Web Informant 10 March 2002: Asking for your support
This will be a different kind of Web Informant. As you might have noticed, the issues have been infrequent since January, and I apologize. It has been a tough couple of months for me personally, dealing with the end of my marriage, and hard to get my head around writing these missives.
One way to get back to work is to concentrate on those who are less fortunate than I.
As some of you might remember, for the past two years I have devoted part of my summers to riding in the New York/Boston Aidsrides, a bicycle ride that raises money for various AIDS-related causes. This year I wanted to do something more personal, and have signed up for two different rides. To succeed I have to ask you for your support and for your money. I need to raise a total of $5,000 between the two rides, which is a lot of money to ask for given the state of our economy. I hope you can help me meet this goal.
The two rides are to raise money for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston, and for the national Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My rationale for supporting both causes is as follows.
Cancer has long been a big part of my life. My mother died in her 60s from lung cancer, which is now the leading cause of death among women. My sister is in the middle of her own battle with cancer. Several other family members and friends have had this terrible disease. Cancer doesn't discriminate: it is everywhere in our society, and chances are you probably know of someone who has had it. Dana-Farber is a leading research center for cancer treatments, and the Pan-Mass Challenge, the bike ride in August that I will be on, is their leading fund-raising vehicle. The ride has raised millions of dollars, and more than 90% of the funds go directly to support their research efforts.
My support for JDRF is also personal. Last fall, Bobby Frezza died in a tragic accident. He was the oldest son of a long-time friend of mine. He had diabetes and was still an undergraduate student at Stanford, where I went to grad school. Bobby had a promising career ahead of him in our industry, working summers at PayPal. His death hit me hard -- even though I didn't know him that well, it was more of what Bobby stood for and how such a bright star could be diminished. It has been awful for his parents Bill and Donna. I wanted to do something to show my support, so I signed on for one of the rides that JDRF sponsors this fall. You can read more about his life and accomplishments here at this memorial web site:
So how can you help? I don't really care what you send me -- $10, $100, $1000. Give what you can. Those of you who have supported me in the past, please try to do whatever you can again this year. I know that this hasn't been the greatest year for many of us financially. But please take a moment and send in a pledge for some amount. And please do it as soon as possible. I would like to have my minimum $5000 goal raised by April 1st, so I can be motivated to train for both of these bike rides.
There is a lot of bike riding to be done. The Pan-Mass ride is two days of 80 miles each day. The JDRF ride is a century -- 100 miles -- in a single day. I can do this -- it isn't easy, but I managed fine on both Aidsrides and I don't think this year will be any different. Preparing for these rides does involve a lot of time, because you have to train your body to be on a bike for the better part of a day or several days. And while the rides aren't really fun they are tremendously satisfying and uplifting. I have met some wonderful people and heard some incredible stories along the way.
To donate, I will give you several choices. The easiest thing is to send me a check, or make a direct donation via PayPal or some other electronic service. Send me email and I can provide more specifics. You should indicate which of the two rides you wish to sponsor me for, if you care how I divvy up your donation. You should use this method if you also want to make an anonymous contribution through me.
You can donate directly online to the Pan Mass challenge, please use the following URL and your donation will be posted directly to my "account": (if you don't see my name at the top of the screen, then email me because you may have not gotten the complete URL)
If you want to donate to the JDRF directly, you have to download the Acrobat form from my web site, print it out, and mail it in to the address listed on the form.
I thank you, and the people who will benefit from your support thank you.