Spotlight on Jake & Dametria Puhpow
The Relay Refresh RoadTrip rolled into the Atlanta, Georgia area, home of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest passenger airport, to visit with Dametria and Jake Puhpow. Both have deep roots to the area, with Jake being “born n’ raised” and Dametria relocating there 23 years ago. Atlanta is known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement in America and is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park.
Just about everyone knows Dametria and Jake. They were “happily married” in Second Life on January 25, 2017. Dametria is well known for being part of the “Hell on Heels Dancers” with Savannah Coronet. Jake is well known as “DJ Jake”, as well as the former owner of the “The Only Venue” with his good friend Molly Masingh who he lost to cancer a year ago. Both Jake and Dametria are passionate about Relay For Life of Second Life and are members of the Friends For A Cure Relay team.
Our visit with them was filled with laughter. When asked what makes them laugh, they said each other, as well as good southern comedians like Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. Jake told us he likes “memes” on Facebook and Dametria loves a good “fail video”. They are both huge music fans. Jake is a 70’s rock guy, who told us he is going to a Def Leppard concert with his teenage daughter this summer on a “daddy daughter date”. Dametria is a country girl and Jake told us “country music is growing on me”. Cold Beer by Colt Ford and The Devil In Me by Anderson East top their current playlists.
Dametria told us that she “doesn’t really watch much TV” but enjoys catching episodes of The Voice on Netflix. Jake told us that he is a huge “Me TV fan” , Memorable Entertainment Television, the definitive destination for classic TV. Jake loves watching episodes of the “original Hawaii 5-0” which aired from 1968 to 1980 but he told us he has never watched a single episode of the new Hawaii 5-0, now in its 9th year on CBS, but says it is on his list to watch.
Jake has a big appetite for technology with a desktop equipped with 64GB RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 1070 video card. He also has an Alienware laptop equipped with 32GB RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 1080 video card. Dametria keeps right up with Jake on her Asus desktop that is filled with 111,547 items in her inventory. She laughingly told us, “Jake says it’s all shoes and hair”, and with only 32,640 items in his inventory, Jake obviously has a lot of catching up to do. They told us they both use Samsung smart phones to keep in touch with one another.
Dametria and Jake discovered Second Life from two very different sources at two very different times. Dametria found out about Second Life from a Facebook advertisement almost 8 years ago. Jake, a MacBook Pro user at the time, was surfing for games to play and stumbled upon Second Life almost 4 years ago. When asked about a funny noob story, they both had good ones. Jake recalled that one night early in his Second Life, he was at a popular dance place and when he tried to call a dance ball, he was “lagging so bad” on his MacBook Pro, that he “ended up on top of a grand piano”. Dametria told us a similar noob story with her “ending up straddling Hogan Bailey’s tip jar”.
As our visit turned more serious, they both shared with us about their heros. Dametria told us “my brother is my hero”. He is 13 years older than her and “has been in remission from stage 3 lung cancer for 11 years”. She recalled how “he promised me he would not die” and she calls him “a superhero”. Jake quickly told us his mom, a breast cancer survivor, and his dad are his heros. He also mentioned Adam & Ari Sparks and all the work they do for Relay For Life of Second Life. And, of course, he told us how Dametria, also a cancer survivor, is high on his list of heros.
Jake and Dametria have both been Relaying for about 4 years now and it is a very important part of their Second Life. Dametria told us she “had kidney cancer” and is now a 4 year survivor. She recalled how “they found a tumor on one of my kidneys during an ultrasound for something else and when they did a CT scan they found one on the other kidney”. She explained how “they removed half of my right kidney and a quarter of my left kidney and because it was removed its considered a surgical cure”. Jake began relaying with the Cure Chasers team and did shows for Relay with his long time friend, Molly Masingh, at The Only Venue. It became very personal to Jake when Molly lost her battle to cancer and his passion for Relay took on a whole new meaning. Both Jake and Dametria are currently on the Friends For A Cure team with their family and friends.
Jake told us that he Relays for his mom, in honor of Molly, for Dametria and Ari, and a number of real life friends. Dametria Relays for her dad, her brother and her late husband, who died 15 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Dametria also Relays for herself, her sister Ari and in memory of Molly.
Jake and Dametria shared with us that their favorite part of the Relay season is Relay Weekend. They love “cheering the survivors as they walk the track” during the Celebrate Ceremony and they especially enjoy the Luminaria Ceremony, hearing the names being read, honoring those who have survived and remembering those who have lost their battle.
They also mentioned Relaystock weekend, how they like to “get dressed up as hippies” and participate in the “Woodstock like events”. They also love organizing events for their team, Jake loves DJ’ing for Relay and most of all they love meeting new people. They both said that ultimately “the people” are their “favorite part of Relay”.
We had a lot of fun visiting with Dametria and Jake Puhpow. They told us if they could say one thing to Relayers it would be “not just to donate… join a team… we promise you will get more out of it than you put into it… Relay changes your life…”
As a survivor, Dametria is a warrior, and Jake is her biggest enthusiast.
Together they are passionate Relayers with amazing stories and a unified determination for being part of finding a cure.
And until there is a cure, they Relay.
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