Cancer victim’s daughter enlists social media to help mom meet TV star

1/10/2013
BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Josie Langsdorf, who is dealing with advancing lung cancer, jokes with her uncle, Raymond Gonzalez, during an impromptu party at Buffalo Wild Wings in Maumee.
Josie Langsdorf, who is dealing with advancing lung cancer, jokes with her uncle, Raymond Gonzalez, during an impromptu party at Buffalo Wild Wings in Maumee.

Josie Langsdorf won't allow terminal cancer to squelch her zest for life.

The 40-year-old Monclova Township nonsmoker learned she had lung cancer in 2010, and it’s since spread.

“From the get-go, when I was diagnosed my thought was, ‘I am going to continue to live my life as best I can,’ ” she said.

She’s embraced fun and spontaneity while making time for serious pursuits. Her bucket list — things she wants to do before cancer ends her life — includes reading to sick children at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. But another item captured the attention of social media users and a reality television personality she wants to meet.

As a break from the harsh “real world,” Ms. Langsdorf watches reality TV shows, including the E! network program Keeping up with the Kardashians. The show, and its many spin-offs, follows the antics of a big, beautiful California family headlined by a trio of dark-haired sisters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian. The popular program made minor celebrities of the Kardashians’ friends, relatives, and love interests, including Kourtney Kardashian’s long-time partner, Scott Disick.

Last week, Ms. Langsdorf remarked to her daughter Ashley, 18, a freshman at the University of Toledo, that she would like to have a drink with Mr. Disick.

Ashley Langsdorf, 18, and a friend, Anthony Russo, 18, a freshman at Bowling Green State University, keep an eye on her Twitter feed during a party for her mother, Josie.
Ashley Langsdorf, 18, and a friend, Anthony Russo, 18, a freshman at Bowling Green State University, keep an eye on her Twitter feed during a party for her mother, Josie.

Her comment was a casual remark but not a joke, and it turned into a full-scale Twitter campaign. Ashley Langsdorf took to the social media site to ask Mr. Disick to take a shot with her mom. Friends and strangers quickly echoed the request in such mass that it captured Mr. Disick’s attention.

Saturday, Mr. Disick responded to the barrage of pleas aimed at his Twitter account with a short message: “Would love to meet u if I'm really on this bucket list,” he tweeted. Ms. Langsdorf acknowledged people might wonder why meeting Mr. Disick would appear on anyone’s bucket list.

“What I like about him is his approach to life,” she said. “Once in a while, you have to sit back and enjoy the moment. The guy can make fun of himself.”

Mr. Disick is known for his dandy attire and walking with a cane, among other eccentricities and occasional bad behavior. Ms. Langsdorf said a representative contacted her on Wednesday on his behalf and said Mr. Disick wants to meet her, but details remain to be worked out. A spokesman for Keeping up with the Kardashians said it is a personal, not show-related matter and directed questions to a Kardashian family spokesman, who could not be reached Wednesday.

The Twitter outpouring and local community support heartened Ms. Langsdorf.

“What to me is even better is that just doing a kind gesture for somebody really goes a long way,” she said.

Ms. Langsdorf is not undergoing chemotherapy treatment and faces decisions about starting a maintenance regimen and pursuing more aggressive treatments. She said doctors told her when she was diagnosed she likely had less than a year to live. That was two and a half years ago.

Students wore orange, her favorite color, to a recent Anthony Wayne High School basketball game. Her younger daughter Allison, 10, is a student at Fallen Timbers Middle School. Ashley Langsdorf, who graduated from the high school, said her mom appreciated the big response.

“It was crazy,” she said. “She’s like amazed at all of the love.”

Ms. Langsdorf, an Ohio State University Buckeye fan, said she got a call of support from Gene Smith, OSU’s athletic director. After her daughter launched the Twitter campaign, she also joined the social media site under the handle @Josiebucketlist and has accumulated about 2,200 followers.

Contact Vanessa McCray at:vmccray@theblade.comor 419-724-6065.