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Cancer Breakthroughs Are Bigger In Texas: Honky Tonk Lovin' Scientist Wins Nobel Prize

When it comes to cancer I admittedly don’t know much.

I know that I hate, hate, fucking haaaaate it having witnessed the pain it’s capable of & seeing loved ones suffer through it & pass on far too soon.

I know that I love a good 5K now (usually speedwalkin’ it out in a nice, aerodynamic pair of jeans with a new cancer-related T-shirt, coffee in hand) but wish we had a different, happier reason for them.

I know that it doesn’t discriminate…

Among those effected – Brilliant minds like Steve Jobs who, despite top care & endless funds, were unable to best the insidiuous cells. Fit athletes like Roman Reigns who just announced last night that his battle with leukemia is back on. Talented, young women like our own Kayce Smith coming up on five years cancer-free next month (Go Kayce, gooooo!)…

Our family members, neighbors, friends, classmates, wonderful people & yes, even super huge assholes (looking at you, Jigsaw guy circa SAW II) are not immune… Basically, there’s very few people out there who don’t know at least one person who’s been effected regardless of status or background. You get the idea.

That’s why the news of what scientist & recent Nobel Prize recipient Jim Allison has accomplished is so monumental. If it’s of interest to you at all, this Wired piece on him is a fascinating & enlightening read that will leave you feeling pretty hopeful for the future. They say major breakthroughs occur ‘about every 50 years’ but he’s jumped us forward by decades after figuring out a ‘secret handshake’ of sorts between these destructive cells.

Allison sounds like a pretty impressive & interesting character all-around. From Wired:

If you sold beer in Austin and had a surface flat enough to put a bar stool on, you were a music club, and Jim Allison played the blues harp well enough that he was in demand. He could sit in at the honky-tonks in town or play for Lone Stars in Luckenback, where the new breed of outlaw country players like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings roamed the earth.

Either way it was a lot of fun; premed, meanwhile, wasn’t proving to be that interesting.

Allison wasn’t drawn to memorizing what others had found out. He wanted to arm himself with skills to do the finding himself, so in 1965 he switched tracks and traded memorization for a laboratory, working with enzymes toward a biochemistry PhD.

Congrats to him on the Nobel Prize & thanks to men & women like him who put other dreams aside (hope he still hits up the harmonica on his off time) to pursue a cause for the greater good.