Spiking the Ball!

By Jay McAdams

That awful C-word, cancer, has been inching closer and closer lately with everyone I know seemingly being diagnosed with some form of it. Well if anyone can take that C-word and wrestle it to the ground it’s my colleague Spike Dolomite Ward, who runs the Arts in Education Aid Council. spike2For me, Spike turns that C-word on it’s ugly little head and spits it out as Courage and Conviction.

Spike spent the last year or so fighting cancer, with surgery, radiation and chemo, the whole nine yards. But Spike is modest and will tell you she was anything but courageous. She was horrified, as any rational person would be facing a deadly disease and worrying about her children. But Spike decided to turn her illness into positive change for others. So she went public with an Op-Ed piece in the LA Times about the need for health care reform. Within days she was asked by the White House to be a spokesperson for the cause of health care reform. As Spike sat at the doctor’s office waiting to hear if she’d live or die, her cell phone alerted her that she was being talked about on MSNBC. Exhausted and sick, she agreed to speak on the steps of the Supreme Court as a voice for those in need of health insurance.

Spike is healthy again now. Her hair is back as is most of her energy. She sees her advocacy for health care reform as just a normal thing that arose from her illness. Being diagnosed with cancer these days almost seems normal. But deciding to become the national face of health care reform while in the fight of your life against cancer... not so normal. Spike is anything but normal. She is a warrior. Either help her win, or get out of her way. She inspired me and countless others throughout her sickness. Spike is a hero and a role model. And she doesn’t even know it, which is what really makes her a hero. She was just doing what she does always: standing up for what she believes in and helping others.

A portion of this story was delivered in our newsletter. Please sign up to hear more stories.