Kim McCleary via Crowdrise
October 28, 2012
BENEFITING: Solve ME/CFS Initiative
EVENT DATE: Oct 18, 2012
October 18, 1962 is an important day in history. President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko (“Mr. Nyet”), attempting to avert the Cuban Missile Crisis. Drs. James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA. The U.S. launched the Ranger 5 spacecraft to take pictures of the moon’s surface. “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” was just about to open in theatres and “Monster Mash” climbed to the top of the charts. At the Burnham City Hospital in Champaign, Illinois, Karen and Hank welcomed their first child, Kathryn Kimberly Hegener, into the world at 6:38 p.m. That would be me.
Now I’m turning 50. I’ve been blessed in many ways over these five decades, not the least of which is to have taken a job in 1991 that quickly became a passion and a lifetime commitment. I am asking family, friends and colleagues to honor my first 50 years by supporting the cause to which I’ve dedicated most of my adult life – ending the life-altering disability, isolation and stigma caused by CFS through rigorous research. I count my lucky stars that I don’t have CFS, but chances are that if you know me, you know someone with CFS. For everything this disease steals from people it affects, it has brought me in contact with the most amazing, courageous individuals who have enriched my life in unexpected ways. That includes my husband, Kofi, whom I met through his mother, Wilhelmina. [Wilhelmina and I met in the ladies’ room during a break at a CFS meeting held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September 1993. On that day I couldn’t have predicted that 11 years later I would marry her son. Life Lesson: You never know who you’ll meet in the loo.]
So, for my 50th birthday, I’m hosting a fundraiser here on CrowdRise. I’ll be grateful every day of the next 50 years if you honor me with a gift of $50 (for turning 50) or $62 (for 1962) or some other number that has significance to you or me, or whatever you can spare. It’s tax-deductible and will make you feel good for at least 50 minutes (especially if you read the witty emails you’ll quickly receive from CrowdRise’s great customer service team). I can give you 50 other reasons to support our cause – just ask. In the meantime, read more about what we’re working to do. THANK YOU!
As for the outcome of other events that occurred on the day of my birth, President Kennedy succeeded in convincing the Russians to remove their missiles from Cuba. Watson, Crick and Wilkins’ discovery led to sequencing the human genome and our organization is active in research it has spurred. The space program has advanced from taking distant pictures of the moon to landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. Movies today may not be as good as some made in the early 1960s, but today’s music is (mostly) a big improvement over “Monster Mash.”
Thank you for being part of my first 50 years. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
P.S. To spur donations and keep you coming back to this page, I’ll post new photos for every $250 raised. If you ever wondered what I looked like before or after the time you knew me best, this is your chance to find out. If I’m successful, you’ll have the opportunity to see me with a (very) bad shag haircut, before braces, in my cheerleader uniform, wearing Sally Jesse Raphael-style eyeglasses and with permed hair. (Fortunately, not all at once!) See the sacrifices I’m willing to make for a good cause?