Travis Roberts is a 38 year old husband, father of three and founder of Hemma Concrete – recognized as one of the 50 largest concrete companies in the country. In April, 2013 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). Our mission is to get Travis Lee Roberts on ESPN’s College Gameday in Athens, GA on September 28.
Please retweet the following:
#TravOnGameDay RT @joey_pett: @CollegeGameDay @KirkHerbstreit @davidpollack47 @cbfowler
Statistics are cold, faceless numbers which describe and predict wide swaths of human behavior with stunning accuracy. They surround us, they define us, they follow us, they haunt us. For those who can remember back to their high school days, or for those who are currently in high school, you’ve likely been exposed to the cruel teacher who spouted off a myriad of statistics and localized it to your graduating class, or maybe even a smaller sample, like your homeroom. According to USA Today, approximately 30% of students drop out of high school. Your freshman homeroom teacher could have looked around the room and said, “30% of ya’ll won’t be graduating in 4 years…” Now, he wouldn’t win any awards for positive encouragement, but that doesn’t mean he would be wrong. In fact, statistics and actuarial evidence would prove him correct. Perhaps this hypothetical teacher might throw out more fun figures, like “The girls in your graduating class have a 3.4% of becoming pregnant before the age of 20 (teen pregnancy), a circumstance which is another fact, according to the CDC. Ok, now I’ve got your attention. The Teen pregnancy number, a number that resonates with a class of 200 females, where the gals could look around the room and picture 7 of them as teenage mothers, humanizes the statistic. Our intrepid educator could also employ a different tactic, highlighting the abject futility of your dreams by quoting depressing but true stats like, “Your odds of winning an Olympic medal are 662,000 to 1 (so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance!). “Dr. Doom” could conclude his deflating diatribe with other statistics about your chances of winning the lottery, playing professional football or winning a Poker tournament in Vegas.
There ARE some statistical occurrences so rare that a bloviating high school teacher wouldn’t bother introducing to a corps of fresh faced frosh. Statistics like the odds of a 38 yr old male in good health contracting Bile Duct Cancer.
What are the key statistics about bile duct cancer? About 2,000 to 3,000 people in the United States develop bile duct cancer each year. Bile duct cancer is much more common in Asia and the Middle East, mostly because of a common parasitic infection of the bile duct. Bile duct cancer can occur at younger ages, but it is seen mainly in older people. The average age of people diagnosed with cancer of the intrahepatic bile ducts is 70 and it is 73 for cancer of the extrahepatic bile ducts. Almost 2 out of 3 people with bile duct cancer are 65 or older when it is found.
When you extrapolate these figures, you come up with an Infinitesimal number of 990 persons in the USA out of approximately 310 million that are under the age of 65 years old when diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer. This is a .00003% chance, which is likely even lower for someone under the age of 40. The point of this statistical exercise is not to bore you, its to illustrate just how infrequent this horrible disease manifests in someone under the age of 65. The odds of even knowing somebody that knows somebody that contracted BDC are minute (We ARE actively changing this dynamic, read on to find out how you can help). At the end of the day however, these arithmetical values are just numbers. Cold, faceless Statistics that have no prejudice, no remorse, no sympathy, no boundaries. There is hope though. The mere fact that you are reading these words means you now see a face, comprehend a life and know a person that defines these numbers.
The people that have known Travis Lee Roberts for the past 38 years know that
he is NO STATISTIC.
There is a miniscule 990 incidences of BDC per year in the USA for people under the age of 65. Travis ranks INFINITELY higher on the rarity scale. He is one out of 7.114 billion humans here on Earth, a microscopic percentage too small for my HP Laptop calculator to compute.
Those of us who have known Travis the longest remember when he preferred using his middle name, “Lee”.
We know him as a Christian, A husband, a Father, A successful Business Owner, a Georgia Bulldog, a Community Leader and many other positive monikers that would describe one Travis Lee Roberts. BDC is rare in the United States, but Travis Lee Roberts is truly one of a kind and frankly, I don’t like the odds of BDC winning this one. This cancer picked on the wrong guy. I have been amazed by the outpouring of support, prayers and goodwill from people that have never met Travis. Perhaps they heard his story from the Concrete Faith blog, an amazing, tear jerking, uplifting reservoir of information and updates about Travis and Carrie’s battle. Or perhaps they saw it through the power of social media, on Facebook or Twitter, where a growing number of supporters are coalescing to make a dream happen. #TravOnGameday has become the rallying cry for family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers that know only the story, nay, the fight of his life, in which Travis is engaged.
Joe Pettit, Travis’ brother in law, wrote this on the morning of Wednesday, Sept 25.
Joe Pettit (L), Carrie Roberts, Travis Lee Roberts (r) #TravOnGameday
“I have known Travis Lee Roberts for over two decades. He is definitely one of my closest, if not my best friend. He is electric. Nobody is more fun, nobody is funnier, nobody is more interesting and no one else can get away with the things he says and does. People always tell me, “Yeah, I know this guy and he’s just like Travis,” or “We get along cause I’m just like Travis.” Even if I don’t do it physically, I am rolling my eyes every time I hear that sort of claim. I know a lot of people, but I don’t know anyone like Travis, except Travis.
I haven’t met one person who believes Travis can be beaten. He doesn’t lose. That is what makes him different from all the people who are supposedly “just like him.” He is will and perseverance and fire.
The last couple days have been hard. The last couple days have brought bad news and then worse news. His chemotherapy is failing, and the cancer is growing.
MD Anderson in Houston has a brand new clinical trial, and Travis is a shoe-in for the treatment.
Travis said tonight that this is his Doug Flutie moment. Travis didn’t say that this is his Hail Mary, because a Hail Mary is a long shot. Travis said that this is his Doug Flutie moment, because Flutie won.
Winners don’t compare themselves to long shots. “Winners win,” has been his refrain as long as I’ve known him, and I don’t see any reason for that to change now.”
Travis is UGA alum and fan. Joe has started a campaign to get him on ESPN GameDaythis Saturday in Athens, GA for the UGA-LSU game and help tell all of those fighting for something that in the end, you have to win. You can help by following and retweeting Joe’s account. The hashtag #TravOnGameDay is being used.
An avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a slope. Avalanches are typically triggered in a starting zone from a snowpack when the forces on the snow exceed its strength but sometimes only with gradually widening. After initiation, avalanches usually accelerate rapidly and grow in mass and volume as they entrain more snow.
What this means is the phrase “a snowball’s chance in Hell”, really depends on the girth of the aforementioned Snowball.
We’re going for an Avalanche.
We are asking you to join our Avalanche of Support for Travis Lee Roberts.
Please RT to support #TravOnGameDay RT @joey_pett: @CollegeGameDay @KirkHerbstreit @davidpollack47 @cbfowler