Thursday, February 19, 2009

“The Six Degrees of Cancer”

Cancer seems to be everywhere. Our story is the same in that regard. But what amazes us the most is the connection we have with so many people in our lives who have been effected by this epidemic. If you are familiar with “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, then you know how this story goes. To explain how we became involved with the Ulman Cancer Fund and Team Fight – we must travel back 15 years.

McCulloch Family
In 1990, Winnie McCulloch (Suzy’s mother) was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Short there after, she received a mastectomy and further treatment. Winnie’s condition improved with time and she has been in remission for the past 19 years. Despite over coming this, the McCulloch family was burdened with the news of Chuck McCulloch’s (Suzy’s father) diagnosis of Prostate Cancer in 2004. Fortunately, his diagnosis was made early and Chuck underwent sufficient treatment to remain cancer free today.

Serpico Family
In 2002, Sally Serpico (Danny’s mother) was diagnosis with Ovarian Cancer. Despite her best efforts to fight this cancer, Sally’s battle ended a few weeks before Thanksgiving in 2004. Sally is remembered by her loving husband (Dennis) and 4 children.

Bob Gross
Suzy met Bob in 1997 while taking spinning and step classes at the Columbia Association gyms. Suzy is now the instructor of spin classes that Bob takes and makes music for . Bob has been a great friend and model peer for Suzy through out the years. In 2004, Bob had a seizure in the middle of cycle class (not Suzy’s) and underwent some testing. It wasn’t long before Bob was diagnosis with a Brain Tumor. Today, Bob is undergoing constant treatment and still attends spinning classes on a regular basis.

Cynthia Roth
We all know that the rave of the spinning classes at the Columbia Association is credited to Suzy McCulloch. So when Bob Gross began taking spinning classes, Cynthia Roth (Bob’s mother) joined him on occasion. As you guessed it, Cynthia’s story is very much the same as the previous. Unfortunately, Cynthia lost her husband to Skin Cancer about 7 years ago. Upon diagnosis, he was given weeks to live and Cynthia watched her marriage end at the mercy of this disease. We can only imagine how she must have felt when she was notified that her son (Bob) was diagnosis with Brain Cancer.

Six Degrees
Now that you have the foundational information – we can begin to put the circle together. Shortly after Sally Serpico passed away, Dennis (Danny’s father) began taking spinning classes at the Columbia Association gyms. It wasn’t long before Dennis and Cynthia met each other. Having a lot in common including a traumatic loss of a spouse, they soon after began dating and have been together since then. Cynthia and Bob have become a big part of the Serpico family. One might speculate that if Suzy hadn’t met Bob in spin class…..Cynthia might not have taking spinning….and she might not have met Dennis. Furthermore, Danny and Suzy might not have met each other if Danny’s father, Dennis, had not persuaded him to take a spin class in 2006. Finally, Suzy’s mother, Winnie, had the pleasure of teaching Brock Yetso when he was in 13yrs old – thus completing our “The Six Degrees of Cancer” and connecting us to the Ulman Cancer Fund.

When Brock and Brian Satola approached us about helping out with Team Fight, we thought this to be a no-brainer. We have seen what Cancer can do and jumped at the opportunity to support this cause. It has been our pleasure to be apart of this program and encourage everyone to participate.

by Danny Serpico and Suzy McCulloch
Team Fight Trainers

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