run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My brother is awesome.

To be fair, I have two brothers and they are both awesome...and an awesome sister. Yes, I come from a family of awesomeness! Awesome. However, the oldest little brother, Spencer, is deserving of some special recognition today for his awesomeness.

Last night I was thinking about a post dedicated to the difficulty of fund raising. As you may know, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon in less than one month. I'm running this race is so that I can raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is treatable, but as of yet, there is no known cure.

My grandmother (Meme) passed away from this form of cancer in March of 2005. I was not living in the country at the time, so I couldn't attend her funeral...and I guess this is my own little way of showing my love and appreciation for her. It's my way of saying goodbye.
When Meme was diagnosed in 2004, we learned that there wasn't a whole lot known about the disease. The MMRF was only founded in 1998 and is now the world's number one funder of multiple myeloma research. They have raised over $102 million to fund 70 laboratories worldwide, which has resulted in four new treatments to extend the life of those who have myeloma. This breakthrough research is currently being explored in a range of other types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. That's huge. I don't know one single person who hasn't been affected by cancer in some way or another. It's scary.

So I figured, what better way to honor Meme than to do my part to try and raise money and awareness for such an important organization that has the potential to help millions? Race for Research is one of their big fund raisers and they do several 5ks and marathons all around the country. For the Marine Corps Marathon, they set our goal at $2,500 and I initially thought...$2,500 is no big deal...I'll just knock that out! Yeah well...that didn't go over as planned. Fund raising is hard and I can't believe people do this for a living.
I've raised $1,117 to date and I've seriously asked everyone I know. Multiple times. I've sent emails and letters. I've called. I started a Facebook Group. I even submitted a press release to the local hometown paper. But...times are tough. I know this. Sometimes I feel guilty for asking for money, especially in our current economy, but then I think...this is important! This is a good cause!

Ok now I'll get to the part where I explain why my brother is awesome. This morning when I got to work, I saw that I had an email from Spencer (who lives in Japan). Here is what it said:

Hey, I didn't want to tell you until it was official, but I had it approved today so I'm going with it. Some friends of mine, and Koko too, helped me type up a letter in Japanese that I passed out today to about 20 different offices in the our city hall. It talks about what you are doing and about how I want to help you raise the money for your run.

Since no one knows you I promised to ride my bike around the entire Nagashima island with a thank you banner telling everyone thanks for their contribution. Monday the 13th is Sports Day in Japan and a holiday too so I will use that day to make my ride.

I passed out the letter today and on Monday 6th I will go around to each office and collect any money that has been brought for your run.

Either through bank transfer or with my credit card - not sure yet which one - ill send you the money. If it's a lot of money I'll probably send it through the bank. I'll keep you posted and good luck with the training.

cheers, spencer
How amazing is that?!? How awesome is my brother, y'all?!? Thanks to him, his girlfriend Koko and the citizens of Nagashima, that I've never even met, I might actually have a chance at reaching my goal. I'm bursting with sisterly love and pride right now!!

To help me and support an excellent cause, go HERE


Amy said...

Woo hoo!!! That is awesome! Way to go Spencer!

Sam said...

Great brother. I recently went through the same thing with Team in Training. Go to the local business and ask for donations. Most will not give money but are HAPPY to give gift cards. try Walmart, Kroger, coffee places, etc..We got a lot fast. Then have a raffle for those cards. We also had a local restaurant that had a night that 10% went to TNT and we put a raffle jar out on the counter. Had teamates do a bingo at a restaurant to give their gift cards away. They charged for each game of bingo and cleaned up. It adds up fast.

Kel said...

That's awesome!