Thursday, August 7, 2008

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I stumbled across a writeup on James Gosling's blog and I felt I had to also support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer by creating an awareness for it in my own little way. Randy Pausch, a charismatic young college professor, as ABC News puts it, finally lost the battle against pancreatic cancer on the 25th of July, 2008. He gave a last lecture on the disease, and the video of his talk has been viewed over 6 million times and downloaded over 10 million times. A book is also being published by Hyperion on his last lecture. Randy, though I didn't get to know him or read about him while he was alive , did greatly on Alice which has been hugely used in teaching. He however gave the world a beautiful example of dying eloquently. His Last lecture was one of hope, grace and optimism. I can't imagine how it was for him; knowing that your days on earth are numbered and still moving on to make an impact in the last days instead of worrying to death about his circumstance. Randy, you'd greatly be missed. Thanks alot for creating the awareness about the killer disease before you eventually lost the battle against it.

So I'm putting forward the question to you, 'What would you say or do if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?'. If you had only six months to live, like he did, what would you do? How would you live your life?
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) say that approximately 37,170 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and 33,370 will die from it. How many people will die from it in a country like ours? If you've seen the kind of diseases that most of our old people here in Nigeria battle with, you will not but pray to God that you never experience such in your old age. The disease is said to be the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, and unlike other cancers, during the last 30 years, the medical community has seen very little advancement in prolonging the lives of pancreatic cancer patients. The video is highly inspiring. Instead of focusing on his death, he spoke about his childhood dreams, and he went on to attain quite a number of them, but they didn't all come easy. It's a video that will stir up something inside of you to get more done and work towards fulfilling your goals if you have one. One statement he made that I'd also like to leave you with is this: "The brick walls are there for a reason, they are not there to keep us out, but are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something". So why not fight against this disease with me, by creating the awareness. You can get to read more about Pancreatic Cancer on wikipedia. Read the more about his last days on ABC News

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