CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Me and dad, circa 1984. Me and my buck teeth and him with his preppy lobster trunks (I swear he still wore that same bathing suit 22 years later). This is one of my favorite photos. We're at Kure Beach and he's trying to teach me how to catch crabs.
If you are one of the lucky ones in this world to have known Joe Gr antham, you know he was a tall, handsome, likable guy who was everyone's friend. People came to him, and he always made the world feel welcomed. Southern guy from the top of his wavy, thick hair down to his sock-less, loafered feet.
Even when my dad was unsuccessful, he was too needed to ever actually lose. So when our family first got the diagnosis - it was 2004 - no one thought it'd take him down. "Colon cancer Stage III" was merely the latest obstacle he'd overcome and champion.
Two years later he lost his battle.
Once a year I try to write a post about him because once a year there is a marquee event in Charlotte dedicated to finding a cure and helping other colorectal cancer warriors. It's called "Get Your Rear in Gear", and this year it's Saturday, March 3 in Independence Park…two Saturdays from this weekend.
For years we've been trying to get more people involved. I'm thrilled to say this year WBTV's Alex Giles will be the emcee. Alex's own family has been impacted by colon cancer and he'll happily be leading everyone that morning.
Alex and I have talked at length about the many survivors who show up that day. I've tried to explain to him the FUN. The tutus and DJ and rocking music. How people talk about colon and rectal cancer with ease and how he'll hear more butt jokes at "Get Your Rear in Gear" than any other place all year long. (I laughed just typing that. It's totally true.)
Last year's Get Your Rear In Gear - Charlotte, NC raised over $100,000 that one morning alone. They put it back into the Charlotte community to support screenings, surgeries and assist those devastated by the cost of colon cancer.
Want to get involved?? Sign up!
REGISTER HERE >> http://join.coloncancercoalition.org/site/TR?fr_id=3616&pg=entry
My dad was the first person I knew with colon cancer, but I've had other friends since. Many are women. (Hi, Sue. We sure do miss you.) Every one of them would've loved the festive feel of this race.
Spread the word and help the cause.
Love ya, Dad.