A New Adventure Begins

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!

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Going Out On A Limb

I’m not the type of person to enter contests, but this particular contest is something special. I was checking up on a favorite television show that my wife and I used to watch together, Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet, and I saw that they were running this contest to find the perfect tree on the perfect property to build an ultimate treehouse. Well, I think I’ve found that tree and I decided to “go out on a limb” and enter the contest! Here’s my video entry and my story for why I want to bring this ultimate treehouse to life.

My wife was only 57 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and died at age 59. The prognosis for ovarian cancer is much better if early warning signs are caught. Before Bridget passed, we loved watching Treehouse Masters together and fantasizing about what kind of ultimate treehouse we would build. In December 2013, when my wife was diagnosed “all clear” and we purchased this 60-acre sanctuary, we both knew that we had found the perfect property and the perfect tree meant for a one-of-a-kind, ultimate treehouse. Bridget died before we could make that dream come true.

If this Treehouse of Hope becomes a reality, it would be a living, ongoing gift of hope and encouragement, born of the spirit of hope, love and generosity that Bridget lived every day of her life. It would make me incredibly happy to turn a dream of hope into a reality of giving hope, and in some small way, to make a difference in the lives of families touched by ovarian cancer. Families could come and spend quality time in nature, in rustic elegance, and find healing peace. I want to share my wife’s strength and courage through this treehouse with survivors of ovarian cancer by providing them a place of solace from their hardships and respite from their difficult treatments. I want to provide them a place of hope.

The television show producers are selecting and announcing three semifinalists for the contest on January 16 and then opening it up for online voting. Stay tuned and check out the official contest page to see the semifinalists selected and to cast your vote! Online voting runs from January 16-25.

Let’s build a Treehouse of Hope!