Something that Actually Matters

Sometimes we think things matter – like Chris Brogan writing a paid blog post, or Steve Jobs pulling out of Mac World – and then you read something like this and realize… it doesn’t. This does…

As some of you know I have an affiliation with ASU Polytechnic. I sit on an advisory board (DEAC) and my company (cosinity) is sponsoring a project with the engineering and business schools.

Today I received an update via the DEAC website – and while I do not like reposting entire posts from other sites… I’m doing it here:


I was touched by a sad but hopeful email I received from Barbara Janecka the other day about a former student of ours, Casey Kelso. Please read below, and if you or your organization find it in your hearts in this giving season to help in some way, I am sure Casey would appreciate it. Flyer is also attached.

— KG


Hi Friends,

Casey Kelso, one of the most amazing people I’ve had the fortune of knowing, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer this past September. The diagnosis came while he was living and working in Brisbane, Australia.

Casey is an extremely active guy (biking, climbing, hiking,

backpacking…) and had previously been diagnosed with a hamstring injury and instructed by his doctor in Arizona to lay off activities that bothered the injury and continue those that did not. This went on for almost 2 years, without much improvement. While he was in Brisbane, the pain worsened and he went to a GP who instructed him to refrain from all physical activities for 5-6 weeks. Well, during that time, the pain drastically increased. He went back to the GP, who then ordered an x-ray. The x-ray revealed a chunk of bone missing in Casey’s ischium.

The GP referred Casey to an orthopedic surgeon and the ball began rolling from there.

Casey cut his time in Australia short to return to the states and get treatment. Since then, he’s had two biopsies, both of which showed cells consistent with a rare type of cancer called leiomyosarcoma.

Unfortunately, both biopsies were also not definitive and therefore the exact treatment path has not always been well defined. Currently he is being treated with chemotherapy and will eventually undergo surgery to remove the tumor.

Now, the real frustrating part. Casey is a software engineer, gainfully employed with full medical benefits. He is super smart and a very hard worker. After receiving his first round of chemotherapy he was informed that his medical insurance will not be paying for his chemo treatments.

Unbelievable! Thus far, Casey has been paying as he goes for his chemo treatments.

A good friend of Casey’s, Mark Stiles, has set up an account at Wells Fargo in Casey’s name to help offset the growing medical expenses that are being incurred. The account number is 7987669137. Additionally, the Phoenix Rock Gym (in Tempe, AZ) has graciously donated their facilities on Sunday, January 11, 2009 between 7 and 10 PM. They will waive all entrance fees for this time period (day pass = $11.00, day pass with gear = $16.00). Instead, donations can be made to help Casey out during this most challenging time. All proceeds will go to Casey’s cancer account. Many local businesses have donated items to be raffled off as well as some bigger ticket items that will be auctioned. Please see attached flier for more details about Climb 4 Casey day at PRG.

Let me just say again what a tremendous individual Casey is.

Seriously. He will go out of his way to help anyone. He has a huge heart and he needs our help. Casey has multiple circles of friends, some overlapping, others not. I am positive that my limited email address list has barely scratched the surface of Casey’s friends. Please feel free to forward this email to all the friends I know I’ve missed!

BTW, you do not have to have any climbing experience to come out for this event. The staff at PRG will get you all set up with shoes and gear and show you the ropes!

If you are able to help in any way, please do. If you are a lawyer specializing in dealing with Medical Insurance, please help.

Flyer with more information.

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