As I mentioned last Monday, I met some amazing people at the Overland Expo 2010. I’ve asked a few of my new friends if they would like to be a guest author for the blog in the coming months. My first author is Mr. Joe Bacal.
Guest Author Joe Bacal:
I’m a professional off-road racer and cancer survivor — on a mission to inspire fans across my social media sites and at race events like the legendary Baja 1000. I’m 41 from from Anthem, AZ. Began my sophomore year of racing this January with a growing fan base on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. After beating Hodgkin’s lymphoma with the support of my care team from Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), I decided it was time to make my dream of racing off-road a reality.
I was a Toyota test driver and instructor for years before racing. Following cancer, my team (JTGrey Racing) debuted in ’09 with a win at the Baja 500, and capped off the ‘09 season by driving more than 27 hours, day and night, to cross the finish line at the perilous Baja 1000, the “granddaddy” of off-road racing in Mexico. We have two wins under the belt in 2010 in the SCORE Desert Series – the Laughlin Desert Challenge and San Felipe 250.
Cancer and off-road racing have a lot of parallels – they are both chaotic worlds, but it’s about taking control amid chaos.
A cancer diagnosis takes control of your life, physically, emotionally, mentally and even financially. It affects your family and all those who care for you. A cancer diagnosis creates chaos.
Unlike the feeling of losing control that cancer creates, I feels in complete control when I’m driving in the chaos of off-road racing. The truck bounces violently. Animals, rocks and trees seem to appear out of nowhere. It’s extreme, full of obstacles, often unpredictable – it’s chaos.
My cancer treatment experience mirrors my driving experience. I had doctors and clinicians dedicated to making sure my body remained strong during treatment; state-of-the-art technology to treat the disease; and a care team – including my wife Teresa – who provided the information needed to make treatment decisions.
My mission is to help cancer patients take control and be in the “driver’s seat” of their care to cross the finish line. You can’t win the race if you don’t finish. To finish, you need to be in control of what’s ahead of you and supported by a great team and family and friends who love you.
Follow our mission to take control when it comes to fighting cancer by becoming a fan of Control Amid Chaos on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ControlAmidChaos
Thanks Joe, for sharing your story and mission with us! When Joe & I were chatting at the Expo, I asked him why he was still so focused on cancer. I mean, if you’re cured, why keep constant reminders around you all the time. His answer was that everyone has been touched by cancer in some form or another; either they have had it or they know somebody who has. Joe was very clear in sharing his passion with me: inspiring others.