Valued and different

My three offspring have each chosen their own path in life.

Aaron, my older son, is a stage actor. Miriam, my daughter, is in her last year of medical school here at the University of Iowa. Nathan, my younger son, is a wild land fire fighter working on a helicopter fire attack crew in Idaho.***

My wife and I continue to do our best to support each of our children as they find their own path. This includes providing guidance and support for the day-to-day challenges and decisions they face, as well as helping them think about the long-term and how they can best reach the goals they have set for themselves.

It is not always easy to determine whether we should focus on today’s needs or tomorrow’s goals, but we do our best to strike a balance between focusing on the present and planning for the future. Our support has been different for each based on their specific needs. At any one point in time, our support and effort has focused more on one or another, not because one is favored over the others, but because that is where we think we can be most helpful. No one is more valued than the others, they are just different.

In some ways, the Cancer Center also has three offspring –our missions that focus on clinical care, research, and cancer prevention. Each is vital if we are to reduce the burden of cancer, yet each is different.

Providing state-of-the-art clinical cancer care is of obvious importance, and we are always striving to enhance the quality of that care. Supporting cancer research is also vital as we work to discover improved approaches to reducing the burden of cancer in the future. Finally, there are our cancer prevention efforts, such as those supported through the Iowa Cancer Consortium. Preventing cancer in the first place is the best way to reduce pain and suffering from cancer.

Just like society needs actors, doctors and fire fighters, reducing the burden of cancer requires cancer care, cancer research, and cancer prevention.

With respect to the Cancer Center, I will repeat the paragraph from above …

It is not always easy to determine whether we should focus on today’s needs or tomorrow’s goals, but we do our best to strike a balance between focusing on the present and planning for the future. Our support has been different for each based on their specific needs. At any one point in time, our support and effort has focused more on one or another, not because one is favored over the others, but because that is where we think we can be most helpful. No one is more valued than the others, they are just different.

***As a father, I am taking the liberty of throwing in shameless plugs:

  • Aaron’s next role is as “Brick” in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with the Iowa City Community Theater – check it out
  • Miriam will soon be looking for a top notch Ob/Gyn residency in case you have any suggestions
  • To keep Nathan out of harms way, please, please, be careful with fire if you live out west

2 thoughts on “Valued and different

  1. Norma M. Wilhelm

    A poet I once read, when asked which of her children she loved the most, replied : “whoever needs me most at the moment”. Your article makes good points in many areas of life.

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