Cancer is fucked up! I won’t sugar coat it or make it to be something any less than it is, a wasting disease. Cancer doesn’t care if you’re young, old, healthy, or undeserving. Cancer just doesn’t care. Those words alone echo not only to this writer but to many in the craft beer community, impacted by this fucked up disease.
So why am I choosing what some would call “intellectually demeaning” terms to describe a disease? That answer is pretty simple, I hate cancer. Taking a moment to speak personally, I can tell you that I have been impacted many times by cancer. I have lost loved ones, family, and seen how it weakens the strong willed. Which is why seeing what one woman is doing means this much to draw attention to it.
Her name is Zoe Friesen. And to many that name might mean little to you. But to the many people that once knew Chris “Cavy” Cavanaugh, this person is special.
Sure it’s cliché to utter those words. Working as a bartender it wasn’t hard to notice Chris, either at Brouwer’s Cafe, Elysian Brewery’s Capitol Hill bar, or Stumbling Monk. Many in fact would tell you that it was difficult to avoid Chris, because of the way he made you feel just talking to him.
Unfortunately, Cavy in early 2009, would be diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (Leukemia). Starting with treatments, Chris took six months from work to recuperate and deprived many customers of his smile and laughter. The bar at times seemed a little quieter.
In 2010 we occasionally spotted him stopping into his favorite beer spots, like Bottleworks. Even without a follicle of hair one could tell he was still fighting to live, not giving up. And he never stopped being Cavy, even when a brewer likened his appearance to Powder, a character played by Sean Patrick Flanery in the same-named film.
Some would even say it was the positive comments that gave him hope. Eventually he re-entered the work force, working at Elysian in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. And it wasn’t long before I was again reminded how infectious, Cavy’s positive outlook was.
I wish however I could tell you more about Chris and the many times I would see him laugh or smile. But this isn’t a story with a Hollywood ending. Instead the story ends with the loss of Christoper Evan Cavanaugh on April 20th, 2011.
But I am not here to re-eulogize a man that many can still close their eyes and see. I am here to tell you that the world can’t afford the loss of another man, woman, or child; that had the same potential for good that Chris had.
Instead I am here to let you know that a woman very close to Chris needs your help, to raise money towards researching a cure for Leukemia.
Here are Zoe Friesen’s own words, borrowed from her fundraising page.
On April 20, 2011 I lost a very close personal friend to Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Chris "Cavy" Cavenaugh had been battling this cancer on and off for over 2 years- he was only 34 years old. He was a remarkable person- incredibly smart, hilarious, fun, sweet, and kind, and always such an amazing and supportive friend. Seeing what he was put through in his final years broke my heart into a million pieces. I would do anything so that no one would ever have to go through what Chris (and his family and friends) endured.
I think about Chris just about every day, and I still miss him dearly. He was a much loved member of our community, and I am often overwhelmed with the number of people I continue to meet that were close to him and miss him as I do. Losing Chris has been very hard, but it did inspire me to do something- to actively join the in the fight against cancer. Last year I joined The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training, and joined a team that supported me in fundraising for blood cancer research in memory of Chris and supported me also in training for an endurance event: The Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco. Being part of the team in those first few months after Chris passed really helped me cope with my grief, and getting to that fundraising goal and crossing that finish line were some of the most important and meaningful accomplishments I have ever experienced. It's been over a year now, and keeping on with the fight against cancer is now just as important to me as ever!
I joined the team again this year for my second event with team in training. I have been training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon which will take place in San Francisco in mid-October, and I have been fundraising for blood cancer research as well.
My fundraising minimum is structured to ensure that 75% of what I raise will go directly to further blood cancer reasearch- a maximum of 25% is allocated towards event expenses (event staff, jerseys, transportation, etc.). With this in mind, I have personally donated a little over 25% of my fundraising minimum to be sure that every cent that others donate towards my fundraising goal goes directly to funding the ongoing search to find a cure!
Any donations would be very much appreciated from the bottom of my heart. You can make a donation directly on this page, or...
If you have reached this far into my post then you are committed to helping however you can. It starts by visiting this website.
And continues with you visiting the Pine Box, located on 1600 Melrose Avenue in the Captiol Hill neighborhood. Details are below and we ask that you not only show up to remember Cavy through stories, but to also help put a stop to a fucked, senseless, disease.
Stop in to purchase pints of beer from donated kegs, anti-cancer pins, as well as participate in drawings for beer-related prizes. The best part is all the money raised goes towards the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.
Be sure to say hello to Zoe by picking up an anti-cancer pin for $5.