Friends and compatriots –
I am writing to ask for your support for a very special cause. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. (behind only heart disease), and it strikes children and adults with equal ferocity. Virtually everyone I know has been touched directly or indirectly by this disease. Even within the community of FIRST teams and participants, almost all of us have been personally impacted by this disease in some manner.
This October I will be participating in a bicycle ride along the east coast of Florida to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, and raise awareness for all those that have been affected by cancer. I will depart from Amelia Island on the Georgia-Florida border on October 2. If all goes well, eight days and 620 miles later I will pedal up to the “Southernmost point” marker in Key West.
On behalf of those affected by this disease, I am asking for your help and support for “Curt’s Ride.” Contributions raised by Curt’s Ride will help the American Cancer Society fulfill their mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
I have set a personal fundraising goal for the ride of a minimum of $7,500, and hope to go well beyond that. Any support that this community is able to provide will be most gratefully appreciated. If appropriate, I can take cash or a check made out to “American Cancer Society” (with “Curt’s Ride” noted in the notation block), which will be forwarded directly to the ACS. But the fastest and easiest way for anyone to contribute is online through my Curt’s Ride participant page at http://bit.ly/cO5uuz All contributions to the ACS are tax-deductable. The Curt’s Ride project page is a direct subsidiary of the American Cancer Society web presence, and all contributions will go straight to the ACS with no middlemen or intermediate organizations.
Additional information about the ride, including the route map, planned itinerary, and progress notes, will be posted on the project Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150143161676344 (you don’t have to be a member of Facebook to see the page, but you will have to join if you want to comment or participate in the discussions).
And for those that might be local to the ride route and so inclined, it would be great to have you ride along for a day - or for the whole thing! Ride with us and lend your moral support. Or even better, consider becoming a Curt’s Ride team member and helping with our project. You can join the Curt’s Ride team on our project web page at http://bit.ly/cFDh0T
For those that wish to do so, I would be honored to carry any messages or special memories of those special cancer patients from your lives. Please feel free to forward anything to me via e-mail or snail mail.
Thank you for your support.
My participation in Curt’s Ride is being dedicated to two people.
Mid-way through my freshman year at Virginia Tech, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had metastasized into the bones. At that time, he was given a very few months to live. His response to that estimate was simple: “Bull$#%&!. I am not going anywhere until I see my son graduate from college.” Four years later, almost to the day, he passed – three weeks after I came home with my diploma. Through the sheer strength of his will and more than just a little bit of pig-headed Irish stubborness, my dad made good on his promise. He gave me the most powerful lesson of my life on commitment and the importance of keeping your word.
Curt Ewald is a friend and former classmate from Herndon High School (HHS ’76). About six weeks ago, Curt was diagnosed with Stage IV adenocarcinoma in the lungs. As Curt prepares for the journeys ahead, he has displayed the most amazing outlook on life, been one of the most open and communicative of friends, and shown the most well-balanced understanding of what is before him, of anyone that you could ever know. In just the past few weeks, Curt has taught me more about acting with grace under pressure and the strength of solid character than I have learned in the past 50 years.
In honor of them, and all others affected by cancer, the Curt’s Ride project has been established as part of the “Team ACS” program.
(topic approved for CD chit-chat publication)