Hung out at South 1st and Riverside this morning to raise money to fight cancer! That’s me in the photo in the link above with Katie Koehler, a Texas 4000 2012 rider, and an Austinite dressed as a panda! The panda’s costume came with no pockets, which meant the only place they could store some change to donate was a fanny pack!
We made a lot of money for a great cause. I’m definitely proud of the entire Texas 4000 for Cancer organization for coming together; there were lots of alumni from different ride years and routes that made standing out in the heat worth it!
Well, I started the month of March with just over $4,600 raised, and I’m so happy that with the help of so many kind supporters, I finished out the month with over $7,400 in fundraising (not counting that $500 matching check that’s in the mail!). That’s almost $3,000 in 30 days for cancer services and programs at LIVESTRONG!
Please keep helping me spread the word about my climb up Kilimanjaro with Survivor Summit for this awesome cause, and donate if you can. Every dollar counts!
Jeff Goins details why “yeah, but” is not a valid excuse when it comes to exploring. If you’re lucky enough to have your health, get out there and live your dreams. Young or old, traveling allows us to “see the world and taste the fullness of life.” Read more of his awesome blog in the link above.
Every rider in the “24 Hours of the Old Pueblo” bike ride was battling fatigue, and the desert terrain, but there was a bigger issue on one groups of friends’ minds: one of their friends, Tony, found out he needed a stem cell transplant. He’s beaten cancer twice before. He apparently was fighting this one off, but it was becoming too much. “With this mission in their hearts,” says Adventure Journal, “it’s hard to know if they carried their teammates or vice-versa. But as tough as the elements, trail, and competition were, they were always aware that their battle was nowhere near as tough as their friend’s.” I’m sending good vibes and positive thoughts to Tony in Mesa, Arizona. Keep on fighting.
This Saturday, March 31, the Texas 4000 alumni and 2012 and 2013 teams will join forces to raise funds for LIVESTRONG in memory of Ruel A. Bobet. We’ll be in Austin near Redbud & Lake Austin Boulevard, Barton Springs & Lamar, and South 1st & Riverside starting bright and early at 8 a.m. If you have change, we hope to see you there!
According to a report from Reuters, “Novartis and the Broad Institute have developed a cancer cell line encyclopedia that catalogues the genetic and molecular profiles of almost 1,000 human cancer cell lines used in drug research and development. Results of the collaboration, published in the journal Nature…may allow scientists around the world to use this information to improve cancer clinical trial design and further cancer research.”
This Saturday, March 31, I’m helping out with a panhandling effort called “Coins for Cancer.” This new event will have the Texas 4000 alumni and 2012 and 2013 teams join forces to raise funds for LIVESTRONG in memory of Ruel A. Bobet, who put up a brave fight until he lost his battle with cancer in February 2012.
This isn’t related to the Survivor Summit climb, but if you hate cancer and want to help make a difference, come visit us and drop off your spare change for a good cause! We’ll be in Austin near Redbud & Lake Austin Boulevard, Barton Springs & Lamar, and South 1st & Riverside starting bright and early at 8 a.m.
When I was on my 4,500 mile bike ride, I still remember coming across a rest stop that was dedicated to Terry Fox, a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. After having part of his leg amputated during his cancer battle, Terry embarked on a cross-Canada run—a Marathon of Hope—in 1980 to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Ultimately, the spread of his cancer forced him to end his run after 143 days and 3,339 miles. His efforts made him internationally famous for fight against cancer—a legacy that remains today, decades after his death. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has involved millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, with over $500 million dollars raised in his name. Just like on the Texas 4000 bike ride, I’ll be thinking of Terry’s spirit when I’m climbing Kilimanjaro with Survivor Summit.
I’m so incredibly proud of my brother, who is currently in the process of applying to donate his bone marrow to a 40 year old woman fighting cancer! Today, I climb for his selflessness, and to honor the fight of this inspiring individual, too.
My brother has gone through two rounds of testing to determine if he’s a match. So far, things are looking good!
If you’re interested in registering as a bone marrow donor, you can find more information here.
Thanks to my brother for giving hope, and possibly a second chance, to someone who is fighting for their life.
If sharing your breast cancer journey could enhance the lives of others, would you help? You can! By joining the M.A.P. Project, you can help change the breast cancer experience for the millions who live it every day (more than 2.5 million to be exact). Click the link above the participate in this worthwhile project.
"Tips from Former Smokers" shows lives and bodies damaged by smoking—a leading cause of cancer. And in this economy, it’s not just hurting your body, but also your wallet. Want to quit? Livestrong.com has helpful wellness tools on their blog to show you how to eat healthy, quit smoking, and get into shape.
What does it mean when I say my climb up Kilimanjaro with Survivor Summit benefits cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG? Check out the link above for more information on the ways in which LIVESTRONG is working to improve the cancer experience. If you like what you see, please donate!
So far, I’ve raised over $7,100 to fight cancer—and that $500 matching gift is in the mail and making its way to LIVESTRONG’s headquarters!
Combined, my teammates and I have raised over $66,000!
Do you have $10? Please think about donating it to a really great cause; any amount helps support cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG, and makes the life of a cancer fighters, families, and survivors a little easier.
“I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars…I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world, (and) I found patience and fortitude that I didn’t know I had.”—Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
The link above shows Dutch photographer Aernout Overbeeke’s portfolio of Tanzania, from the Adventure Journal web site. If the trip ends up being half as beautiful as these pictures, I can’t wait to go! Good thing there’s less than 100 days for me to wait!
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”—Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
"The Ride" is an unusual bike adventure. It’s a 1000-mile trip completed by cancer patients and survivors. As the organizers say, “whatever is happening in your life, you stand a better chance of coping if your body and your mind are in good shape. If you have a little extra coping to do, like this bunch, it is vitally important.” Although cancer is serious, this ride’s all about fun. It’s about showing “the world and ourselves that you can live well with cancer because cancer is part of our lives—not our whole life.” They also raise awareness of the needs of people who try to keep active as part of their fight against cancer. What a cool group.
Today I climb for Richard Stefanacci and his family.
A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend posted a link about Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer, a campaign started by Go4TheGoal, in which sports teams and athletes don neon yellow shoelaces to support the fight against pediatric cancer. I fell in love with this simple-but-inspiring idea and the cause it supported. So I quickly purchased a pair with my sights set on climbing Kilimanjaro all laced up with a sunny little reminder of why I climb.
No more than 30 minutes after my purchase did Beth Stefanacci, Executive Director of Go4TheGoal, write an email to me that was filled with total happiness and excitement, as she wanted to know more about the climb. I wrote back to her with some information and my cell phone number, and I signed off as a supporter of her cause and a proud Jersey girl. Next thing I know, the phone rings and it displays my familiar home state area code: it’s Beth.
We spent the next few minutes discussing why we were both so excited for each others’ causes. I told her about my plans to wear the shoelaces with my hiking boots, my background fighting against pediatric cancer with Penn State Dance MaraTHON, and how I was climbing to support LIVESTRONG in memory and honor of the people I’ve known and loved that have fought against cancer.
And then Beth told me about Go4TheGoal, a non-profit she and her husband formed in 2006 when their oldest son Richard was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 13. While it was difficult to hear this mother’s personal journey about losing her son in 2007, I realized that this family was really thoughtful and special. They used their own experiences with pediatric cancer to help others. Namely, their non-profit works to aid children suffering from childhood cancer that do not have the emotional, financial, and logistical support that the Stefanacci’s were fortunate enough to have for Richard. Go4TheGoal was born out of love, and it continues to help families that face a cancer diagnosis.
Today, Go4TheGoal has another initiative: “B Positive,” a campaign dedicated to supporting Richard’s cousin, Blake Buffa, who is currently doing great in her battle against a rare soft tissue cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. B Positive rallies behind Blake and keeps everyone updated on how she’s doing.
Cancer has touched the Stefanacci family twice now and it’s awesome that they stay so committed to helping others. And that doesn’t stop at helping families that are affected by pediatric cancer. For example, Beth even offered to help my fundraiser out, too. She kindly mentioned the idea of sending my letter out on her listserv, and then supplying me with the shoelaces and extra Go4TheGoal gear. She also donated, too, and I was really happy for the support to help me get closer to my $10,000 fundraising minimum requirement!
Today, when I got home from work, a package greeted me at the door from New Jersey, and it was filled with amazing gear that I am so excited to wear while I train (I’m also keeping my fingers crossed I can squeeze one of the t shirts that was sent to me into my bag for the climb, along with all my other equipment!).
Needless to say, I am very thankful to have crossed paths with this organization and this family. Because I think that as terrible as cancer is, I find that I when I get involved with the cause—whether it’s through the dance marathon, a 4,500 mile bike ride, or a climb up Africa’s tallest mountain—I end up meeting people who are just so incredibly selfless, generous, kind, and positive.
I recently watched a YouTube video where Beth and her son, Christopher, are talking about how they are guided by Richard’s spirit and his crazy energy. I hope I can be brave enough to harness that same type of energy when I climb 19,341 feet to the summit on July 2, 2012. When I get there, I also hope I’ll get a few moments to look down at my bright shoelaces, smile for Richard, and then remember why I climb: for him, for the Stefanacci family, and for all the families they’ll help with their organization, too.
Thanks so much, Go4TheGoal, for helping me raise money for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG! I’m very happy we can work together to make the lives of survivors, fighters, supporters, and families a little brighter!
Like the title says, I’ve almost raised $7,000 towards my $10,000 minimum fundraising requirement (which benefits cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG) to climb Kilimanjaro with Survivor Summit. My team and I have raised over $60,000 so far, too!
I’m still exploring lots of options to keep fundraising, but you can help out by making a small donation or by spreading the word about this endeavor!
Meatless Monday is simple: every time Monday rolls around, do without meat for the day. Introduced as a public health awareness campaign in 2003, the initiative was backed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future and endorsed by 30 schools of public health. Concerned about lack of protein? No problem; there are many healthy alternatives. Consider eating foods such as quinoa, lentils, egg whites, almond butter, peanut butter, nuts, soy, red kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas.
An article on an inexpensive procedure with the potential to do for poor countries what the Pap smear did for rich ones: end cervical cancer’s reign as the number one cancer killer of women…with something as simple as household vinegar.
“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever…”—Isak Dinesen,Out of Africa
Thanks for everyone for donating during the $500 matching campaign, which ran from March 6 to March 15! I found out that the donor put their $500 check in the mail, so all those generous gifts will be matched once that check makes it to LIVESTRONG’S headquarters.
These kind donations and the additional matching component helped raise over $1,000 for cancer programs and services in just a few days. Now that I’m past the first official fundraising “checkpoint,”—and less than 100 days away from beginning the climb—I need to kick my training into high gear. And knock out these last few thousand dollars, too.
I think this is a great example of how social media can be used in a positive manner for a good cause. If you know someone who might be able to donate—even if it’s five or ten dollars—send them the link and tell them about the climb. Any amount helps!
Thanks to everyone for the amazing support so far!
An inspiring teenager from my hometown named Jay DeVico, along with Middle Township Middle School students and faculty, helped raised awareness and funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I’m very proud to see young people get involved in a great cause—keep up the amazing work!
This TED Talk features Dr. William Li discussing another way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis. He breaks down the science of how newer cancer drugs, such as Avastin, work to prevent the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. He also talks about what we can add to our diets to “starve” cancer. The crucial first (and best) step: eat cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.
Hard Times Happen. Remember to Go Easy on Yourself
"I haven’t run in at least six months," said Justin Ozuna, who’s been fighting CML for 6 years. “I knew it would be hard, but I wanted it to be harder than sitting at home and wondering what was going to happen next. My legs kept moving. My body began to hurt, but my head began to lighten. I’m sure that I looked like the Lance Armstrong of zombies as I struggled up each hill, but I’m confident that nobody has looked less graceful running down them. It was just what I needed. I felt much better…The marathon of the mind is one that never goes away…It’s just another day, another lesson, another hurdle on the road to the finish line. I’ll have hard days, but that isn’t a prerequisite to be hard on myself. When I learn that lesson, things will be a lot easier in the future.”
Justin talks frankly about hard times, and the lessons that he’s learning along the way to get through them—like being too hard on oneself, and learning instead to focus on the present.
His blog also chronicles lots of other cool things happening in his life. He hasn’t let cancer, or his need for a possible bone marrow transplant, define him.
Keep fighting and please keep writing, Justin. Your honesty inspires me to climb.
"The thing that gets us through every harrowing moment is perspective, the ability to compare this struggle with some larger idea. I know that I can climb this hill, because I’ve climbed larger hills. I know that I can finish this project, because I’ve succeeded at other projects. I can get through this, because I’ve gotten through worse. The further we traveled, the more perspective we gained, and the easier it became to tackle the hard times. That day…I didn’t have any perspective. It was the hardest day I had ever been through, and I didn’t know how to keep pushing. So I had to create perspective. I had to dig deep and find a way to keep that day from over-powering everything else. And now, whenever I have a hard day, I have perspective.”
An amazing post from Laura Crawford on how to dig deep and beat hard times. From the Path Less Pedaled’s blog entitled, What It Feels Like to Break Down.
Ben’s blog chronicles his life and journey from “morbidly obese and depressed” to finding health and happiness by being active. He lost 120 pounds, ran seven marathons, completed two Ironmans, and is now a motivational speaker.
And he’s run to fight cancer, too.
That’s one pretty amazing dude. Keep living awesomely, Ben, and keep running until we find a cure.
Want to help me climb Kilimanjaro with Survivor Summit, and raise money for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG? Now is the time to do it, because your gift will be MATCHED—meaning it will go twice as far!
There is still $130 left for matching by Thursday! With this pledge to match gifts, $10 actually becomes a $20 donation; $25 becomes $50, and so on.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tere in the spring of 2011, when I was the Texas 4000 for Cancer ATLAS Ride Volunteer Coordinator. She had contacted our organization offering to help, and I jumped at the opportunity to place her group at one of our Rest Stops along the 50 mile ride from Cedar Park to Lampasas, Texas. So, we scheduled a meeting not too far from the Texas 4000 offices at Panera, and I was ready to give her and her group’s co-founder, Kate Cleary, the lowdown on everything that I needed for their group of Rest Stop volunteers to do.
When I met Tere and Kate, I was instantly greeted with warmth and kindness, and a deep sense of compassion and understanding for the cause. And Tere had this unparalleled knack for reaching out to others and networking. I like to think of her as what Malcolm Gladwell might refer to as a “connector.” In his 2000 book The Tipping Point, Gladwell describes the connector as someone in a community who knows large numbers of people, and who is in the habit of making introductions—essentially, the social equivalent of a computer network hub. The fantastic thing about connectors is that they are truly amazing individuals who know people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles for the benefit of a community. That’s Tere. She knows a lot of people, she is so kind to all of them, and she has a unique way of networking with others for a good cause.
This ability enabled Tere to serve as co-founder and Executive Director for Cancer Support Community of Central Texas, a 501(c)(3) partnership between the Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club which provides support for those facing a cancer diagnosis. Tere is not only a connector, but also a breast cancer survivor, so she understands on a firsthand basis the need for this type of support system in the central Texas region.
So, Tere rounded a group of volunteers to support one of rest stops at our ATLAS Ride. It was evident at our first meeting that I didn’t need to worry at all about coordinating her rest stop; she had absolutely everything covered, down to matching CSCCT t-shirts for her volunteers. I was so happy to have her group’s help, and excited to have made such a thoughtful connection within the cancer community.
Several weeks after the ATLAS Ride, I decided to return the favor and thank Tere for her work at ATLAS; I volunteered with Tere’s group at the Flatwater Foundation’sDam That Cancer party, a 21 mile stand-up paddle boarding event that raises money and awareness for cancer. I had a great time volunteering and getting to know Tere further. In short, I left the event that day feeling truly blessed to have crossed paths with her.
Over this past year, Tere has worked to secure the official charter for the CSCCT, launched its web site and newsletter, and has helped lead the transition from a simple idea about helping others into a full-blown organization that actively serves the cancer community. Traveling tirelessly from one city to next to get the word out, Tere doesn’t seem to slow down, and because of that, I know that CSCCT is going to do great things for many years to come.
She’s a survivor, an inspiration, and now: a donor to my cause! Thanks, Tere!
I seriously couldn’t be more grateful to have her support, as well as a reason to keep climbing. I climb for Tere Holmes, the awesome work that she’s done with CSCCT so far, and all the great things she’ll do in the future for cancer survivors, too. When I meet someone new during my journey with Survivor Summit and when I’m heading to the top of Kilimanjaro, I’ll definitely be thinking of Tere’s story to keep propelling me forward.
And speaking of the word “forward,” I’m going to stress something that Tere makes a point of saying often: remember to pay it forward today.
So, get out there, meet someone new, and make a connection for positive change.
The right attitude can make or break your chances at any goal—helping you gain momentum, maximize your performance, and ultimately stay in it for the long haul. The first step is to harness the most powerful tool at your disposal: your brain. Read on for tips on using powerful techniques to rewire your brain to outwit pain, fear, and doubt.
“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.”—Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
I’ve raised almost $6,000 for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG!
This is a reminder that one of my kind donors has agreed to MATCH ALL DONATIONS DATED UNTIL OUR FIRST FUNDRAISING CHECKPOINT ON MARCH 15, UP TO $500—meaning that with your help, I can fundraise $1,000! With this pledge to match gifts, $10 actually becomes a $20 donation; $25 becomes $50, and so on…up to a total of $500 from the donor.
So far, I’ve had $295 in gifts since matching began a few days ago, meaning there’s still $205 left to match.
Want to help? Now is the time to do it, because your gift will go twice as far!
Please visit my personal fundraising web page during these next few days and give what you are able, because any amount helps, and will help me get to my $10,000 minimum fundraising goal faster!