Sunday, March 25, 2007

Joe gets a call from a personal hero

Let's talk about the amazing power of new media to do some truly, in a personal sense, earth shattering work. Allow me to explain.

If you know me then you probably know that a very close friend of mine and many, Joe Murphy, was recently diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of cancer -- leiomyosarcoma. His prognosis went from bad to worse, and we're literally facing the final stages. As in days. Or even hours. Yeah, it's that bad and no, there's nothing to be done at this point.

A few days ago, I was contacted by a powerhouse of a podcaster, Leann Mabry from Tag in the Seam (a great podcast which I highly recommend), looking to do something special for Joe. She had heard our comment about getting Joe to see Penn and Teller, or getting Penn and Teller to come see Joe before he passed -- sort of a Make A Wish™ for a grown up.

Leann then reach out to a friend who lives in Vegas and has access to the aforementioned Penn and Teller. He indicated that he could attend one of their shows and pass along a note to the duo and was looking for some guidance on what to include in said note. That's when Leann wrote to me (and to Mike). My reply was something like "it's a great idea, but I think we're too close to the end to make it happen."

Heh. I must have forgotten who I was speaking to.

Tonight, Leann did it. Or should I say her friend did it? Dunno, but I love them both. Tonight at around 8:00 MST, Teller (yeah, the one that you've probably never heard speak) called Joe (currently in hospice) on his cell phone. The two chatted for 5 - 10 minutes, about favorite science fiction works and some serious fan-boy geeking as I understand it. Not to be outdone, Penn Jillette called and left an amazing voice mail on the Wingin' It! show line.

So yeah, I'm pretty jazzed about the power of new media to... make shit happen! It put a positive spin to a pretty crappy day. And thought the outcome of this will not be as anyone would like, I'm a little warmer on the inside knowing that Joe finally got a chance to speak with one of his personal heroes.

Much thanks, Leann. You rock!


  1. That is really something special, what Leann did.

    I don't know Joe, but I can see what he means to you, and have been following his unfortunate progress over the months. I lost my father from a cancer equally horrible at the end of January, so I can understand the pain and the frustration of everything involved. It's so fast, and so wrong. Any joy you can give them is a gift. You are a great friend, and you have great friends helping support not only Joe and his family, but you as well.

    Stay strong, and I will hope for peace for everyone.


  2. I am so glad this actually happened. Thanks to all involved. I am at a loss for words.

  3. That's AWESOME! Thanks to Leann, Penn and Teller. Y'all are great!

  4. THIS is some awesome shit! We have good people in our circle.

    I never met Joe, but he's always made me laugh.

  5. I just recently found your blog, so I didn't make the connection until right now who Joe was. That's so great that this all came together for him.

  6. You made me cry, damn you Evo! :D The power of personal connections (?) is absolutely amazing. I've never met Joe but I feel like I know from from listening to the Dragon Page podcasts for the last couple of years. I'm glad he got a chance to met his heroes.

  7. Truly touching. I can't say anything else but that. Really touched a special place for me and great when small magical happenings like this do occur.

  8. Quit touching my special place, you goateed bastard. It's nice to know that the new media world can help get those hard-to-do items checked off the list.

    I just wish you didn't have to work so damned hard to get Joe's list checked so quickly.

    I recall when I was in the hospital, and got my Skype calls from the new media world out there, specifically Evo and Mike and Mark Forman and Bob Bichler... damn it, men aren't supposed to cry, are we? Granted, I had a great prognosis after my skillfully avoiding the bullet of pulmonary embolisms, but still got the calls of concern.

    Evo may play a bastard in the PodoSphere, but the world should just nod and play along, 'cause the guy's got a heart bigger than the OK prairie... in a healthy, good way.

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  10. My daughter, Leora died almost four years ago from Leiomyosarcoma. She was fifteen years old, and had a very aggressive case of this awful cancer.

    During the five short months she was sick, I was able to contact the manager of her favorite rapper, Trina, who happens to live in South Florida as well. After much communication, He called me one day when Leora was on the table getting a tranfusion of red cells - chemo was wreaking havoc on her blood supply - to tell me Trina wanted to call Leora. I told him that was fine - actually GREAT timing!

    About a minute later, her cell phone rang, and it was Trina! Leora was very tired, and couldn't talk a lot, but she sure was thrilled about the phone call. Trina asked how she was, and told her she would be coming to visit her soon.

    The following month, Trina made arrangements to visit Leora on a Monday. Leora died on Saturday.

    She never got to meet the woman she adored, but I still have that phone number stored in the phone that used to be hers to remind me of how kind strangers can be, and that a celebrity can makea huge difference.

  11. Good for you Evo - it takes a special person to go outside your field of comfort to do this type of thing for someone you care about. Believe me, I know how you feel. My mother has been fighting the LMS dragon for five years. It is a very special thing to be able to give someone a smile in their final times. In the years to come when you start thinking "If only I could have..." and "I should have..." take comfort that you actually did and be at peace.

  12. Jeremy from SeattleMarch 27, 2007 at 3:06 AM

    Crap, I'm at work and getting all teary eyed...that's pretty much awesome..

  13. If anyone else finds this site because of a search for "leiomyosarcoma," please know that you can be hooked up to others with this rare cancer at and
    There is strength -- and magic -- in numbers.
    (I was diagnosed with LMS in 2002.)

  14. I have always loved Penn and Teller, and I was floored when Leann told me what was going down. I am so glad things moved as quickly as they did. It's simply amazing what this community is capable of getting accomplished. Joe is a special person and certainly deserved such a special moment.


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