Living in the Blast Zone – by Nate Mathis-Vargas

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This post is written by Nate Mathis-Vargas, my business partner at The Dog Haus and one of the co-owners at Dog Haus University.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, Nate is giving our family one of the greatest gifts we could receive – time.  He is managing both businesses by himself, allowing me to stay at home (and doctor appointments and the hospital) with Wes and not have to worry about work.  If it wasn’t for Nate, I likely would have walked into both businesses on that fateful Friday and shut them down.  And I am fortunate enough to have my business partner also be one of my closest friends.  We would do just about anything for each other, this I know.

 
After 9/7/12 when the “bomb” was dropped on the Schuldies family, the blast zone went for miles – blowing over family and friends as far away as Montana. Not only did that moment change every worry and thought going through Angie’s mind, but everything she was involved in as well – causing those around her to make needed changes.

At her request, Angie has asked me to write how this has effected my life and views on cancer. For those reading that do not know me, my name is Nate Mathis-Vargas, Angie’s business partner and close friend.

I have, believe it or not, been a co-chair for the past 6 years for a benefit show called the Drag Down Cancer Comedy Benefit. We have raised almost $25,000.00, all of which goes to the American Cancer Society of Madison. For the longest time I have done that show just as a way to help people that I had never met, until a few years ago when the other organizer’s father was diagnosed with brain cancer and ultimately passed away after a strong fight. That experience made me want to work to make the benefit bigger and bigger, to raise more money and help more people.  A nd little Wes pushes that desire even farther. It goes to show that cancer does not discriminate who it effects.  It is an equal opportunity offender.

My life has changed a little since D-Day.  And there were some added stressors.  But when I look at working more hours or taking on more work, none of that seems as stressful or as hard to deal with as a child having cancer. I work more like 50-60 hours on the floor between both locations and work on about 10 hours of office-type work at home with payroll, scheduling, and bill-paying – all of which are new to me and did take some adjusting.

I am happy with the fact that all of that “extra” stuff I am doing is to help my friend be where she is supposed to be, with her son. It was because of HER that I can say I own a business.  And it is because of ME she was able to have a family.  Well, you know what I mean – not facing the uphill battle of business ownership alone.

I have met some really awesome people in my life but no one like Angie. She inspires a lot of people to do what they can for other people because she has gone out of her way to help others. She is a self-proclaimed fixer – so if you have a problem she is the one to get advice from.  Because of who she is, that is why there are so many people including myself that are stepping up to help her and her family.

In conclusion, my determination against cancer has gotten stronger and my appreciation for those I love as well.

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