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Grapes And Purple Stride

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/18/2013 | 9:28 AM

I began the week more curmudgeonly than most times.  Irrespective of one's perspective on the case, the Zimmerman verdict: 1) provided an excuse for wanton violence under the protective cover of understandable protest, and 2) opened up national platforms for expression for people (on both sides of the argument) who would need extra training to operate a wheelbarrow.

The latest, but, sadly, not final insult to our collective sensibilities has been a person with the IQ of a grape making the rounds of the talk shows.  The several hosts (and hostesses) involved have hung on every word, giving credence to inane utterances as if they had come from the late Dame Margaret Thatcher holding forth on geopolitical issues, or the even later Eleanor Roosevelt crusading for human rights and dignity.

Mijn vrouw recently encountered a person who makes this crowd look like Nobel laureates, even though her principal asset is a handbag full of big words used to intimidate lesser (in her eyes) beings.  She opined, in front of a large audience, that I have not had pancreatic cancer, the proof being that I am still living, and that some sort of endocrine imbalance had led to a mis-diagnosis.  I offered to show her pictures of my 7-centimeter figment of imagination, and raise my undershirt so she could examine the apparently permanent scars that make my torso look like an autopsy gone horribly wrong.

No matter.  As my LinkedIn contacts already know, we are preparing to celebrate five years of survival, a milestone reached by only about 5% of diagnosed cases.  One third of those, btw, will not make it to ten years (think of Steve Jobs).  Myself, I am gunning for 25 years, but the future is always a little shaky.

Our observance will include extended family participation in Purple Stride, a major fund-raiser to help with awareness, education, and research, sponsored by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  No grape stomping is involved, unfortunately.  I'll do a 2-mile walk, while others skip off on a 5-k run.

If you can help the cause financially, that would be great.  For the moment, I'm personally more interested in the outreach and awareness needs.  The incidence of this #4 cancer killer is rising, and may jump up to #2 in the next couple of years.  We are on the precipice of an epidemic, fueled, I believe, by obesity-driven Type 2 diabetes.  And, the disease gets no directed funding for research at the NIH level.  Amazing, and we are working diligently to get legislation passed to remedy that.

Meanwhile, I''m grateful for every single day, and get really motivated when I can check off another anniversary.  Maybe, I can even get over the exploitation of dimwits that provides fodder for talk shows.  At least for the moment.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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