Archive for the ‘cancer’ Category

MF10379For years I heard about Alex’s Lemonade Stand and have always wanted to get involved.   For those of you that don’t know about Alex’s Lemonade stand: “Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.”  I found out about an amazing story about a young girl raising money with Alex’s Lemonade stand and knew I had to get involved.

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Rebekah and I at her Lemonade stand in East Brunswick, NJ

However, this story really isn’t about me.  It is about an incredible girl named Rebekah.  Rebekah lost her dear friend Tara to cancer at the age of 10.  After Tara’s tragic passing, Rebekah decided she needed to do something to honor her friend.  She started a Lemonade Stand with Alex’s Lemonade to raise money for childhood cancer.  That was 6 years ago.  Every year, since that time she has collected donations and hosted a lemonade stand in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  I made a donation, spent time at the stand, and brought in a few extra customers(my parents and girlfriend).  To date, she has raised over $8,000 with a goal of reaching $10,000 before graduating high school.

Most children that age (including myself) would not have done what Rebekah has, year after year.  It is truly admirable and inspirational.  Hearing her story and witnessing her passion gives me even more motivation to push forward to 30 Deeds and beyond.

Donate to Rebekah and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Here: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/111351

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The Village Care rehab center provides care and housing for people recovering from a wide variety of ailments.  Some people are in and out quickly and sadly, some never leave.  When I arrived I was greeted by the project leader Jane, who you really have to meet to appreciate.  She was energetic, quirky, fun, and truly passionate about volunteering.  I spent my time going from room to room with Jane to engage with the residents and invite them to bingo night (she was quite the saleswoman).

I have had this deed circled on my calendar for quite a while as it  is something I hold close to my heart.  My grandfather spent a few years in a similar nursing home before passing.  My family and I visited him as much as possible but many other patients never received visitors.  The program is designed to get the residents out of their room to play bingo or other various board games. However, to me, the real purpose is spend time with them to try and brighten their day.  I did my best to make them smile but I found they did even more than that for me.  There is way too much to write about the incredible people I met that night but here are some of the highlights:

  • I met a woman who published over 20 travel guides and has been all over the world.  Listening to her tell stories about the places she has been was just incredible.
  • In the same room with her was a quirky hilarious woman who made me laugh from the moment I stepped in the room.  She jokingly offered me $10 to sneak her a bottle of rum for their virgin “Pina Colada” day.
  • I met a man with a 17 inch laptop that he couldn’t have been more proud of.  He was excited to have all his files from his desktop computer and was thrilled to use the wi-fi in the building to surf the web and check email.
  • When I walked into one woman’s room, she asked “Are you here for my sex therapy??”  She was obviously joking but I played along and had a ball of laughs.

What struck me was how upbeat and happy all of the residents were.  No matter how ill they were, you would never know anything was wrong.  I am definitely going to volunteer there again as I had a great time and felt like I made a difference with the residents.

Every day I travel on the Path train from Hoboken to New York City.  For the past few months, I have noticed advertisements for an event called Cycle for Survival.  The event is four hours of spinning sponsored and held at Equinox Fitness Centers around the country.  When you sign up for Cycle for Survival a webpage is created to allow you and your team to collect donations leading up to the event.  All donations go directly towards Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to support  rare cancer research.

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I participated in the event at an Equinox Fitness in NYC on Sunday, March 3rd.  When you first walk into the room, you can feel the energy.  Music is blasting, people are buzzing,  130 bikes are lined up and the room is lit up in orange(the official Cycle for Survival color).  The event was kicked off with a touching speech from a cancer survivor before quickly jumping into spinning.  In total, there were four 45 minute sessions which my team of three split up in 15 minute increments.  For those of you that have done spinning, you know it is not a walk in the park.  It was challenging but there was inspiration everywhere you looked.  Between the speeches delivered by cancer survivors, messages on a board about who people were riding for, blasting high energy music, and instructors yelling, it was relatively easy to push yourself to honor those who have been affected by cancer.

In all, it was a great event that I plan on doing again next year.  My team was able to raise $1,760 while the event raised over 13.6 million dollars to date.  Special thanks to my team and to those that donated as I could not have done it without your support.

30deeds Cycling Team

30deeds Cycling Team

Donations can still be made through the end of March here: 30deeds Cycling Donation page