Apologies to my parents for this one.
It was my freshman year in college, and I had to get a job in order to contribute to my tuition. I had chosen an out-of-state school —the University of Wisconsin Madison —which was a relatively mean thing to do, because I could have gone to the University of Illinois and saved everyone a whole lot of money. But I don’t regret the decision at all and I was happy to work in order to attend the school of my choice. Except, that last part is a lie. I didn’t want to work! I wanted to make friends, meet boys, and go to parties.
I got a job in one of the school’s cafeterias. It was horrible. Everything smelled like wet mushrooms covered in dog hair. I had to wear a red jacket and possibly a hat (I have blocked this part out.) Two of my bosses kept hitting on me, and washing the dishes was very much like what I imagine falling into a dumpster would entail.
It’s not that I was lazy. I worked throughout high school: at an ice cream shop, a clothing store, a bakery. I babysat, and fed my neighbors’ cats. But the cafeteria just wasn’t working for me. I hated seeing my classmates and feeling like I was somehow different from them because of the red hat I may or may not have been wearing. I quit after one semester, but I still needed to make money.
No, I did not become a drug dealer. Read More>
Who wants to talk about #whatwouldyougive?
Trick question! This is my blog, and we’re going to talk about whatever I want to talk about. And this particular post is long overdue. Part of the reason I haven’t been talking about the campaign is because there is almost too much to say. August was a huge success for us, and our incredible team members brought in 170K, a number I can barely believe. As many of you know, our goal is to raise 250K for research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. These brilliant folks have a promising drug that can go to trial in 2018—but not without help.
What you may not know is that our campaign isn’t over yet. We launched the second wave of #whatwouldyougive this month, and it’s a big one. We are partnering with hundreds of social influencers (Bloggers, Tweeters, Instagrammers, and more) to raise further awareness about ALS and our efforts to find and fund treatments and a cure.
How does this work? Read More>
Tomorrow is the first day of August, and the first day of the 2017 #whatwouldyougive campaign. I can’t believe that this week has arrived. First of all, when I initially conceived of the idea for this campaign, I thought it would only be a one-time deal. It’s beyond inspiring to see how many people joined, whether to take the challenge of giving up an ability, to donate generously, or to hold our signs and stand in solidarity with the many of us who can no longer stand on our own.
By far, my favorite part of the campaign week is the reactions from those who are giving something up in an effort to understand just a little bit of what it might feel like to live with ALS. Right away in year one, I realized that people were getting it. They were understanding the frustration, the loneliness, the helplessness. They were grasping the concept that life with a sudden disability is not only shocking, but incredibly inconvenient. They were grateful, some tearfully so, when they could use their entire, strong bodies once again. And I loved them for it. Read More>