June 03, 2009

I #BlameDrewsCancer For Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Last year, when ReadBurner was saved from an early demise, I gained more than the return of a site I enjoyed and found useful. I also gained a good peer and friend, in Drew Olanoff, who along with Adam Ostrow and a small team of developers, have been working on expanding ReadBurner, and extending its product line, including BurnURL, which we have discussed before. For whatever reason, Drew almost immediately transformed from a virtual world acquaintance who I knew through podcasts and trading e-mails, to a real-world friend, someone who I know I can call practically any time, any day.

Drew is energetic. Drew is geeky and loves it. Drew is really funny and always has me laughing. Drew is sharp and has a great eye for what works and what doesn't. Drew has a sense of personal style that you can see in everything he touches, from his own blog, to his work at ReadBurner, and previously at Strands, or his new job at GOGII.

And Drew is selfless. He famously got a woman's Twitter account ID tattooed on his arm for charity. And he was the first to ever dare and babysit my twins when they were very small.

But in May, my conversations with Drew changed tone. Drew had found a lump in his neck and throat area, and smartly thought to go to see a doctor. His symptoms pointed to his possibly having Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer. As his tests were being reviewed, I spoke to my dad, also an MD, and asked what he thought. In his matter of fact way, he ageed, saying, "Yup. Sounds like lymphoma."

Drew got the news not too long ago, that yes, he had been diagnosed with cancer. The big C... and would have to undergo chemotherapy. In fact, his first chemotherapy session was this last Monday. We've talked in the last few weeks on the phone about how he feels, what he expects, and how this will change him. But even as the disease tries to sap his physical strength, Drew's spirit is not being dampened. He is taking on this challenge like any other, and is looking to heighten awareness and deliver change.

You Can See What People Blame On Drew's Cancer Here

Today, in a heartfelt post, he revealed his battle with cancer, and started a new movement, to "Blame Drew's Cancer" for anything you want. Simply post a note to Twitter with the hashtag #blamedrewscancer and a dedicated site at http://www.blamedrewscancer.com will show whether you blame his cancer for your losing your keys to the downfall of your favorite sports team, or the economy at large. And with time, Drew will likely announce corporate partners who are going to work with him to kick cancer in a place that hurts.

I blame Drew's cancer for going after a guy who has been nothing but good news ever since he entered our family's life. Our kids love him and so do my wife and I. That's why we're asking you to also Blame Drew's Cancer... and show the big C who is boss.