Aug 28, 2017

It’s late Monday morning and suddenly the well-organized color-coded Google Calendar becomes meaningless. Anthony Jonathan Angel, a seven-year-old with a brain tumor and one of our newest patients, is on a respirator and isn’t doing well. If you had told me a few years ago that my 7-7 would entail expediting the production and delivery of a pair of children’s socks, I would’ve asked you which drugs you were on. And yet, here I find myself, on the phone with our manufacturer explaining the gravity of the situation and the urgency of my request.

And so, the process begins: one hundred forty-four needles knitting five different color threads to form a sock that will need to be washed, boarded, and shipped 550 miles from Mount Airy, North Carolina to Gainesville, Florida. Two days later, the socks are in the hands of Abigail Schirmer, a rising senior at the University of Florida and Resilience Patient Ambassador, and on the way to the hospital. Upon arrival, the socks meet the feet of that seven-year-old boy with a tumor pressing on his brainstem.

Sliding over Anthony’s pudgy toes, the socks provide warmth and embody the love exuberated by each family member sitting by his bedside. Anthony, now feeling a little better, is off his respirator and speaking for the first time in days, whispers a sweet “thank you” while mustering a meager thumbs-up.

Seven days later Anthony will leave us due to complications with that tumor. Sitting at my desk 1200 miles away surrounded by swarms of entrepreneurs fervently building the next generation of American business, I stop.

I stop to honor Anthony.

I stop to express gratitude.

Gratitude to be working 7-7 expediting sock production