Updated Total - March 6, 4:15pm: $680 (with my match, $1080)
Woohoo, we broke $1000 today! I'll still accept donations or evidence of donations for the tally until sometime Saturday morning and then figure out how much goes to which charity, make the contributions, and then post an update.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped out.
Thanks! That meets my goal of $400, but don't let that stop you from donating; if it's ten or twenty bucks, every penny will help!
This morning, April 4, my friend Tom Vicker passed away, a victim of the ravages of cancer. Though a young man of only 40 years, relatively newly married, with fully half of his life ahead of him, Tom was diagnosed with Stage D Colorectal Cancer.
The first I knew of it was when he and I met for lunch one day and he complained of significant abdominal pain. Surely, it wasn't the fish. And don't call me Shirley. I know, it's the wrong time for joking, but if I don't make jokes, I'll just be depressing.
After that lunch, I didn't hear from him for a few weeks, so I called him, left a message. He called me back, didn't leave a message. This went on for a couple of weeks, so I had a feeling it wasn't going to be good, whatever it was.
He finally got a hold of me, told me about the diagnosis. He did everything he was supposed to - took to living right, endured ridiculous amounts of medical intervention, tried some of the alternative approaches - and, for a while, things looked better.
Until they didn't.
While at one point, he thought he might have beaten it, tests looked good - his e-mail about it was happy and hopeful! - it was during a surgery soon after that they found it had spread: small spots of the nasty shit on various organs.
No miracle cures for my friend (there goes God's chance at winning this atheist over).
I didn't get to speak to him much in the last couple of months. At times, he was out of town, pursuing his last best hope; in the final weeks, he was on morphine to control the pain, and I don't think he wanted to be seen in a state in which he'd be incapable of interacting fully let alone remembering that you came by.
I had hoped to see him this week or next; I missed my chance.
Now my friend is gone. The husband of a beautiful bride is gone. The son of proud parents is gone. A good man is gone.
Maybe I can help stop another family from having to go through this. Maybe you can too. Maybe working together we can help ensure that a young man like Tom, a man far younger than any test would expect to call a victim, might live a full life, might overcome this horrible disease, might prove the current odds wrong.
Colorectal cancer is the #2 cancer killer of American men and women combined, but it's preventable and curable 90% of the time when detected early.So, there it is. We can do this.
That's why EIF's NCCRA is dedicated to the eradication of colorectal cancer by promoting the importance of early medical screening and funding research to develop better tests, treatments, and ultimately a cure.
I'll match, penny for penny, every donation up to a total of $400, split between the NCCRA and the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation per your instructions. Of course, any donation totals over the initial $400 will also go to the charities, in whatever way you wish to divide the donation.
So, there's my plea. My original plea was going to be for matching $500, but I wanted to put $100 aside to cover any PayPal fees. Maybe they'll waive the usual take, I don't know. If they do, I'll match the first $500.
You can either PayPal the money to me (see the link to the upper left) or make the donation on your own and let me know about it. If you don't go the PayPal route, please send a screenshot and/or receipt e-mail verifying your donation to andybud-at-gmail.com (replace the -at- with @).
When I make the donation, I'll post a screenshot of either the receipt or bank transaction so you know your money went where it was intended.
Thanks in advance.
Yeah, I've got a soft side. Don't tell anyone.
Update: Wow, you people rock - within minutes we're at $75.00 (so, with my match, that's $150). Thanks!
Update 2: Make that $135 from you folks now. Thank you so much.
Update 3: Oh yes, the comments on the individual entry page don't work as I'm fighting spammers; so, if you wish to leave a comment, please visit the main page of the site and click on the rants link to leave a comment. Thanks - and sorry'bout that.
Of course, if you're on the main page already (you can see more than one entry by scrolling), the comments link should work just fine.
Update 4: Make that
$185 $210 $260 from your kind donations.
Update 5: I'm off to sleep the sleep of those who have been drinking in response to any given day. Thanks again to you all; you're frickin' wonderful.