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The moth is brought to you by Progressive, one of the country's leading providers of auto insurance, with Progressive's name, your price tool, you say what kind of coverage you're looking for and how much you want to pay, and progressive will help you find options that fit within your budget. Use the name your price tool and start an online quote today at progressive dotcom pricing coverage match limited by state law. And keep listening at the end of the show today for a special bonus story made possible by Progressive.


Hey, family, save the date for the Moth Mainstage on Saturday, February 27, at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Join us and host Jonathan Ames for an evening of stories as five storytellers take the virtual stage and share a true personal tale from their life. Stories of glory and defeat, taunting fate, laughing in the face of danger and the moments that forever changed the course. Buy tickets now at the Mofongo Virtual Mainstage.


From Paris, this is the Moth Radio Hour. I'm Jody Powell. I'm a producer and director at The Moth. When I first started thinking about hosting this hour, I was drawn to a common theme that rings loudly in moth stories surveys.


I might be extra tuned from my days as a waiter in New York City or from seeing my grandmother always attending to her neighbors far and near in the hills of Jamaica where I grew up.


It feels good to do something on behalf of others.


Your lifelong partner, the person behind you in the supermarket, someone you've never met, or someone who shows up unexpectedly at your door and gets a place at your dinner table to be in service of is a foundational pillar. It is universal whether what's being served is kind words, courage, pasta or love. The first story comes from Stacey Batur Kadi, she told it at a grand slam at the Regent in Los Angeles, where he partnered with KCR. Here's Stacey.


So on our fifth day, Dave and I walked the Silk Road, which was an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York, on our previous dates, we'd been to a wine bar, a concert, a poetry slam, the zoo everywhere except the one place I really wanted to go to bed.


And there was just like this weird disconnect between these mushy things Dave would say and write to me. And then this distance he was keeping. And at the when we were done with the museum, I was done with this sadistic courtship crap and I just wanted to go home.


But then he said, Do you want to go to Shake Shack? And I said, fine, because I love cheeseburgers.


And so we go to Shake Shack and it's crowded and we have to wedge and close at this little counter space. And he smells so good and I'm falling in love with him. And then he says, there's something I have to tell you and I want to throw a pickle in his face because I am 38 years old, I am divorced, I have children.


And I now realize every single man I meet online has something they have to tell me.


So I say, what?


And he says, look, I'm really attracted to you, but I have this autoimmune disease and it affects my bile ducts and I have an infection and I've been walking around with a drain in my side and a bag of bile strapped to my leg. And it's not very sexy. And I'll get these infections from time to time because there's no cure for this disease. And eventually I'll need a liver transplant. And all I heard from this is that he was very attracted to me.


Datings hard in New York, y'all and I did some quick mental tabulations to see if a Hwanghae liver was a deal breaker.


Yeah, no it wasn't.


So I, I leaned in to kiss him, but then I had a really dark thought and I said, hey, you're not dating me for my liver, are you? And he said, No, no, no, I'm on a transplant list. And if I ever have an emergency situation, I can have a live liver donor.


They give me a lobe of their liver and both segments regenerate to a new liver. And my brother has already agreed to do this for me. And this was the best news because his brother went to Yale and was a doctor. So maybe now my Jewish mother would get off my back.


So I said great and it was great. And we fell in love and we moved in and we had a child and we did not get married because we're very bohemian in New York. And then about two years ago, they started feeling lousy and an MRI revealed an emergency situation.


He had a very aggressive form of cancer growing deep in his liver. And the doctor said, you need that transplant now. So he called his brother, the doctor who went to Yale who didn't know his blood type. And when he got tested, he was not compatible.


But even though I went to a state school, I know that I am a positive, which is what Dave is.


And the doctor said, yes, we can consider you is a donor.


So Dave didn't know it, but he was dating me for my liver and I began testing right away.


You meet with 12 health care professionals and they all try to scare you in the beginning by saying you understand the risk.


They range from infection to hernia to death.


And I was like, you know, what choice do I have if I lose him? I, by extension, lose my life. And everything was going great till I got to appointment number 11, the hepatologist, the liver doctor, Dr. Fox. And she was single, so she wanted to know what side I met Dave on and OK, Cupid.


And we were joking. But then she said in like all seriousness, you know, if you don't actually want to go through with this, I can just say you have a fatty liver and no one has to know. And I I had to fight back tears when she said that because I had been doing this to save Dave.


But during the process, I stopped thinking of him as my partner and as somebody his son and brother and friend and father. And with this, like chunk of flesh that would just grow back, I could save a human being's life.


I was not going to just lose this opportunity. And so I held my breath as she examined my liver. And I only let it out when she said, you have a beautiful liver.


And so my 12th appointment was just an MRI where they just had a map out how they were going to resect a lobe of my liver. And the MRI revealed I have a very healthy liver, but also a very lop sided liver, and they couldn't just resect a lobe. And so that was it. I lost my chance, but I couldn't dwell on that because I had to find Dave a new liver. And so I started on Facebook, as one does when you need an organ.


And the very next day, my friend Sarah Kate texted me and she said, I'm a positive, can I help? And I really like her. So I didn't know how to respond. And then she said it would be my honor to do this.


And so on Valentine's Day 2017, we had this really weird group date at Columbia Presbyterian and Sarah Kate gave 58 percent of her liver to my now husband, Dave, and they're both doing great. And I get mad at Dave all the time. So that just shows you how great he's doing.


And as her Sarah Kate, she was born and raised here in Los Angeles. And so all I can say is this really is a city of angels. Thank you.


That was Stacey Batur Khari, before the pandemic, Stacey was a very busy mother, a real estate broker living in New York City and a storyteller, but has since relocated to Maine.


Dave and Sarah Kaid continue to thrive and were registered to run the 2020 New York City Marathon together. The fiftieth anniversary of the New York City Marathon fell on Dave's fiftieth birthday.


Stacey is now a home school teacher and is applying to law school.


Sarah Kate has become an advocate for living donation to find out more about living donation and to see photos of Stacy and Dave's early days and a glimpse from their surgery, visit the moth, Doug.


Our next story comes from Kristen Huang live from our Boston mainstage, where we partnered with WGBH and the Wilbur Theatre, here's Kristen live at The Moth. I'm six years old and I'm crouched in right field during tee ball practice in my hometown of Iowa City, Iowa.


A kid hits a fly ball my way and I run and I dive and shout, I've got it. I've got it. But I missed it. From across the field, the shortstop calls, hey, are you a boy, you sound like a boy. My coach and teammates, I'll hear him, they don't say anything, but I'm indignant. Are you kidding me? Look at my long black hair tied back in a ponytail. Look at my white tennis shoes with pink laces.


Clearly, I'm a girl.


But his teasing cracks open a doubt in me, so that night I go home and I use my parents answering machine to record myself and I playback my voice over and over. I record myself singing Happy Birthday. I record myself pretending to answer the phone. I record myself shouting, I've got it. I've got it the way I did on the field that day. For the first time in my life, I hear myself the way other people hear me.


Oh, I do have a really deep voice. A Boyzvoice. And I'm flooded with embarrassment. But this does explain a lot.


It explains why at church I have to sing in falsetto in order to match the other girls and even grown women, I don't like the way my voice sounds on a forced it up an octave.


But I have always unconsciously done it so that I'm not singing in the same register as the men. I play back another loop of the answering machine. OK, so this is why I can always make other kids giggle when I draw like a lion, it's so realistic from the back of my throat, all scratchy and raw.


This is why adults sometimes do a double take when they hear my little girl's body speak for the first time. And I think, God, this is so unfair.


I'm already the only Chinese kid in my school full of white Iowans, do I really have to be the girl with the Boyzvoice to. After that terrible practice, I get really good at being quiet and blending in. I stopped singing at church, I hide all the parts of me that are different, even if that means disowning my heritage, not speaking up, not having my own opinions. Eventually, I leave Iowa to go to Boston for college, and I think.


This will be a good time for me to find my true voice. It's college, right? But it turns out not to be so easy.


One evening, I am watching my friends perform in the school's gospel choir concert, and I feel my soul just soaring with those harmonies and those lyrics.


And I think I would love to be on stage with them creating this beautiful music. I want to join.


I want to be a part of that community. But then the fears that then. What if they put me with the baritones or what if I don't make the cut at all? I'm so ashamed of my deep voice that I don't even try out. When I find out a couple of months later that our school funds traveling fellowships to go abroad for the summer, I apply immediately.


I want to get as far away as possible.


And I apply to go to China, not just because it's on the other side of the globe, but also because I wonder, will it feel more like home? I arrive in China and I'm supposed to be working in an orphanage for kids with special needs, but really I'm just escaping. I don't know the first thing about kids. On my first morning there, I wake up while it's still dark out and I board two different public buses that take me through the sprawling city of Nanjing near the border of Vietnam.


And as I ride the bus, I look at the faces of the people around me. And it's incredible, they all look like me, they look like they could be my mom or my dad, my cousins or my aunts. Being Chinese doesn't carry any baggage in China, and it feels like that just allows me to take more pride in who I am in my culture and in my heritage. And because I'm not using up all this energy, trying to blend in, I feel free, I feel light.


By the time I get to the orphanage, it's hot and it's humid. The orphanage is a big building with gleaming pink tile floors, and I'm assigned to a room of 30 children ages zero to five. They're packed in tight rows of cribs. I look around at the room and there's not that many toys. And it turns out my glasses are a big hit. The kids love taking them off my face, trying them on and passing them around.


That first week there, I bond with two girls in particular, Beaubien, who is four and has cerebral palsy as we do her P.T. and her exercises. And I bond with children. Who is just a baby? Not even one. My colleagues find out that I play piano, so they rig up a keyboard for me in that room and they have me do music therapy with the kids. I play piano for the children every afternoon. My colleagues want me to sing, too, but I tell them, no, no, no, I.


I don't sing because even though I feel freer here in China, my voice still feels like a liability. A few days later, my co-workers are at a staff meeting and I'm alone in the room with all the kids. It's naptime. But they're mostly awake and crying in their cribs. And the only thing I can think of to do to soothe this room full of crying kids. Is to sing, I sing the only song that I know all the verses to.


Amazing Grace. I walk around singing. And I placed my hand on each child. And I cried. As I sing, the kids quiet down, they stop crying. Turns out they don't care that my voice is awkwardly deep. And they show me that when I sing in falsetto to try to be like everyone else. My voice gets all thin and weak and shaky. But when I sing in my natural register. Yeah, my voice might be deep, it might be different, but it is rich and resonant and powerful.


And that makes me feel invincible that something I've been ashamed of my whole life can bring peace and comfort. So when the kids ask me to keep singing that day, I do. And when they asked me to sing again the next day, I do. And every day for the rest of the summer, I think, to these kids, and I sing for them and I sing for myself. I once was lost, but now am found. Thank you.


Christine Huang lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, three children and pandemic puppy Fluffy. She's a primary care physician serving mainly Chinese immigrants and spends her free time hiking, reading and since covid-19 supervising remote school. Christine and I talked about our experience in China and its lasting impact. I wondered what you were like returning to Boston, you know what I mean, different where you were than the kid that left that summer.


I think part of the first part of the story was really struggling with my identity and where I fit in, and I think that spending that somewhere in China really freed me from wanting to categorize myself or pigeonhole myself into a certain category. I did not think about how I might feel going to China. I just kind of dove into it blindly. What it was. That part was very transformational in terms of being very anonymous in this large city in China and looking like everyone else.


I feel like part of what I got that summer was feeling normal, almost like I was not sticking out. I blended in and that that feeling was the first time I'd ever experienced anything like it. And that was also very freeing. And so when I came back to Boston, it was really more about how can I give of myself on behalf of others? So, yeah, I think it it gave me a different level of confidence in who I was and what I could use my voice to do.


By the way, Kristen Wong still sings now to her own children, one of whom is adopted and one of whom is named after one of the babies she cared for in the orphanage.


To see photos of Kristen and her family, please visit the moth. Doug. When we return, a college student undertakes her mother's special recipe to cook for her roommates, and a seasoned firefighter faces one of his biggest fears. That's when the Moth Radio Hour continues.


The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and presented by Prick's The Moth is supported by Monday.


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This is the Moth Radio Hour from Prick's, I'm Jody Powell back home in Jamaica around domino tables. My brothers would sometimes decide to cook a late night meal. It's called to run a boat. It is always the most tasty, but as a child, you must have the will to stay awake. And let's just say for dinner that late the chef must deliver in service of friends. And that is the situation of our next teller. Keely Hudson told this on the Denver store Islam Stage with our media partners KUNC.


Here's Kelli. So my mom is a great cook.


That was kind of wasted on us kids when we insisted on a diet of frozen fish sticks, chicken nuggets and peanut butter on taco shells.


So but as I got older and like high school and freshman year of college and expanded my palate to include vegetables and meat that did not come from a microwave, I realize this woman can cook.


And so sophomore year of college, I go back down school in South Carolina and I move into an apartment with two of my girlfriends I met freshman year. And so we just think like it's just so cool. Like my first time not living at my parents' house or in a dorm.


And we have a kitchen and I decide, you know what, like I am going to cook a meal for some of our friends that we haven't seen all summer as a welcome back kick off to like sophomore year.


I had never cooked a meal before that did not involve boiling water first and pasta and cheese.


The only ingredients I really worked with, I was a freshman in college before that. And so I invite them over and I was like, what am I going to make?


OK, well, my mom makes a really one of my favorite things is a London broil. I was like, OK, I'm going to make a London broil. OK, so I call Mom, like, I need to know exactly how you do this. And she told me and I followed it to a T like I invited people over like Saturday night, Friday.


It spent all day marinating in the fridge and then Saturday morning it goes in, you know, it goes in, start cooking all day. And then I, like, just cleaned up and I timed that salad I sides. Yeah. Like a green.


I Googled like I had a green thing and something else too. I'm sure I had a dessert, like I had everything and I'm just like all right. Like yeah, I'm totally my mother's child even though I look at talk and everything else, like my dad, like I got this from my mom.


So people come and I type everything to end, like.


Right. As people get there too.


So like I'm thinking like I'm hot stuff right now.


So people come over and I'm like, oh you're welcome. Oh, you know, I'm just finishing up a few things and I invite them over to come.


Look, as I reveal this beautifully cut, London broil the main entree and I have them gather round and we go and I pull it out.


And in front of us is an uncooked raw now room temperature, slab of meat, not cooked one bean. So we all sit there and we stay there for a few seconds.


And then finally, Caroline, sweet, sweet Caroline says to me as gently as she can, I'm in South Carolina, sell Pontiacs and a little bit as gently as she can to me.


Well, Kayleigh, why did you try to cook it in the drawer?


And I tell her I tell her very matter of factly, oh, no, that's a broiler. And someone else times is like, no, that's just the drawer where you, like, store the pans.


And I'm like, OK, I've got some dummies for friends, I'll educate someone else now. No, yeah, you keep your pants in there when you're not using it as a broiler. Well, eventually, I got you know, there's some education that happens on my part and I learn some of it. That's just a door. So but in my defense, I grew up my mom's of in the only one I've ever really dealt with until this point.


Yeah, it was that was a broiler. And that's why you put the raw London broil in. You take a cooked one out like at the end of the day. So luckily we had just a few days before we had met our cute neighbors like he was cute next door neighbors like sophomore year of college. And so one of them had gone to culinary school. So of course, I'm like I get to see the neighbors.


I have to look at this for help, though, in the kitchen. So I walk over there and it's like, oh, hey, remember me? My friend tried to make a London broil an hour and I wasn't paying attention and didn't have a chance to tell her that, like, that's a draw. So that didn't hold very long. He was very quickly brought the truth came out very quickly, but he came over to save the day. So we had a great little entree of something green, probably broccoli and maybe some celery, who knows, and dessert and everything.


And then we had our entree later.


He did say the day and I maybe tried to cook two real meals since I'm going to be real talk right now. This happened like eleven years ago, 12 years ago. But also.


But you would think the most embarrassing part would be that like I spent a whole day, like I had a whole day where I thought I was cooking a London broil in a drawer.


But really, honestly, the part that was the hardest to come clean to my friends about was I told y'all about halfway through the cook time per like hours in per my mom's instructions that I followed.


I opened it up and I flipped it over.


No idea if you. Kelly Hudson is the financial controller for an affordable housing nonprofit in Colorado Springs. She says she enjoys karaoke playing ultimate Frisbee, keeping her partner entertained with hilarious dad jokes and considering the consequences of her Gamecock football devotion. When I called Kelly about this story, she said that she has come a long way since and that she has recently acquired an innocent pot and has now gone full GOMI. Her friends can vouch for her. She also says she has advanced from Googling how to dice bell peppers.


However, 15 years later, she has not attended another London broil. To see pictures of Kelly Hudson in the kitchen, please visit the moth, Doug, and go to the extras.


The next story comes to us from a Detroit Grandslam where we partnered with WDTN, it was held at the Senate Theater. Here's Sergeant Savard Johnson. About two years ago, I was going through some emails for work and I ran across one that said Join city of Detroit, Toastmasters.


And I thought, what the heck is a toastmaster? Then I go, maybe it's an organization of experts at Browning bred in small slotted appliances or or.


Or is where they teach people how to create clever salutations before raising a glass or downing a shot or something. Nothing against you toast lovers out there, but the latter appealed to me more, so I clicked it. Discover and develop your skills in public speaking. Public speaking and No. See, I was that super shy kid that would dodge anything that would have me in the spotlight. I was a little bit better as an adult, but I still figured I would rather die or have my sins scrape with one of those Khairy Peeler's.


Then to speak in public, I was pretty comfortable in my own little world, so I didn't do it, but I was also going through a tough time in my life.


My mom was losing the short battle with dementia. It had quickly taken her strong body, her cool, calming voice. Her razor sharp and beautiful mind. And it was devastating. But it proved to me that there are no guarantees in life. About two weeks later, I found that emailed again and opened in. I decided to go to the first meeting, you know, just to check it out. But I ended up joining the club. Now, initially, I didn't really participate until I thought why I paid this money show up and not really give it a full go, so I did.


A few months in a request was made for some of the members to give a humorous speech. So I told one over time that I tried this insane hot sauce, they completely destroyed me going in and coming out.


But they picked me to represent the club in a competition and I start thinking, no way, way here, that spotlight there. I don't want to do it. But I nervously stepped into the spotlight and to my surprise, I won second place. That sent me to the next round and I took first I started thinking, this is a setup, isn't it?


I moved on another round and I didn't place at all. But it was OK. See, I discovered by stepping into the unknown, it was scary, but I kind of felt alive again. So I kept going to the meetings. And then I got a call from my sister. A while back, she and her husband have moved in with their family to take care of her, but things were really, really bad now.


Through intense fear, I hopped a plane with my brother and the three of us sat by her side, consoling her and each other until she transitioned.


I love you, mom, for life. For love, for everything, I thank you. There was a fuzziness. And an anxiousness to my world after that. So I decided to embark on a year of yes and vow to try new things, almost anything without second guessing or overthinking it. And I wanted to see what's on the other side of the unknown. It led to me delivering a keynote speech. Talking to students in schools, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane there was in the air, by the way, and taking daily cold showers to jumpstart my mornings.


And then I got a chance to share a story with another organization whose logo was this small, delicate bug that flutters around at night.


Maybe you heard of them or I hadn't, but I say yes anyway. Do you know, two days before this event, I find out there will be eighteen hundred people in attendance? I'm like, what? OK, I probably should research a little bit before saying yes to some things. But I stepped on stage with four the storytellers that night in a beautiful theater. And my dad was my plus one. It was incredible to look out there and see him.


And I felt mom's presence is outspoken outspokenness stage that night. And I feel it again tonight. I realize that. There are no guarantees in life and. It's been a journey. You never know what you're going to get. I realize that stepping out of my comfort zone was very important. And I don't know what step into these new territories will bring, but I do know a couple of things, it'll be more enlightening. And more expanding with each, yes.


Plus, it'll make for better stories. Thank you. That was Sergeant Savard Johnson, in addition to being a public speaker and a 26 year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department, Zavod is also a true hero. Tragically, he died on August 21st, 2020, after rescuing three young girls from drowning in the Detroit River. Zavod hails from a rich lineage of firefighters. His father is now retired and his brother Jamal still serves in the Detroit Fire Department.


When we heard the news about Savides passing, we were devastated. It took me back to the last time we saw him. We sat outside a restaurant in Flint, Michigan, and as the sun set, he talked about his two daughters and with the biggest smile on his face, said how much he wanted to be everything to them and for them. Kendel is currently 17 and Hayden is currently 10.


Zavod was a special member of the Islamic community in Detroit, and he left a lasting impression on the storytelling world.


Savides book will be released posthumously titled Becoming a Demon The Strongest, Most Valuable Version of you, to see some images of Savard Johnson skydiving. And with his daughters, please visit the moth, Doug, and go to extras.


Coming up, a small act of kindness leads to something big. That's when the Moth Radio Hour continues.


The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and presented by PRICK'S. I sometimes think of in service of like an extended hand in my neighborhood in Harlem, I hear all the time people saying good looking out when you pick the mail up or you hold the door so they can bring all the laundry in or just generally keeping someone in mind. In our next story, a scientist reminds us that sometimes we all need help along the way.


Dr. Marie-Claire King told this in New York City in a show we did in partnership with the World Science Festival. Here's Dr. King Live at the Mall.


The week of April Fools Day of 1981 began badly that Sunday night. My husband told me he was leaving me. He had fallen in love with one of his graduate students and they were headed back to the tropics the next day. I was completely devastated. It was totally unexpected. Thirty three years later, I still don't know what to say about it. I was just beside myself. He gave me a new vacuum cleaner to soften the blow.


It was, of course, the middle of spring quarter at Berkeley, so the next morning I had my class, as usual, and I had to either go teach it or explain why not. It's far easier to go to Egypt. So I dropped off Emily, who was five and three quarters of the time at kindergarten, along with her faithful Flosse, her Australian shepherd who went everywhere with her, headed down to school, taught my class and I was leaving.


My class must have been around nine thirty and my department chairman caught up with me and he said, Come into my office. I said, fine. I had hoped to escape, went into his office and he said, I just wanted to tell you, I've just learned you've been awarded tenure. And of course, I burst into tears.


Now, this department chairman, bless him, was a gentleman of full generation older than me. He had three grown sons. He had no daughters. He had certainly never had a young woman, assistant professor, and he's charged before. And he took my shoulders and he stepped back and he said no one's ever reacted like that before.


And so sit down, sit down. So what's the matter? And I said, it's not the tender, it's not the Tenaris, it's that my husband told me last night he was leaving me and he looked at me and he opened the door of his desk. He pulls out this huge bottle of Jack Daniels.


Pours me a half a glass of it, said, drink this, you'll feel better Monday morning at Berkeley. So I did. And I did.


So I made it through the day, got sober and around 330, headed back up the hill to pick up Emily at the end of school and did so, and she hopped in the car and Ernie Ernie, her dog, hopped in the car and we drove the rest of the way home, got home, walked up the stairs to the house, opened the house. And it was absolute chaos. Someone had broken in. Everything was completely trashed. And in retrospect, what must have happened, my my then husband had often worked at home and whoever had been casing the neighborhood must have left our house outside because he was often there and he was unpredictable.


There are different times, but that day, of course, he hadn't been there and we were vulnerable and we were robbed. So I called nine one one and a young Berkeley police officer came up and went through the house. And of course, I had no idea what had been taken and what happened because my husband had actually taken many, many things with him Sunday night and I wasn't sure what should still be there or not. And I explained that to Officer Rodriguez.


And he said, as you've as you figure it out, make a list. And then he went upstairs with Emily to her room and they opened the door of her room and it was 18 inches deep of just chaos. The bed had been pulled apart, curtains pulled down, drawers all dumped out in my lap. And three quarters looked at Officer Rodriguez and said, I can't tell if the burglars were in here or not.


And Officer Rodriguez, to his eternal credit, did not crack a smile. He handed her his card and said, Young lady, if you discover that anything is missing, please give me a call.


So now we're at Monday night. I was scheduled later that week to give a presentation in Washington, D.C. to the National Institutes of Health. And the way this worked in those days was if you were a young a young professor and you were playing for the first time for a large grant, you were quite frequently asked to come back to NIH and give what was called a reverse site visit. Basically explain what you plan to do. And then it would be decided if you were going to get what my case was, quite a substantial amount of money for the time over five years.


And it was it was terribly important. I mean, I had not done this before. It was brand new. It was going to be my first large grant on my own. The plan had been for Emily to stay with her dad and and for my mom to come out arriving the next day, Tuesday and to help out. And that had seemed, of course, of time like a great plan. Obviously, my mom, who was living in Chicago, didn't know anything about the events of the previous 24 hours.


So I thought, I'll just I'll just wait and explain to her when she gets here. It seemed far better than calling her what by now was, you know, quite late in Chicago because of all the business with everybody in the police and all that. So the next day, we picked up my mom at San Francisco Airport and driving back to Berkeley, I explained to her what had happened on Sunday. And she she was very, very upset.


She said, I can't believe you've got this family come apart. I can't believe this child will grow up without a father, which was never true and has never been true. And how could you do this? How could you not put your family first? How Emily is sitting there in the car and I just cannot imagine I'm going to go talk to Rob. And I said he's back in Costa Rica. Yeah, this just can't be. And she became more and more and more agitated by the time we got home to Berkeley.


She was extremely agitated. Emily was terrified and it was clearly not going to work for her to care for him. And after a couple of hours, my my mom said, I'm going home. I just can't imagine that this has happened. You must stay here and take care of your child. You can't imagine how can you even think of running off to the East Coast at a time like this? So to put it into context, now, 33 years later, my father had died less than a year before.


And just two months after this, my mother was diagnosed with epilepsy. So in context, it was not as irrational as it seemed at the time. But at the time, of course, it was devastating.


So I said, OK, you're right, you should go home and I'll arrange for you to have a ticket to go home tomorrow. We'll take you out to the airport and I'll cancel the trip. So I called my mentor who had who had been my postdoc advisor at UC San Francisco until just a couple of years before and said and he was already in Washington, D.C. by happenstance at an oncology meeting. And I said, I'm not going to be able to come.


And I explained briefly what had happened. Of course, he knew me well and he just listened to all this. He had grown daughters and said, look, come. And I said, I can't. And he said, bring Emily. He said, Emily and I know each other. I'll sit with her while you're giving your presentation. He had grandchildren of his own. He said it will be fine. I said she doesn't have a ticket.


He said, as soon as we hang up the phone, I'm going to call the airline and get her a ticket, pick up the ticket at the airport tomorrow. When you take your mom back, it'll be on the same flight as yours. Everything will be fine. And I said, You're sure? And he said, yes, I have to call the airline now. Good night. So I got in those days, it was very easy to rearrange tickets.


I ran. I arranged for my mother to have the ticket to go back to Chicago, and if I remember correctly, her flight was, as it were, at 10 o'clock in the morning. So we left Berkeley and plenty of time in principle to get to San Francisco airport.


And of course, it was one of those days of the Bay Bridge was just totally locked up. It was just horrible, horrible drive across and what should have been a drive of 45 minutes, an hour and 45 minutes to get there. So my mom's flight was about to leave in 15 minutes and animalism, my flight was about to leave in 45 minutes. And the line to pick up tickets, which I had in mind, of course, I needed to pick up hers was long, a long, long, long.


And of course, we had our suitcases. My mom had her suitcase and my mom was already fairly frail. So Emily and my mother and I were standing in the line and I said, Mom, can you make it down to your plane on your own? Bear in mind, there's no security in these days, but there, of course, are very warm quarters. And she said no. So I said to Emily, I'm going to need to go with grandma.


I'm down to her plane. And my mother shrieked, I'm not going to scream into my shoes. Shrieked, You can't leave that child here alone. And, you know, fair enough. And there's.


And this unmistakable voice above and behind me said. Emily and I will be fine, and I turned around and I said thank you, and my mother looked at me and said, You can't leave Emily with a total stranger. And I said, Mom, if you can't trust Joe DiMaggio.


Joe DiMaggio looked at me, looked at my mother, gave Emily a huge grin, put out his hand and said, Hi, Emily, I'm Joe.


And Emily shook his head and she said, Hello, Joe, I'm Emily.


And I said, Mom, let's go. So we headed down the hall. I got my mother to the plane. She got on the plane. Fine, I got back. It was probably 20, 25 minutes by the time I got back. And by that time, Emily and Joe were all the way up at the front chatting with each other by the counter.


Joe DiMaggio had wrangled an A-list ticket for her.


She was holding her ticket. He was clearly waiting to get to his point. And I got back to him. So I looked at him and I said, thank you very much. And he said my pleasure. He headed off down the hall. He turned right.


He gave me this huge salute and waved and a tremendous grin and went off to his own plane. Emily and I went to Washington, D.C. The interview went fine. I got the grant. And that was the beginning of the grant that now, 33 years later, has become the story of inherited breast cancer and the beginning of the project that became BRCA one.


Dr. Marie-Claire King is the American Cancer Society professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families and as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA one, genetic testing based on her work has saved the lives of thousands of women in 2016. She was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama. You can find these stories are others from the archive at the morgue, and you can also find us on social media.


We're on Facebook and Twitter at The Moth.


And that's it this week for the Moth Radio Hour. Thank you for joining us. The stories of service in service and by servers, what little did will you serve up this week? Good. Looking out and walk good.


Your host this hour was Jody Powell.


Jody also directed the stories in the show, along with Catherine Burns with additional Grand Slam coaching from Michelle Jill Housekeep.


The rest of the most directorial staff includes Sarah Habermann, Sarah Austin Ginés, Jennifer Hickson and Meg Bowles production support from Emily Couche special shout out to our Detroit slam producer, Patricia Wheeler.


Most stories are true, as remembered and affirmed by the storytellers. Our theme music is by the drift of the music.


In this hour from Blue Dot Sessions, Bill Frisell, Louise Song, Amazing Grace, Erik Friedlander and reattachment. You can find links to all the music we use at our Web site. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by me, Jay Allison with Viki Merrick Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This hour was produced with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Moth Radio Hour is presented by the Public Radio Exchange PUREX Dog for more about our podcast.


For information on pitching us your own story and everything else, go to our Web site. Darmouth org. Moth story slams are back held on Mondays beginning in February. Join us for our weekly Open Mike story slam competition. February's theme is Love Hurts.


Throw your name in the hat for a chance to tell your story or just come to listen to stories of a total eclipse of the heart kicked to the curb by the people or places or things you love or used to love.


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