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February 13, 2017     West Seattle Herald
Russ and Mollie Ford – Surviving together and sharing stories
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February 13, 2017

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Russ and Mollie Ford – Surviving together and sharing stories | West Seattle Herald / White Center News Skip to Main Content Area Monday, February 13, 2017 | Few clouds, 50 °F search Letters Sign in Subscribe Contact Us Front Page News Features Sports Opinion Police Blotter Russ and Mollie Ford – Surviving together and sharing stories By Lindsay Peyton West Seattle resident Russ Ford has been ... Design Review meeting on four story 108 unit mixed use bldg set for Mar. 2 The next design review meeting is set for March 2, over the ... West Seattle girls fall short, losing to Bishop Blanchet By Tim Clinton SPORTS EDITOR West Seattle fell shy against ... Amanda's View: Opportunity to be By Amanda Knox   I remember how Don Saulo, the chaplain at ... Police Blotter Week of 2-6-17 Assault suspect leaves rabbit at scene of crime Officers were ... Features Pat's View: For Love of Money Russ and Mollie Ford – Surviving together and sharing stories Sunset of the week 2-13-17 Westside-O-Rama West Seattle Entertainment Guide Brookdale Admiral Heights celebrates the Swing Era Feb. 16 Sunset of the week 2-6-17 Artist putting finishing touches on Junction Plaza Park sculpture Pat's View: Stan Boreson Kitchen Talk: Some things are meant to be together! SDOT seeking your opinion on 'Traffic Calming" Good for you: Matches Made in Heaven Sunset of the week 1-30-17 Pat's View: It’s the Law 'Age of Love' film will be shown at West Seattle Senior Center Feb. 9 Dude, my teacher rocks – Jude Miqueli stars on stage and in the classroom When do you need a Financial Advisor? Steve Goodman: Facing the Music presented by Clay Eals for "Words, Writers & West Seattle" Sunset of the week 1-23-17 A chef with a vision, Brian Clevenger serves up fresh pasta, seafood, veggies and more at new spot in West Seattle Admiral Theater addresses controversy over 'A Dog's Purpose' movie Pat's View: At the Circus Try to overcome “Roadblocks” to a comfortable retirement Are you or is someone you know a caregiver?  Sunset of the week 1-16-17 Pat's View: Profound Thoughts Lindsay PeytonWest Seattle resident Russ Ford set up a special Valentine’s surprise for Mollie, his wife of 40-years. When the couple went inside the Starbucks on Admiral to order a cup of coffee, the Seattle SeaChordsmen Chorus was inside, waiting to perform a few love songs for Mollie. The couple is also celebrating their recent project, a web site and online network -- Russ and Mollie Ford – Surviving together and sharing stories 02/13/2017 updated 4 hours ago By Lindsay Peyton West Seattle resident Russ Ford has been married to his wife Mollie for 40 years – but he doesn’t take their relationship for granted. He still likes to surprise her from time to time. And now that Mollie is coping with breast cancer, Russ feels like a little spontaneous joy is just what the doctor ordered. On Saturday, Feb.11, he set up a special Valentine’s surprise for Mollie. When the couple went inside the Starbucks on Admiral to order a cup of coffee, the Seattle SeaChordsmen Chorus was inside, waiting to perform a few love songs for Mollie. And to share the love with others who might be facing similar medical challenges, Russ hired the Seachordsmen to perform on Valentine’s Day in the lobby at Swedish Hospital. The couple’s generosity would come as no surprise to friends of the couple. The Fords like to give back – and that is the spirit behind their most recent project, the creation of a web site and online network -- Almost a year ago, Mollie found a small lump in her breast. “Knowing her family history with dense breast tissue, she made an appointment early,” Russ said. By the time the lump was removed, it had grown to the size of about 20 square centimeters. “That’s about the size of 15 pennies,” Russ said. “I went to the container store afterwards, and bought these little jars and filled them with 15 pennies for all of my co-workers. I told them, ‘Don’t forget the importance of regular mammograms – and this is a reminder that you can leave on your desk.’” Mollie started her third round of chemo on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Swedish. Even as she faces this obstacle, Russ said the couple has great resources. “Because Mollie works in the field, she literally has 50 medical folks on speed dial whom she can call if she has a question,” Russ said. “A lot of people don’t have that.” In addition, Russ said they have relatives and friends to help out along the way. “We have found out that for those without resources, people are often taking the path with far greater difficulty,” he said. He began brainstorming and called his nephew Victor Orellana who runs a software company called Launched IT in Spokane. “Instead of getting sad and depressed about this, Russ decided to do something,” Orellana recalled. “He said, ‘Sit down. I have this great idea.’” Russ wanted to create a web site where people who were facing medical ailments could share positive coping strategies. “It’s a platform to share stories,” Orellana said. “It’s easy to get down and wonder, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ People need a boost of confidence. They need to hear, ‘We’re here with you. You’re not going through this alone.’” Orellana got on board right away and started designing and building the site with Russ. They launched the platform online a couple weeks ago. “We wanted to get the stories going right away,” Orellana said. “This is all about uplifting stories, nothing negative. There’s enough negativity out there already.” Now Orellana is building a second component for the web site. Individuals may sign up to create their own “caring calendars” – where they can list the dates of treatment. While the calendars are private, participants may also share them with friends and family who want to be available to provide support around those critical times. Russ and Orellana hope to debut that new feature by the end of the month. Russ is personally underwriting the costs involved with the progject – and that he has no plans to ask for donations or contributions for the foreseeable future. “This is not a medical science page,” he said. “It is a page for kind thoughts, and the coping and strategies folks have employed as they combat any major medical issue, not just cancer. We want to highlight all of the things that people have done.” To share a story that might help inspire others battling serious illnesses, participants simply go online and fill out a form. Board members will read the stories and post them online. Russ hopes to fill the site with tales of staying in the game – and create an online community that shares tactics for winning the fight. He said sometimes the simplest things can make a huge difference. “It’s those little things, a simple flower on your porch with a note or a casserole,” he said. “If you don’t have to spend all that time cooking and can instead just nuke a casserole, that’s a benefit that’s hard to even put into words.” To learn more or share an uplifting story, visit  To learn more about Launched IT, visit We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed. View the discussion thread. Please send us your news tips, photos or ideas of how we can better cover your neighborhood. Email us at or TEXT news tips to 206-459-6717 Receive updates on news and events in the West Seattle neighborhood via Twitter! Web development by Freelock Computing © 2017 Robinson Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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