"Do Something" Means
The Beat of a
with Jim Chapin
to Make a
Message as Key
Freedom of Choice
in the Cradle...
LUNCH for WHY
Howard Fields and
Al Stewart in
Benefit KIDS Can
Make a Difference
Readers Share Thoughts
in Second Annual
to read previous
issues of Circle!
Patient Cites Harry's Message as Key to Survival
Boland cites his fathers stubbornness, his mothers zeal
for life, and Harry Chapins song lyrics among the reasons
for his survival from an advanced form of cancer.
Boland recalls the time he was coaxed into going to see Harry Chapin perform
in New Brunswick, NJ, in 1980, he can't help but think about the impact
that event had on him much later in life.
At the concert, Boland listened carefully to Harry's call-to-action that
people "do something" to make a difference. Though the phrase stuck with
him, at the time, Boland hadn't figured out how to put it to use.
Then, several years ago, he was diagnosed with an advanced form of squamous
cell carcinoma, which is a form of skin cancer. Immediately, a barrage
of concerns and questions ran through his mind: "Am I going to die?" was
among the first.
The doctors told Boland he had a 45 percent chance of survival. While
lying on his hospital bed, he felt anxiety blanketing over him until he
looked into the eyes of his mother. The look of fear he saw was all he
needed to refocus his energy. Boland recalled Harry's "do something"
motto and made it his own and his lifeline.
"I will beat this," he told her, and then held her hand. "When
I saw my mother looking at me, I decided I would not only survive and
beat that 55 percent chance of death to a pulp, but I would spread my
message of survival and make a difference for all the despondent and sick
patients out there."
As Boland began to share his challenge with others, people responded with
prayers, well wishes and love. Their warmth and support helped him to
heal, he explained. He also capitalized on traits he inherited from his
parents, including his father's stubbornness and his mother's zeal for
But it was the messages in Harry's lyrics and his overall positive outlook
on life that were among the key reasons why he never gave in to the odds
that were stacked against him. "Especially the song, Mr. Tanner,"
Boland noted. "Go for your dream, no matter how impossible it may
seem. If you take action, if you take chances and you give it your all,
there are no limits."
Boland said his "can do" spirit and energy paid off. "I
am feeling 100 percent these days," he said. Now he's taken his message
of survival to others in need. "I'm attending church meetings, speaking
to people, spreading my story. If I can do it, anyone can."
Citing the lyrics to Chapin's song Circle, he smiled. "So
far no dead ends," he said.
for the Next Issue of Circle! on September 7