeking additional opinions before we proceed. I hope to keep you posted periodically, but if I'm out of touch for a while, I trust you'll stick with me. I have every intention of sticking around myself.

Tracy and I have been talking to the kids, trying to prepare them, and they're comprehending things in their own way. If I could ask one thing of you, it would be to keep an eye out for their well-being and to continue to help them grow. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. You're our blessed village; please guard them, teach them, and keep them close.

The road has taken a rocky turn. Step by step we go, buoyed by faith and love, and the surrounding circle of you.

Life is good.

now and forever,