The Wave

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team started an amazingly touching and fun new tradition this year.  At the end of the first quarter of every football game, 70,000+ fans turn and wave to the patients at the new Stead Family Children’s Hospital that looks over the field.

The Iowa football program was honored recently with The Disney Spirit Award, given annually to college football’s most inspirational figure.  In addition to the coach and one of the players being on-hand to accept the award, there was also one of the patients from the children’s hospital present on the stage.  Kaden spent more than two weeks in the hospital being treated for a tumor in his lung this fall and had the opportunity to experience the wave.

The video below has the original story by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi in addition to the ceremony where they accept the award.  It’s about 11 minutes long, but it is SO worth it.  Please take a few moments to watch.  And have a few tissues on hand, too 🙂

Make it a great week, y’all.





“You Gotta Believe”

As a fourth-generation Indiana University graduate, it’s programmed into me to not be a fan of Purdue.  (Although to be fair, they’re truly not my most disliked rival.)

Despite my feelings of the black and gold, I can’t help but love the story of Purdue’s best player (and one of the best college basketball players in the country, really), Caleb Swanigan.

A sophomore who spent most of his childhood homeless, Caleb was adopted by a gentleman in 2011, and his whole life turned around with some love, encouragement, hard-work, and faith.  He’s now an Academic All-American with a bright future in front of him 🙂

CBS News did a short piece on Caleb and his adoptive father this weekend.  Check out the three minute video below.

Best of luck to you Caleb in all of your future endeavors!



Deshaun Watson & His Connection with Cancer

C-L-E-M-S-O-N…T-I-G-E-RRRRR-S!  Fight Tigers, Fight Tigers, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!


Still loving that Clemson win in the National Championship game last night!  While I myself am not an alumni, my younger sister graduated from CU several years ago – so our entire family now has a good amount of orange and purple clothes in our closets 😉 Beautiful campus, awesome school.

While watching the pre-game show, I saw a story about Clemson’s quarterback Deshaun Watson that made me smile.  He talked about drawing his inspiration from his mother, a cancer survivor.  I’ve always thought he was a stand-up, respectable college football player – one of the good guys with a decent head on his shoulders.  But the video about him and his mother – their closeness, their connection, their love for one another – made me like him even more.

His mother had tongue cancer, and they ended up having to remove her tongue as part of her treatment.  I have absolutely no idea what medicines she was treated with, but her type of cancer is one that the cancer drug I work on (as a market researcher in oncology) can treat.

When I read about or hear about folks with cancer, in particular those with tumors that can be treated with one of my company’s products, it always reminds me why we do what we do.  And it pushes me and grounds me when I’m stressed or working lots of hours…for instance, this week 🙂

Check out the short clip below to hear part of their story.

Cheers! AND GO TIGERS!!!


Dunk City – Some Of My Fave IU Basketball Moments

So, we’ve already established that I love music.  One of my other loves is Indiana University basketball.

I’ve been an IU fan since I was in the womb and went on to be a fourth generation Hoosier graduate.  The beautiful campus and all it has to offer feels like a second hometown to me.  I never even applied to any other universities during my senior year of high school.

Two days ago, #13 IU beat #3 North Carolina at Assembly Hall.  My parents were lucky enough to be at the game, and it looked like an amazing atmosphere.  One of the highlights of the game for me was OG Anunoby’s alley-oop dunk from Josh Newkirk.  I freaked 🙂  (One of the differences between my husband and I…when a highlight-worthy sports play happens, he tends to do a Tiger Woods-esqe fist pump and a simple “YES!”…I am not so subtle.)

After calming down, I started thinking of some of the other monumental dunks I’ve seen over the years from my beloved IU basketball teams.

Here are a few of my favorites:

(And to head off any doubters, I did not Google ‘best IU dunks’…these were all in my memory…I’m not one of those girls who says they’re a sports fan but is really only doing it for show.  And no offense to those who are – you do you.)

Tom Pritchard, IU vs Minnesota, February 2011

Marco Killingsworth, IU vs Duke, December 2005 (I actually saw this one LIVE 😀  Fast forward to about the 1:10 minute mark in the vide0.)

Victor Oladipo, IU vs Michigan, February 2013 (so yes, technically he didn’t make this dunk…but the anticipation and attempt was enough to count in my mind 🙂 )



Music Monday: Happy 4th of July!

Wishing the weather was better here in Indiana for the holiday weekend…when was the last time we had multiple rainy days in the 60s in a row, in JULY?!?

We’re not going to our usual concert and fireworks show, but I’ve enjoyed listening to some patriotic music throughout the day.

These are two of my favorite renditions of The Star Spangled Banner, by Whitney Houston and Chris Botti.

Do YOU have a favorite rendition of our National Anthem?  Comment below.

And because I can’t let this holiday pass without listening to this song a few times… Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A”, sung at a World Series game in NYC shortly after 9/11.

These three videos give me chills every.single.time.

I wish you a safe and happy July 4th Holiday.  God Bless America 🙂



Having the Courage to talk about Mental Health.

This week’s Wednesday Words are brought to you by US tennis great Mardy Fish via a website called The Players’ Tribune.  (See the end of this post for more info on this website.)

highly encourage everyone to read his contribution/essay that was released yesterday in which he speaks about his challenges with anxiety, a mental health disorder that affects millions upon millions of people.


The short version is that in the middle of his rise to a top ten player in the world, he started having anxious feelings that grew into full-blown panic attacks.  It culminated with him withdrawing from the US Open in 2012 prior to a match with Roger Federer.  Over the past few years, he has learned to manage his anxiety with a combination of the right treatment, support, education, and conversation, and he’s returned to the US Open this year as a ‘farewell’ of sorts to the game of tennis before he retires.

Kudos to Mardy Fish for having the courage to talk about mental health, a subject that is often avoided because of the feelings it evokes.  I don’t know him and I never will, but I appreciate his openness and his desire to help others through sharing his own story.




Taken from the ‘About’ section of The Players’ Tribune website:

Welcome to The Players’ Tribune, a new media platform that presents the voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players’ Tribune aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and publishes first-person stories directly from athletes. From video to podcasts to player polls and written pieces, The Tribune strives to be “The Voice of the Game.”