Monday, March 12, 2012

Zach Lederer Brain Tumor Celebrity

There is something in a story of the little guy, the long-shot, the guy bucking the odds who won’t take no for an answer that makes everybody want to root for him.  Zach Lederer is that kinda guy.

He’s also the kind of guy that’s had brain cancer not once but twice.

He’s also the guy that invented “Zaching.” 

Zaching is a phrase used to describe Zach’s pose coming out of his second brain surgery. It's a pose that visually and viscerally demonstrates that he’s going to fight cancer and with every ounce of his spirit. It says that he believes he's going to win this battle.

The attached article describes this pose he made for his Dad when he asked him to take his picture right after surgery “He said he thought, “If I make these muscles and show everyone how strong I am right now, they’ll stop worrying about me and think, ‘Oh he’ll be great.’”.

Not only has that pose captured that emotion and statement indelibly, it seems to touch everybody on a primal level who sees it.  It’s touched me that way.

And just when you think that America is a cold-hearted, dog-eat-dog society, you see an incredible swatch of the nation get behind this kid, this idea, this pose and show support.

As you may know, the pose is now a national phenomenon, a social media creature that has taken on a life of its own.  Pictures of people Zaching – from classmates, to celebrities, to the military – are posted on social media sites of all shapes and sizes.

So if you’re a brain tumor victim, what does this mean?  I think it means that fighting brain tumors are something that everybody, and I mean everybody, can support.  It means that even if folks don’t know who you are and what your background is, if they know that you’re in a dog-fight with a brain tumor or cancer, they will support you.  In a dark moment when you’re fighting pain or reduced cognitive skills or fears of the future, that’s a comforting thought. 

Does this mean that Zach is cured? Out of the woods? Going to be fine? 

No, he still has months of chemo and possibly radiation ahead of him. And while I haven’t had chemo, everything I hear from friends who’ve had chemo, and everything I read on cancer blogs tells me that Zach has some very, very tough times ahead.

And like everybody else, I’m going to be praying for him and rooting for him.

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