I am grateful and touched to have entered and been considered by the judges of the Treehouse Masters in the “Ultimate Treehouse” contest. It’s been an incredible experience! Although my project wasn’t selected as one of the three semifinalists, it has already sprouted roots and has begun to take on a new life of its own.
I have had so much fun looking at all of the other contest entry videos. I’ve felt so giddy with the excitement that Treehouse Masters has instilled in hundreds of families who unleashed their imaginations and dreams. The contest brought a great deal of happiness and excitement to every single entrant. Not many contests can bring the magic that this Ultimate Treehouse Giveaway has done. I applaud all the contest entrants and I hope they continue to dream and build and create and live with that same excitement. Each and every one of them deserves their dreams to come true!
Having this idea to turn my nature sanctuary into a place of healing has stirred up a lot of interest. Many people have already told me that they want to get involved with the project, donating time, goods and services to make this happen. Every time I discuss my desire to build it, I somehow get one step closer to this dream becoming a reality, a gift of giving hope to anyone who has had their life turned upside down by ovarian cancer.
In my family alone, I lost my wife; but from another perspective, my children lost their mother, a mother lost her daughter, brothers and sisters lost a sister, nieces and nephews lost an aunt, and countless friends lost a dear friend. All because this one person, my wife, Bridget, died from ovarian cancer. One person, who touched so many lives. Unfortunately, there are thousands of others also affected by this deadliest of cancers, with over 21,000 women in the US expected to be diagnosed this year alone. Over 14,000 women will die this year from this disease.
Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately three percent of cancers in women. While it’s the eleventh most common cancer among women, it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women and it’s the deadliest of the gynecologic cancers. The prognosis for treatment and survival rates are much better if early warning signs and symptoms are caught.
Building this Treehouse of Hope would not only help those families who are able to enjoy the actual treehouse and property itself, but it would also help thousands upon thousands of woman and all of their interconnected family and friends. This treehouse would touch people who are looking for that moment of inspiration, that thought of escape, that giddy feeling of excitement and carefree anticipation, that same feeling that was evident in so many of the contest video entries. It would bring a smile to those women during a difficult time, a beautiful healing smile that will show up on thousands and thousands of people as they watch, enjoy, learn and become touched by the Treehouse of Hope. It might actually save a life or two, or ten, or twenty…
As I said, I am so humbled, grateful and touched by the outpouring of support for this project. Three great treehouse proposals and well-deserving families made it into the semifinals and each one of those treehouses deserves to be built. Best of luck to all three contestants! I’m off to cast my vote right now and I encourage each of you to do the same! Thanks to Pete Nelson and the entire crew of Treehouse Masters for sparking a dream. Keep building those beautiful, crazy, ultimate magical treehouses we all love so much. It is my sincere hope that this spark you provided will ignite a new fire and that this Treehouse of Hope will still become a reality of inspiring hope in those touched by ovarian cancer. I feel as though a great adventure has begun… Stay tuned!