Thursday, May 6, 2010

It started as a Tweet…

I was going to make this a multi-part tweet, but it was getting kinda long… so blog, it shall be. Plus, I can write more. :) If you took the time to click the link I tweeted and are reading this, thank you.

I lost my Dad in 1998 to live cancer. I lost a friend 2 years ago – he was 35 years old. It started as a simple mole on his arm. In less than a year, it spread and he was gone. Seriously… 35 years old. My wife lost an uncle last year. My brother in-law had it and beat it. That’s four people in my “circle”. I’d bet $5 that someone in your family, somewhere, has had it.

I decided that I had to do something, not only to raise awareness – clearly, we are all aware of its existence – but to help support those who are looking for a cure, or are making the lives of those affected by cancer easier.

In 2008, a friend and I put together a team for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and raised just over $3,073.

Last year I shaved my head bald after beating my personal fundraising goal of $1,000. It was awesome. Well, not the being bald part, but beating my goal. Being bald was actually rather annoying – head stubble is like Velcro. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Our team raised around $2,661.

This year I decided to raise the bar a little and set my goal at $1,500. In return for your generosity, I wasn't quite sure what to do that would top last year.

So, I pledged to shave off my goatee. That may seem rather lame in comparison to shaving my head, but personally, I'd rather be bald. I really like my goatee. My goatee is  like a security blanket, I guess. My kids (14 and 11) have never seen me without my goatee, or were too young to remember. It'll probably shock them. I will probably dislike being clean-shaven more than being bald.

This is where you come in. All of you. Canadians, Americans, Europeans. All of the people who follow me on Twitter and clicked the link I tweeted or posted on Facebook today and are now reading this. Well, hopefully still reading this.

If you knew me personally, you’d know how much I dislike asking anyone for anything. I’m not a pushy guy. Hell, if I had $1,500 to spare, I’d donate it all towards my goal so I didn’t have to ask anyone for anything. Seriously. So, asking for help is difficult for me. Asking for money is more difficult. But I’m going to do it anyway because it’s not for me.

And I’m not asking for a lot. A few dollars, or pounds? Anything that you can afford. It all helps. And it doesn’t matter that it’s going to a Canadian charitable cause because we’re all working toward one goal, right?

So instead of having three coffees today, how about skipping one and donating the money to me? Or, how about $5 for every person in your “circle”?


They both go to the same place.

Although I’d prefer that donations be made directly online via the Relay for Life web site, if using a credit card isn’t your thing, you can also send it as a “gift” via PayPal to spaterson AT and I’ll add it as an offline cash donation, with your name, so you can see it on my fundraising meter.

As of this posting, I am $1050 away from reaching my goal with 43 days left.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.

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