2.5 years ago I met a serial killer. Instead of using knives or guns it used my very own body to try to end my life and it came very close to succeeding. Its name is sepsis. If sepsis were a person it would be feared. It would be jailed for its crimes. It would be put in solitary confinement so that it could never touch another person. Each year sepsis kills between 6-9 million people around the world. 258,000 Americans a year. One person every 2 minutes. And yet, depending on the country, only 6-55% of people have heard of it. This is a potentially fatal fact for many people. Each hour that sepsis goes untreated increases the mortality rate by 7%. My chance of survival- less than 5%.
September is World Sepsis Awareness Month. There is a group of very passionate and dedicated people who are dedicating their lives to this cause. Most have been directly affected. They are survivors. Or they are grievers. Some are permanently disabled. And some will live with a void in their lives that nothing will ever fill. I’m a lucky one and it is not something I will ever take for granted.
I was sitting on the couch a couple of months ago watching the golf and noticed the ribbons the players were wearing on their hats that week. I called our Executive Director of Begin Again and told her I would love to make that happen for September. We were originally going to put them out the week of the Dell Technologies Championship but postponed it to give proper honor to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. When I showed up to the golf course last Thursday at the BMW Championship I had no idea the emotions that would flood me when I saw them on the player’s hats. I ran into one of my friends in the bathroom and asked her to thank her husband for wearing it. She told me he had actually lost people in his life to sepsis. He understood the significance. I heard the commentators talking about the ribbons and what they stood for and it really started to sink in that what we were doing was important. And then Marc started playing some amazing golf. Wire to wire he showed the world what kind of player he is. Every birdie made that ribbon visible for millions of people to see.
I never imagined that I would do a live interview on NBC. I would rather follow Marc on the outside of the ropes, my PGA badge tied to my purse instead of around my neck. I don’t want the attention, but I do want sepsis to have it. So I took a lot of deep breaths- so many, in fact, that I got lightheaded. Somehow I got through it and I’m told it was okay. I won’t watch it and I don’t need to. In the sepsis community, one of our slogans is, “Say the word sepsis.” I was able to do that on a national stage and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to do so.
Standing on the 18th green with our two boys and our miracle baby girl and watching Marc sink that putt to win by 5 shots was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. Every single hard moment that we endured made that one all the sweeter.
2.5 years ago I met a serial killer. Last week we introduced him to the world. I pray that doing so will save lives. Thank you for all of your support. We are ever so grateful.