A Chronically Affected Person's Humorous Writings on Living Life, Pursuing Joy, Surmounting Adversity and Surviving Happily.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
From Julie Rossi
Brian and I were classmates in the Columbia MFA program in Theatre Management and Producing. Most students (myself included) spent much of our time there sucking up to our professors, making sure that we made a good impression so that we would be considered for potential job openings upon graduation. But not Brian - Brian always spoke his mind. He was so comfortable in his own skin that he would frequently challenge our professors, many of whom were and still are the titans of the theatre industry in NYC. He never shied away from engaging in a verbal volley with a classmate or professor with whom he disagreed. But he did so with intelligence, grace and wit and as such, frequently won us all over to his side. He contributed greatly to our class dynamic, and can't imagine what things would have been like had he not been our classmate.
Many have called me the "Bionic Man" - even my doctors. I've been a patient since I was 10 and the following 40 years include: 27 years of type 1 diabetes, 4 transplants (3 kidney and a pancreas), 4+ years of fighting cancer, and a host of complications (e.g. moon face swelling above).
Illness spurs me towards the fullest life possible.
I love to meet people and the relationships in my life help sustain me, especially with my wonderful wife. Oh, and medical staff, of course!
Gardening, drawing, building a kayak, theater directing, helping others, faith, Special Olympics, New York Organ Donor Network, and cats are some of the ingredients that enrich the soup of my life.
Family and friends also call me "Sir Botany B,"from the A.A. Milne poem, "Bad Sir Brian Botany."
"I am Sir Brian, as bold as a lion -
Take that! - and that! - and that!"