The Seiley Family is the core of FLIP Now. All the Seiley siblings went to Greenon High School and so did their spouses. They are, left to right, Liz (Moore) Seiley (‘05), Carl Seiley (‘02), Jamie (Bockleman) Seiley (‘03) holding Oliver, Pete Seiley (‘04), Judy Seiley, Phil Seiley (‘97) holding Cuyler Dunn, Callie Seiley Dunn (‘99), Caleff Dunn, Jeff Dunn (‘89). SUBMITTED

‘If we change one life, it’s worth it:’ Clark County family on quest to prevent cancer after father’s death

Quests are legendary journeys, noble and unselfish.

On a quest a person or group band together to overcome obstacles, challenges, and the elements in order to acquire something of tremendous importance like the Golden Fleece or the Holy Grail or to achieve a great fete like throwing the One Ring into Mount Doom. A quest should make the world a better place at the end.

So who goes on a quest?

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Most of us picture a person on a quest wearing a suit of armor and carrying a shield and lance like Don Quixote. However, Indiana Jones’ quest for the Ark of the Covenant and his father’s quest for the Holy Grail taught us that you do not need a suit of armor to go on a quest. And the Indiana Jones hat and whip are not compulsory either.

In fact, as I’ve learned recently, those on a quest can even wear running shoes.

I first met the Seiley family when we moved here and attended Knob Prairie Church in Enon. Phillip and Judy had four children; Phil, Callie, Carl and Peter. Our girls and their kids were in the Greenon schools together, attended Sunday school and took confirmation classes together. It was devastating to the family, church, and community when the father, Phillip Sr. lost his battle with esophageal cancer in 2010.

But that was not to be the last chapter in his story.

In one of his last conversations with his father, Carl decided to keep the fight going. Soon he was joined by Callie, his brothers. Their spouses and mom Judy joined too. The Seiley family decided to continue their Dad’s fight. At first they supported organizations that sought a cure, but it didn’t take long for them to find another focus, prevention.

The siblings asked themselves, “What can we ourselves be doing today to fight cancer?” And they moved forward to take a proactive and preventative approach.

The result was an organization FLIP Cancer Now.

As Carl wrote on the website, “Flip is my dad’s nickname and has also come to stand for the acronym: Fight. Live. Inspire. Prevent. – A holistic approach to cancer prevention. My dad fought cancer with everything he had and then a little more… with his fight in us, FLIP will make a lasting impact for many families.”

Seeking a “dynamic shift in thinking”, FLIP’s goal is “empowering individuals” to prevent cancer from happening in the first place.

The letters in FLIP stand for Fight (Fighting together to challenge cancer risks), Live (Living life to its fullest.), Inspire (Encourage a healthy life style), and Prevent (Making prevention fun.) “Cancer sucks,” said Callie, “Our mission is to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle and take steps that could prevent cancer. We also want to inspire everyone to spread the word and inspire others.”

FLIP feels that building a community that inspires and supports its members is important.

The website at www.flipcancernow.org is full of information and recommendations all organized under the flight, live, inspire and prevent headings.

Interested individuals can join the FLIP organization, and get newsletters full of suggestions, events, and positive motivation. There is even a way to simply donate.

One of their big events is this weekend.

FLIPs 7th Annual Darby Creek Trail Run is scheduled for this Saturday July 21 at 9 a.m. at a park around halfway between our area and Columbus, just off I-70; Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, 1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, OH 43119. This is perfect since some of the family now live and work in Columbus.

A link to online registration is on the flipcancernow.org website. Same day registration begins at 7:45 a.m. There are two different courses. According to the website, the 5K run/walk allows strollers and dogs. The 10K is challenging and is for runners only. There are lots of prizes for the drawing and good food afterwards.

I asked Callie how the members of FLIP Now measure their success.

“Good feedback is hard to measure,” she said. “But we look at how many people participate, visit our website (or Facebook page), and the numbers of people that get our newsletter.”

“We keep our focus on what we are here about,” she said. “If we change one life it’s worth it.”

In the bad news world, it is great to see such a fine group of young people work together for the benefit of all in such a positive way. It just does my heart good.

Preventing cancer is indeed a noble cause and quest.

And I do pray for their success.

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