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>
About a month ago, Rob, Scarlett, and I were headed over the Golden Gate Bridge in our glamorous silver mobility van. Alcatraz Island sat to our right, and city views rose behind us, but I always prefer to look left, out at the ocean and the world that never seems to end. I was singing along with my Napster playlist, which was streaming The Lumineers. I love to sing in the car, even though my voice is now much softer than it used to be, but my singing served another purpose as well, to regulate my breathing. We were headed to a friend’s apple farm in Sebastopol for the day, and although we had brought my BiPAP with us, I was hoping not to use it. I have no idea if the singing actually helps in any way, except perhaps to irritate Rob, which is good enough for me. Just kidding, he loves it when I sing (I tell myself regularly.)
The apple farm is owned and run by the family of one of Scarlett’s classmates. We visited for the first time last fall, a trip that was special in a lot of ways, but in particular because the house had previously been owned by a woman whose husband had ALS. That means the home is entirely accessible, and that’s not something we encounter very often.
There are 39 families in Scarlett’s first grade class, and everyone was invited up to the farm Read More>