Let's Be Heroes!
It was 11pm in their Eastern time zone and I was worried I'd be waking them.
Mike picked up the phone very alert so I felt confident. I asked if his mother Nancy was right there and she was, so I requested to be on speaker phone. I don't know exactly what I said, but I stumbled through every detail with my voice quivering, trying to keep it together talking to these strangers. Who oddly, after only a few conversations though up to this point, felt like family.
I asked them if they'd like to come to Los Angeles and attend a comedy podcast festival for the weekend. This was Wednesday evening, and they would be leaving Friday morning to come to LA if they said yes.
They said they had to think about it.
Really, they needed to make some plans for their lives in Virginia while they'd be gone and get medical clearance from her doctors. This was important as she'd be traveling with Stage 3b lung cancer, 'just below Walter White's kind' as Mike explained they were told. They were between chemo/radiation regimens and had some extra time on their hands to kind of...think. I knew this from a Facebook post I saw from Mike on Monday.
I made a couple calls, gathered close friends for help, and started a private GoFundMe to get enough money in the next 24 hours to buy them:
Nonstop round trip Virgin Air plane tickets, transportation around LA, and 3 nights in the gorgeous hotel in Beverly Hills where the LA Podfest was held. LA Podfest, I might add, were kind enough to give them VIP everything for the weekend.
They were cleared for a go, thank goodness, or I would've looked like, well an ass, to a lot of people.
Mike and his mother spent the weekend in LA rubbing shoulders with not only their favorite comedians and podcasters, but they were able to meet a large group of people from all over the world that they'd only known over the internet to some degree. These other fans of podcasts, other amateur podcasters, and all around die-hard comedy fans; they become friends after time, showing up in the same twitter feeds, common message boards, or maybe you walk into the same room wearing some of the same comedy merchandise and just nod at each other. You might even say these people become family at some point.
It was a success, and I think an insane amount of memories were made on the trip. When they were leaving to go back home I definitely looked like I had just watched The Notebook.
Ok, so fast forward to now. Why am I telling you this?
Mike and Nancy have been supporting Estoy since before it was Estoy. It was just Greg and I making shirts for hours and we didn't even have a business name. And they've continued to support Estoy until they couldn't anymore because they need a good amount of money ($150k) for her treatment and possible surgery. Their GoFundMe Page is getting some traffic, but I'd like to really give back in some way. Talented Artist Guy Tensen (Shame Chamber, Doc Lob) made a great design, I added a phrase to tie it all together, and we put it on a shirt!
The profit from the sale of each one will go to them directly to help with their treatment.
Please do me a favor and order one of these for you, for a friend, heck, show a hater some love and get one of these delivered to them.
Thanks for listening!