The Two Crazy Kids
Larry was diagnosed with Mucosal Melonoma on July 8, 2014. Based on the data from two studies Larry had a 50/50 chance of living 2 1/2 years and 30% chance of living 5 years.
In the last 4 years he has undergone 8 surgeries, 4 rounds of radiation, 1 year on Keytruda (an immunotherapy drug), and 1 round of an immunotherapy drug called Yervoy (which ended up putting him in the hospital for 4 days).
Cancer is a formidable foe yet we are punching away at it and remain positive. Many thanks to all the prayers and thoughts of people who know Larry and even those who don’t know him yet send prayers of support!
Larry has a problem. He is always looking at things (products/processes/systems) and wondering: why don’t they try this, or I could make that better, or I should invent that.
Larry loves the process of starting new businesses over the years. As his time is winding down on this planet you would think he would slow down and take it easy but his brain surgery in April of 2018 was the catalyst for inventing gigi.
So here we go again.
Now or Never
Act One: Larry’s forgetfulness
Larry had looked in stores and online for years for a device that would remind him not to drive off without his phone in the car. A simple to use and inexpensive device was not available.
It was very frustrating to get 5 or 10 miles down the road, reach for the phone, and realize it was not in the car. He started keeping track and found he could forget his phone 3 or 4 times a week when he went out for a drive. Maddening.
Larry had asked people if they ever had the same problem and some said yes and some said no. He realized that people in his age bracket (60 plus) would be more likely to need a device like this than a teenager. The potential market for this device could be in the millions of units if it was available for purchase.
Act Two: Larry’s brain surgery
On April 13, 2018 Larry finished up a round of radiation on his lungs and had just rung the bell for the 3rd time. As he walked to the car he remembers saying to himself “well, I should be good healthwise for another year”.
As the toreador Bugs Bunny said about the bull he was fighting in the ring “what a ma-roon, what a gull-a-bull, what a ‘n- cow-poop”. On the following Wednesday, April 18th, Larry woke up with blurry vision. He stepped on the scale to check his weight and realized he couldn’t see anything on the left side and down and to the left.
Larry drove himself to the opthamologist and she said it was either a stroke or his cancer had metastasized to his brain. Winner winner, chicken dinner. On April 27th Larry had surgery to remove a tumor nestled ever so gently on his right occipital lobe which was causing the vision problems. The next day his vision came back. Best day ever!
Larry admits brain surgery was the easiest surgery out of the 8 surgeries he had in the last 4 years thanks to a great neurosurgeon and the recovery staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Larry was up and walking the halls, doing laps every few hours the day after surgery and they let him go home in two days.
Act Three: The teacher is mad
Sherry came home from school in early May. She then proceeded to ask: “When the heck are you going to invent that reminding thing?”
Sherry uses her phone to set hourly alarms. These alarms remind her to take certain children in her class to various teaching specialists throughout the day.
Well, guess who forgot her phone at home?
Act Four: Let’s do this!
So in early May of 2018 we faced the following facts:
- Larry couldn’t find a reminding device anywhere online
- Sherry needed this device to remember her phone (and she chewed me out for not inventing it earlier)
- Larry wasn’t getting any younger and his cancer was making moves in the wrong direction
Based on these three facts we went ahead and started a company to bring to market gigi.
And now you know….the rest of the story.
It’s now or never!