Wednesday, February 4, 2009

World Cancer Day And Solicitation To Help Support My Boston Effort

Today has been an interesting "cancer" day to say the least. Enough so that I thought it a good time to formally kick off my Boston Marathon/Team Livestrong fundraising effort.

First, I woke up to a really nice email from Paul Schaye, asking how I was doing. I blogged about Paul in the past but he's one of my heroes: he's a cancer survivor (a "thriver" in his parlance, which I like) who has defied great odds. He's one tough dude. And he is also one hell of an endurance athlete. If you have a few free moments, stop by and visit Paul's blog; his story is beyond inspirational.

I then had breakfast with a friend and former client who told me about his father's travails with cancer. And then I came to the office and learned that today is World Cancer Day.

I took these three events as a sign from above that today is the right time to kickstart my fundraising campaign for Team Livestrong.

Those of you who read this are mostly "regulars" and know me pretty well, so please bear with me in the next few paragraphs as I recap my story. I am also going to send out a blast email to other contacts later today that links to this site. To them I say hello and thanks for taking the time to visit and read this post.

Those who know me know that I am a thyroid cancer survivor and my wife is a cervical cancer survivor. You might also be aware that over the years, I've done hundreds of races.

Until today, however, I have never raced as a part of a formal fundrasing "team" (i.e. Team in Training, Team Lymphoma, etc) NOT because I don't believe in these causes (I do), but because I wanted to save my own effort for a cause that was near and dear to my heart.

Well, that time has finally arrived.

For the past decade or so, I've been on a vision quest of sorts to qualify for Boston. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I've accomplished most challenges set before me in life, but this one has thus far proven elusive. In fact, I've failed two times in the past six weeks! Though disappointing, this is something I can live with and if nothing else it has reinforced to me the lesson that nothing in life that's hard comes easy.

And then, less than a week ago and virtually out of nowhere, I was selected to participate in Boston as a member of Team Livestrong.

I deliberated for some time as to whether this was a "fair" way for me to run Boston but at the end of the day, my decision making process came down to this: if my personal fundraising effort could help ONE person either overcome or possibly avoid getting cancer, or if it could bring us one inch closer towards finding a cure, well, that far outweighed something as comparatively trivial as being hung up on a qualifying time.

And so with that, I'm in, and I am very proud to be representing Team Livestrong. But I could really use your help. I want to make a difference and I'd like to exceed the fundraising goal that was put before me. Because this one is personal for me, on so many levels.

I recognize that we live in difficult economic times and it's with reticence that I beg your iundulgence for a contribution. But every little bit truly does make a difference, and there's no one out there fighting the good fight against cancer harder than the Livestrong organization. Please know that your monies will be put to good use and please don't feel obligated to give more than you are able; every little bit helps. And for whatever it's worth, I, too, will be making a contribution.

Thank you for helping me in my quest; it will definitely provide even greater motivation. And thank you for taking the time to read through this very long post!

Click HERE for a link to my personalized Livestrong fundraising site. As you will note, it's pretty easy to make a donation. Checks are welcome too; hit me with an email offline (howard.solomon@gmail) for details.

Again, thank you. And LIVESTRONG!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Neil, Carrie and Carrie's dude. By the way; Carrie's dude -- you stoke me. You guys need to come out here for a visit.


gailaj said...

On my way to your Livestrong page, Howard - thanks for raising awareness about thyroid cancer (my one-year anniversary is approaching in March). --Gail

PS. I am also thinking more about how cancer touches everyone these days -- as my dad (only 72) just started radiation for stomach cancer this week.