Levi and I first met in 2013 at Wisdom 2.0, a conference highlighting the intersection of wisdom and technology. I remember his huge smile and positive energy, and also the fact that within 10 minutes of meeting him, I was wearing a Batman onesie. That’s the kind of thing that happens when you hang out with the founder of a summer camp for adults (Camp Grounded).
Our recent reunion was a little bit different, and yet more inspiring than the first.
It’s a foggy summer day in San Francisco, and Levi and I sit in a garden and talk about what it is like to receive a sudden brain cancer diagnosis just a few months ago. Levi recalls the day his doctor gave him his prognosis of just a few years.
“Cool, that’s not me.” Is his response.
Levi and his partner Brooke left the appointment with a “We got this” mentality, and while they appreciate everything they were being told, they decided they would live a different story. Since then, on the hard days, and during rough moments, they come back to this “We got this” mentality. It is their North Star. According to Levi, brain cancer is just a hiccup and certainly only the beginning of and long and adventurous life.
Through a few laughs, he recalls the day that he went into surgery, and the moment he had with himself and the surreal realization of, “Wow, I’m about to go into brain surgery!?” And while Levi’s positivity is authentic and moving beyond words, he does acknowledge the sad and bad days, especially when going through Chemotherapy.
And yet, the gift of this experience is the slowdown that comes with it. On days when he has no energy, he and his partner stay inside, watch movies, and generally give themselves permission to slow down and accept the bad days, too.
“I think the positive attitude just comes from the necessity to have a positive attitude. If you have a bad attitude, you might as well call it quits.” Levi tells me, and I hear him loud and clear.
Levi’s father is a doctor, and when Levi speaks about cancer, he speaks as someone extremely informed about the subject. “We all have the potential to get cancer at any moment. We all have triggers within us, and this can happen to anyone at any point. Unless you’re set up for that, it’s tough. And, you’re never going to be set up for that.”
Because of the difficulty of dealing with the financial, emotional, mental, and spiritual effects of brain cancer, Levi and Brooke, his partner, chose to fundraise with YouCaring to alleviate some of the burden and pay for the extensive medical bills which Levi will have for years to come. In just a few weeks, they have successfully raised over $55,000. Levi is currently in treatment and is still raising funds. YouCaring is grateful to Levi for not only using its platform, but for sharing his story and continuing to inspire so many people with his incredibly strong and positive attitude.