* Our Story

Fierce Hope


It was supposed to be the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and dreaming. I had just completed the 3,000 mile solo drive across the country to continue in a new job in South Lake Tahoe California.

I remember as I crested spooner Lake Summit, into Tahoe with the vast Sierra Nevada pulled taught out in front of me, I couldn’t help but feel like my family had finally found a home.

This arrival day was ever more important because my beautiful wife, Amy, and three amazing daughters, Madelyn age 9, and twin girls,  Alison and Hannah age 5, would be landing at the Reno Airport to join me.

We had a gorgeous cabin style home in Meyers, California waiting for us, and I would be continuing on as the new Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Alliance (SNA).

The SNA job was a once in a lifetime opportunity for an environmental advocate and conservationist like myself. The fact that it was in my beloved Sierra Nevada made it seem even more incredible.

This was supposed to be our “happily ever after,” but it soon became our worst nightmare.

Something wasn’t right.  I couldn’t walk across the Reno Airport to meet my family without taking breaks and sitting at benches.  I’d been battling a terrible cough and swelling in my feet during the long drive in the moving truck and something was just “off.”

My wife Amy insisted that I go straight to the hospital. Immediately the doctor found what she described as a “rip-roaring” pneumonia, but that was just the begining. Upon further testing, I was also diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer that had metastasized to my liver.  If I accept no treatment or chemo at all I have about six months to live. I’m told with aggressive radiation and chemo I could possibly give myself a few more years.

But those of you who know me, know i’m a fighter. This blog is about that fight. We the Ross family need resources, help, and your helpful wishes and prayers. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far! The two most important things people can do is make a donation at this link and/or subscribe for my medical updates right here

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I have more to fight for than any man alive. I simply have to see my girls grow up and that is that.


Jim Ross
jim glasses small - Fierce HopePS: Special thanks to all of you who have been sharing my latest posts on Facebook and twitter. It’s really helped this blog reach a massive readership. (almost 2000 subscribers in just a few months).

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4 Thoughts on “* Our Story

  1. Melissa Benavidez on September 23, 2014 at 1:54 am said:

    Jim- Even though we’ve never met, your story touches me deeply. I’m your daughter Madelyn’s teacher here in Tahoe. Your daughter is unbelievably intelligent and thoughtful. She was a great addition to my class. I hope you get some spectacular moments to cherish with your daughters and family. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Linda Lake on September 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm said:

    Jim, we have not met, but I was Brenda’s teacher at the now demolished Franklin Street School and Amy’s teacher at Falling Spring Nursery School. I heard about you from a friend at Trinity Lutheran and immediately said a prayer for all of you. You have a terrific support team. That is very important.
    Also, the fact that you are a fighter. Just wanted you to know that more people than you can imagine are praying for you.

  3. Beth Ehrenzelelr on October 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm said:

    For you and your family, I wish everything that you desire and then much much more. Your story and your spirit are fantastic, Many hugs from Chicago for you.

  4. Liz Mansfield on December 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm said:

    Hello Jim, I haven’t seen you since the SWWG conference, but you and your family have been on my mind. As you know, I have stage 4 breast cancer and currently undergoing new chemo. I just wanted to tell you that it’s been almost 7 years since my diagnosis. You can live with cancer. Please keep the hope in your heart, and love your family every waking moment. Merry Christmas, Liz Mansfield.

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