By The Numbers

Two years ago on the 4th of July, Emily and Miles had a “destination wedding” in Sacramento. The four joyous days were like summer camp, packed with rafting down the American River, bowling at a rented alley, a wine walk through Midtown, and transportation via school bus.  Their wedding truly reflected their priorities—friends, family, and fun.

When the bride and groom asked Miles’ sister, EmTay, to do a reading during their ceremony, she pointed out the irony: they are not exactly the biggest readers, except for Sports Illustrated and US Weekly (and even more ironic, Sports Illustrated arrives addressed to Emily, and US Weekly is addressed to Miles).  So in lieu of a reading, EmTay compiled a list of stats on these two college athletes as a couple:

September 2003

When Emily and Miles first met at a college party.  Miles was serving as his roommate Josh’s wingman, and thought Emily would be perfect for Josh.


# of nights during college, before dating Emily, that Miles fell asleep to the classic How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days.


# of dates Emily went on with a Clippers cheerleader.  Yes, she found the only league in the NBA with male cheerleaders.


# of months it took for Miles to win Emily over.  His only obstacles:  his roommate, Josh, and that Clippers cheerleader.


# of months it took Miles to tell Emily that he loved her.


The amount Miles earned working as the Ball Boy for Emily’s volleyball team.


The amount Miles spent on international phone calls when Emily studied abroad in Spain.


# of Steelers games Emily has watched since Miles converted her to a hard core fan.


# of pounds Miles has gained since they started dating.


% of bugs killed by Emily during their relationship.


# of years it took Miles to propose.


% of time the groom fell asleep during wedding planning.


The certainty of this marriage lasting forever.

We’ve recently started studying other statistics – those for lung cancer.  One of the biggest surprises is that lung cancer gets the least amount of research funding dollars and kills the most people (more than breast, prostate, colon, liver, melanoma, and kidney cancers combined).

Here are a few more statistics:


% of lung cancer patients who are non-smokers or haven’t smoked in decades.


# of people that die every day from lung cancer in the U.S. (that’s 19 an hour).


The fraction of funding that lung cancer research receives compared to breast cancer.


The overall survival rate for lung cancer, which hasn’t changed in 40 years.

Due to breakthroughs in medical research, the survival rates for almost all other cancers have dramatically improved.  Breast cancer has advanced to a 94% survival rate, and prostate cancer is now at 99%.  However, since lung cancer is still viewed as a smoker’s disease, it doesn’t get the necessary funding.  This won’t change unless there is greater awareness, which is what we are trying to do.  And of course, drive Emily’s survival rate to 100%.

4th of July – 2nd Anniversary

EmBen has a rare form of lung cancer that young, non-smoking females can be susceptible to. We are still learning the extent of how much it has spread and the specific type of cancer it is. However, thanks to the hospital, the City of Hope, we know we can beat this. Once all the facts are in, the hospital — City of Hope, utilizing targeted therapy and other techniques, will devise a specific plan to lead EmBen to recovery. We have been encouraged by high response rates to certain techniques. Personally, I feel like I am bringing Mike Tyson to a featherweight fight.

Obviously, the last week has been an emotional challenge. However, EmBen has been so impressive with her optimism and confidence. She has adjusted to each step, accepted it as reality and a divine path, and remained confident. Her laugh and smile have been inspiring. She keeps saying, “I know I am going to beat this.”

Today is our 2nd Anniversary.  I cannot state how much I love Emily.  Together, we have spent 8 wonderful years together.  These past two years have been the best of my life.  Together, we have graduated college, gotten our first jobs, moved into our first apartment, moved to the ‘big city’, and now we are faced with a new challenge….one that once again we will accomplish together successfully.

Love the present. Happy Fourth of July.

EmBen & Miles

At the dog beach in Long Beach with the parents, and Ginny!

Anniversary champagne toast with the best friends that anyone could ask for.