This week after release from St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, we passed through the surreal landscape of downtown casinos and skyscrapers shrouded by brown blankets of burning forest smoke from deep in the Sierra.

It’s been nearly a full month since my terminal cancer diagnosis. Getting to sleep in a real bed and see my lovely daughters and wife at home again feels like a blessing that no one could believe.

In addition, I returned to find out about an incredible outpouring of philanthropic support from our family, friends, and former coworkers from all over the country. Friends of friends and even people we don’t know have blessed us with well wishes. People have been swarming to our YOU GIVING PAGE to help us cover costs related to everything from medical bills to emergency travel tickets. Your support continues to bail the Ross family out at a bleak financial moment. We feel each of you with us, every day.

My medical condition hasn’t change much beyond how I describe it in previous posts. I am busy recovering from the procedures, surgeries, and weeks of inactivity that cost me mobility and basic balance. At the end of this month Amy and I will be meeting with a few oncology departments to find out what our best options are for maximizing the number of months and years I have left to enjoy this glorious life.

I came across a quote that I just loved the other day  and wanted the share.

“It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we’re alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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

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 and/or sign up for my family updates on that same page.

thank you all

Jim Ross


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