It was a routine trip to the doctor that changed Todd Fertig’s life. Like thousands of adults, he thought he pulled a muscle in his back doing yard work. What he found out was a diagnosis that would scare even the hardiest of people.
News spread quickly, Advanced Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. In most cases it is a death sentence. For Todd Fertig, a 44 year old father of 3 kids, it meant the start of a fight. His own strength may have been inspiring to his family, but it didn’t meant they didn’t have their own moments to cry.
It was during one of those moments that Todd’s story was given to Rachel Kendall. The long time Tiger Schulmann’s Joshu and undefeated fighter was once roommates with Todd’s sister-in-law. Kristen Sigler is considered more second mom than Aunt by the Fertig kids. Kendall was the best friend she turned to for a chance to let off some steam.
“I just needed to talk to you because I just need to be totally unrealistic and I know you can think like that,” was the message Kristen Sigler gave to her best friend.
Unrealistic meant finding a way to raise thousands of dollars while maintaining the positive attitude that Todd would indeed conquer this terrible diagnosis.
Todd and Michelle had decided to put everything into fighting his cancer. That meant Michelle giving up her job and Todd putting aside his consulting gig until he was past the battle he faced. Of course the down side of this meant no income. The Fertig’s three kids still needed daycare, there would still be bills to pay, and both Michelle and Todd hoped to take advantage of new treatments not always covered by Health Insurance.
This is where Kendall’s mind immediately kicked in to high gear. It is often the simplest of statements that lead to the biggest of events. For Kendall it was one line she heard from her best friend.
“Man I really just want to kick cancer in the face!”
Todd uttered the phrase while in a hospital bed. Surrounded by family and already having lost a brother to the terrible disease it was an expression of frustration. What Kendall has turned it into has been downright unbelievable.
Shortly after hearing the news Kendall and her Fiancee, Joshu Shane Baker, taped a quick Facebook message and sent it out to the Tiger Schulmann’s family. Let’s #kickcancerinthefacefortodd. The simple act of kicking x-ray paper or a heavy bag with an 8 1/2 by 11″ piece of paper with the word cancer written on it was something we all could do to support Todd.
Not only has the overwhelming response lifted Todd’s spirits and that of his mom, Teddie, it has also begun to raise some substantial money for the family.
With over 200 videos already posted to facebook and #kickcancerinthefacefortodd gaining steam every day, Kendall has raised more than $2000 for the family and let them know that there is a world of people out there who care enough to join in the Fertig’s fight.
It is a testament to the Tiger Schulmann’s family that from Connecticut to Long Island, New York City to Feasterville, Pennsylvania, Kendall has brought together people showing their suport.
If you haven’t done your part to #kickcancerintheface for Todd yet, grab a paper, write cancer on it, and do your favorite kick. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t even have to be strong, because it will raise Todd’s spirit and that is a cause worthy of all of us!
For more information and to donate to Fertigs family – click here
By: Sensei Thad Campbell