On November 4th, 2012, I am running a marathon for my father and best friend, Shlomi Weintraub.
A marathon is long beyond imagination, yet it seems inadequate. How many miles do you run for the man who taught you everything you know about respect, compassion, and bike riding? How many miles seem right for the person who showed you how to tie your shoes, to treat your waiter as well as your professor, and to always return the shopping cart to its designated area? Is 26.2 miles enough for sitting through every dance recital, documenting every awkward prom, and cheering at all the swim meets (even when I was underwater and couldn't hear)? Do you tack on a few more for an amazing college education, for long walks and heart-to-hearts, for American citizenship?
It's difficult for me to translate 25 years of unconditional love into mileage, so 26.2 will just have to do.
As some of you know, my father was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. He is facing the disease with a humbling amount of grace and optimism, but lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the United States. Every year, it causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate). 20% of lung cancer diagnoses are given to people who have never smoked, like my father. There is no cure.
This is where you come in: anything you can find in your hearts to give helps fund a cure. This is not an empty plea—lung cancer is a quickly developing field of oncology, and your donation will have an immediate and real impact. Your money goes to the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (any resemblance to my name is just eerie coincidence), which conducts cutting-edge research to create a multi-institutional biorepository that improves diagnostics, treatments and outcomes for patients.
I am trying to raise $1000 for every mile I run, so please please pass this message and this cause on to friends and family. EVEN THE SMALLEST DONATION HELPS AND IS APPRECIATED.
Words cannot express how grateful I am for your support.
P.S. Please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments or suggestions.
Great news! The Addario Foundation called today, impressed and touched by the amount of money raised so quickly ($11,620 in 2 days from over 120 donors from all over the world).
They've agreed to work directly with my dad's oncologist to direct the money to trials and drugs that specifically target his type of lung cancer!
This was *YOUR* doing, so thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. Now more than ever, please continue sharing the link and the cause via email or Facebook -- your support means so much!