165 days: Lots and lots of givers

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. We’re well over halfway there on the calendar… and about to kick this thing into high gear on the fundraising front! Raised so far: $4,182! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of the links below, or find out how you can get involved by pinging me on Facebook or by dropping me a note.

Two days ago I emerged out from under that rock I was hiding under for far too long. There is more to the story than I shared that day (there always is), but we’ll save that for another time… another place… (I read that in my head with my best movie trailer voice)

Today I want to highlight some of the good deeds that y’all have done so far. And some of the good deeds y’all are going to do. And some of the good deeds that family and friends of mine (and yours) are doing.

Exactly 200 days ago when this Tri-ing for a Challenge thing officially kicked off, I introduced you to what started me on this journey two years ago of doing silly things like running marathons and Ironman triathlons as a means of creating awareness and raising funds for specific causes. The first of those causes two years ago was the Sarcoma Foundation at the 2011 Napa Valley Marathon. The SFA is still one of those causes – and they are aware of and on board with this whole crazy thing we’re doing right now (check us out! We are on their website!)

Since then, several of you have joined our cause. So many of you have generously donated – and as a good friend of mine told me just yesterday, “I will hug you until I break a rib.” Yep, that’s how thankful I am! (Note: no actual ribs have been harmed as a result of donating to our cause)

  • Brian – you remember him, right? – has done a stellar job of fundraising – check out his blog and his really cool 2012 recap. He crushed his goals… and he crushed his impromptu holiday marathon. Great job, Brian!
  • Through Brian and his wife I met Sharon “Sha-Run” – and she is killing it! You can help her reach her fundraising target as she runs marathon #5 on 5/5 by donating here.
  • You remember our dear friend Suzanne and her awesome, inspirational story, right? She is the heart and soul of our Ragnar team, and she’s going to smash her fundraising goals – and you can join in on the fun by helping her do so right here.
  • PLUS, some brand new friends are pumped up full of adrenaline and ready to scorch the Ragnar course and fundraising challenge with us! Give a hearty hello and welcome to Jessica, Marie, and Sharon! And donate!

Plus, there are so many other activities not at all associated with Tri-ing for a Challenge that deserve attention and support:

  • My wife, Lauren, is very active in an organization named HerShe (one of the causes that we support!) . This weekend they are doing a fundraising dinner to benefit the organization. It is going to be fun! It is this Sunday, April 14, in Pasadena, and will feature a 1920’s Speakeasy theme – there will be great food, a martini bar, and some really cool silent auction items for you to bid on and win! Details can be found and tickets purchased for this fine event by following this link. I hope to see you there!
  • Our good buddy Steph recently bought herself a fancy schmancy bicycle – and promptly put it to work! She’s doing her first organized ride on May 5 in the Napa Valley Tour de Cure, benefiting the American Diabetes Association. Help her reach her fundraising goals for a really great cause by donating here.
  • And so many more that will be highlighted over the upcoming weeks/months.

On a more contemplative note, one of the early supporters of our cause could really use some help and encouragement. My cousin Paul and his wife Jennifer have been extremely supportive of all that we are trying to do here. They’ve undergone lifestyle and fitness changes, and Paul had even signed up to do his first triathlon this summer as a fundraising effort for our cause – he was our first officially sponsored athlete! BUT life is not always filled with roses…

The quick story: Paul, Jennifer, and their son Ethan were eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new member to their family, Kyle. The birth of every child is a beautiful, complicated thing and a miracle. From what I’ve been told, his was exactly that. A perfect little beautiful baby boy.

The hospital he was born at conducts the usual battery of standard health checks before the baby is released to go home. And a relatively new, inexpensive test may have saved his life. In days past he would have gone home, but this test caught a potentially fatal heart defect. Catching this defect early has given him a chance to fight – and he is fighting. He’s been through open heart surgery and an ongoing series of crashes and recoveries since… the surgery was performed at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the folks at the Ronald McDonald House there have been extremely supportive in taking them in as Kyle grows strong.

All of this mere days from when one of my all-time-best Seattle buddies underwent open heart surgery to repair a congenital heart issue of his own – a leaking valve. There’s been lots of good news with his surgery and recovery – they didn’t really know which of many options they’d have to do until they were in there, and when they did it was definitely on the “better” end of the spectrum. The recovery has been painful, but he’s soldiering on. And I need to stop sending his wife witty e-mails to read to him… because it still hurts when he laughs.

So, on this day where I’m cajoling you into contributing to the causes of my friends, I am going to ask you to dig a little deeper into your suitcase of courage (Tour de France fans know what I’m talking about). Every word of encouragement that Paul and Jennifer receive is sincerely uplifting and welcomed – you can reach them by leaving a note for them on Facebook at Kyle’s Special Heart – sometimes the word of a stranger can offer surprising amounts of support and comfort.

And I am going to throw out a fundraising challenge. I’ll match all donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and to the American Heart Association through May 4th – the day I am scheduled to race in Ironman 70.3 St. George. Follow the links. Donate. I’ll match it. That goes for Ragnarian fundraisers – adopt one of these as a charity, raise funds, and I’ll match donations made toward your fundraising goal over this timeframe. Since I’m not a rich man, I usually cap such matching challenges to $250. This time I’ll kick it up a notch: $500.

It would be really, really cool if you made me do exactly that. Really cool.

Alright! Ready? Set? GO!

This entry was posted in American Heart Association, Challenge, Ronald McDonald House. Bookmark the permalink.

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