Running" - oil on masonite, of my high school friend Charlie Wolf,
adapted from a yearbook B&W photo. This was painted as a tribute,
and gift, for Charlie, who had a heroic 6 year battle
with glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor type IV before ultimately
Charlie and I ran
track together, in addition to sharing most every class and lunch
together. He was a tremendous competitor with the heart
of a lion. He was always very proud of his running prowess, and in
particular when he beat The Ohio State University football stars Ron
Springs and Ray Griffin in the intramural championships at OSU, where we
both attended college. Therefore I felt this scene very
appropriate - capturing an activity he was proud of, symbolic of his
battle for survival, and echoing the times past as we were approaching
our 30th high school class reunion.
Charlie wrote two books chronicling his fight - the first, "Damn the Statistics,
I Have a Life to Live!" covers the first year and alludes to the
very low survival rate for this aggressive type of tumor (1 to 3 %
variously reported, for 5 years). It described the emotional and
physical ordeal of the initial symptoms, treatment, and recovery.
His spirit shone through during the telling of his story however. The
second book, "Alive and Fighting" covered years 2 and 3 and
continued with a relentless onslaught of continuing complications.
Very telling is the 5 page glossary of drugs at the back of the book,
and 3 pages of doctors names. Through it all, he was an inspiration
of courage and determination.
Both books are
available through Amazon or his web site at www.aliveandfighting.com
and the profits go to a charitable organization.
I had an engraved
dedication plate made to mount on the picture frame. It reads:
H. Charlie Wolf
Competitor I Know
Survivor of Glioblastoma Multiforme Brain Tumor