“Do as many as you can, and then do one more.”
This phrase is one that my dad used to use with me all the time, particularly when I was doing push-ups. He never gave me a number to complete, just “one more,” every time.
My father, a veteran of the U.S. Army, a lawyer who defended those without anywhere else to turn, and a hero by almost any measure, died of melanoma in 2013.
When he battled this disease for two years after doctors gave him a life expectancy of six months, he kept fighting “one more” day and trying “one more” drug. The medication that extended his life and his time with family is the same medication the Melanoma Research Foundation is helping to fund research for.
And I am fishing my way for donations to that organization through my Catch a Cure project.
Right now, I’m headed to Tulsa, Okla., to preview the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, fishing on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees to see what you can expect next week when the world’s best anglers are here.
Thanks to these generous people at B.A.S.S. and a handful of great sponsors, I’m hitting the road to fish for largemouth bass, and for every pound of largemouth bass we can document on this expedition, dollars will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., where they’re putting them to use in a way that’s important for all of us, but for us outdoorsmen specifically.
There’s an inherent undercurrent of sadness to any story about fighting cancer. To quote a personal hero and legendary outdoorsman, Ernest Hemingway: “All stories, if continued long enough, end in death, and he is no true story-teller who would keep that from you.”
My father’s strength, spirit and altruistic nature live on, and in his memory I’m fighting to put an end to melanoma, and all skin cancers, once and for all.
I’ll be fishing for a cure thanks to sponsors Get Vicious Fishing; Sunology Sunscreen; Native Eyewear; Hanes, which donated the shirts we’ll be selling; Rick Roth, who printed some of the coolest, and luckiest, T-shirts you’ll see anywhere; and Buff, which donated $500 on the first Catch a Cure this past summer.
In total, we stand to raise more than $2,000 for the Melanoma Research Foundation, and perhaps even more if we can get as many people as possible wearing Catch a Cure shirts for a good cause.
I have the words “One More,” tattooed on my arm in his memory, and I’m excited and proud to take to the road one more time, to follow the professional fishermen competing for fishing’s most prestigious honor, a chance to win the Bassmaster Classic, to try to catch one more bass, to raise one more dollar, so that we as outdoorsmen, together, might put an end to this deadly disease once and for all.
After the Classic, I’ll head to St. Johns, Winyah Bay and Norfork/Bull Shoals to preview those waters prior to the Bassmaster Elite Series events, too.
Come along for the ride!