It's Skin Cancer Awareness Week on OnMilwaukee.com, dedicated to the memory of our colleague, Tim Cuprisin, who died of melanoma last fall. Melanoma kills 9,100 Americans each year, but together, we can beat it. All week long, we're bringing you survivor stories, prevention plans and breakthroughs to make skin cancer a disease of the past. We've also set up a fund in memory of Tim and urge you to donate here. Skin Cancer Awareness Week is sponsored by the Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin. Enjoy the Milwaukee summer, but be safe and smart in the sun!
On Nov. 23, 2011, melanoma claimed the life of our colleague, friend and mentor, Tim Cuprisin.
While we knew the end was rapidly approaching, we were nonetheless stunned when we heard the news from his partner, Sharon. Together, OnMilwaukee.com cried, mourned and sought to make sense of how quickly we lost such a valuable member of our team.
Tim was 53, taken from this world far too young. It wasn't fair, and almost a year later, rarely does a week go by when someone on our staff doesn't find him or herself wishing he was here to lighten the mood or guide us during a sticky situation. In his short time with OnMilwaukee.com, Tim had a profound effect on each and every one of us.
But like Tim would've wanted, we picked up the pieces and started to move forward. We also began to consider a fitting tribute to a man who touched us all.
The easy part was the plaque that hangs above our editorial office. The "Tim Cuprisin Memorial Newsroom" is where we work; the room where Tim challenged us and made us better.
The harder part was creating something more significant, which is where we are today.
After much consideration, we contacted the American Cancer Society about creating a special tribute fund to Tim's memory, centered around an educational week of content in hopes that someday we can beat the disease that so quickly took his life.
We're not professional fundraisers at OnMilwaukee.com, so working through the ACS allowed us to focus on what we do best: delivering relevant Milwaukee content to our readers, so many of whom enjoyed Tim's OnMedia columns every weekday for the three years we were blessed to work with him, and before that, for years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. We, too, were fans of his work.
I urge you to donate what you can this week through this special memorial microsite that we've created on his behalf. No amount of money can bring Tim back, nor can it lessen the grief of his friends and family. Even writing these words hurts me deeply. Having the honor of speaking at his memorial service was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, and today, the sadness is almost just as fresh.
Indeed, time has not healed all wounds, but together, we can all do our part to find a cure for all types of cancer.
We know that Tim didn't make it his life mission to cure cancer when he was diagnosed in the months before he died. Rather, he continued his mission to enjoy living.
We've all struggled to find a fitting memorial to man who so enjoyed life, and we hope this is it. Please help us continue his legacy of loving life by helping advance the cure for cancer.
We very much appreciate your generosity.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.