Marty's Message

Standing Strong For What Really Matters

Life's challenges don't ask your gender, race or political affiliation. We shouldn't either when someone needs our help.

A Friday night football game. Amazing. And I'm not talking about the game. This edition of Friday Night Lights featured a sea of folks wearing green t-shirts with McFeeley Strong emblazoned on the front. Together we fight and The Lebo Family does not fight alone on the back.Thousands of folks packed into Mt. Lebanon's High School Football stadium not just for football. They were there for Brian McFeeley, "Mr. McFeely", the Mr. Rogers-like principal at Mount Lebanon High School, in the town where my family lives.

McFeely has stage four pancreatic cancer. That's bad. Still, he's a fighter, and thousands gathered on this night to fight alongside him.'His wife was there' his two teenaged sons. It was a thing of beauty so many folks awash in green. I was invited. I wanted to draw attention to McFeeleyStrong.Org. Use his site to raise a lot of money and even more awareness about pancreatic cancer. I interviewed McFeeley on my KDKA Radio talk show. I interviewed him again live at Thousands of folks followed along. It's what Sparkt is all about. We raised awareness raised money made a difference.

While thousands watched and listened, McFeeley told me, Life has slowed down.I enjoy each day a little bit more.I enjoy watching Big Brother with my sons. We never watched Big Brother together before. Cute really. I watch The Office more with my daughter Sophia since my cancer diagnosis.

I've seen it with my own illness. Cancer's miracle it gives us a clear view of what matters. It's what always mattered. Family. When you're sick, that family matters mantra is intensified the love you feel as warm as the sun.

McFeeley's "family" at Mt. Lebanon High School.

When I got home that night, I got this Facebook message from Joe he obviously watched our Sparkt Facebook Live videos with Brian McFeeley: What difference do you make other than helping a principle (sic) with cancer?

Honestly? Seriously. This is where we're at in America? Do you do anything other than help a principal with cancer? Rage frustration pity, all of the emotions I had for E-mail Joe last Friday night.

I had to know. I reached out.

Me: Joe.You can't be serious. We were live in front of thousands of people trying to help a high school principal trying to live!

Joe: I thought you were a conservative. I thought wrong. You won't stand behind President Trump.

Done. E-mail Joe and I were done. I won't fight that battle. I can't win that battle. But the war rages on. We live in a time and place where good deeds don't matter. We live in a time where myopic views of a narrow landscape prevail.

I choose to live in a time where I will continue to believe what Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa said: "Light can devour the darkness but darkness cannot devour the light."

Long after E-Mail Joe fades into the background, Brian McFeeley will be battling stage four pancreatic cancer. Cancer has no political affiliation. It has no partisan view.

Here at Sparkt, we never ask your political affiliation. we only ask, How can we help? and How can YOU help? If you do one thing today, think of that: how can you help?

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
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