Monday, November 29, 2010
Well, it's official, the alien has taken over. I found myself at the top of a second mountain in two days... now when I say 'mountain,' I exaggerate a little, the summit trails at Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak are only about 1,200 feat up, but hey, I lived in Phoenix for 9 years and one ascended each summit once, and it was definitely NOT in back to back days! I'm hooked on exercise again! I used to exercise regularly, but after Bella was born, I found it more and more challenging to do so, and once we got to MN, I just couldn't get the motivation to do it. Now, I feel like honoring Bella by being in the best shape I can be in... not because I 'should' or 'have to,' but simply because I have the opportunity to. Bella's death has refocused my life; my days could be expendable, but who knows how many of them I really have? So, now, I don't waste a day. This morning, I brought my drums to the peak of Camelback Mountain and we started a drum circle on the top of the mountain. We had 9 people drumming together at one point! Can you imagine how cool that must have sounded to those people near the summit?
The jam in session...
I brought Ali and Bella with me to the summit... Ali gave me the picture she colored in for my trip!
My dear friend Jim and his girlfriend Amy...
Providence Story of the Day...
After our morning hike, I took a trip to my favorite Sunday spot in Phoenix: La Grande Orange. It's a funky little market/restaurant that makes the best croque madame ever. I eat there maybe once a year, and it always makes me happy! Well, anyway, after my lunch I headed across the street to my car. As I looked back at the restaurant from across the street, a kindly gentleman was handing some money to a homeless man. I looked a little closer, and said, "Is that Tom Hoover?" Tom Hoover was my coach in an incredibly rigorous 7 month leadership training course I took at Landmark Education called the Introduction Leaders Program back in 2002-2003. I became trained to lead an interactive, 3 hour workshop as a volunteer to share the principles of their main seminar: the Landmark Forum.
Anyhow, I haven't seen or talked to Tom since I moved to CA in 2004, and as soon as I saw him, a little voice went off in my head. It said, "Tim, remember? Tom is involved in a lot of community projects! You need to go talk to him RIGHT NOW." So, having learned to listen to THAT voice, I turned away from my car, and headed back across the street. Sure enough, it was Tom, and I gave him a big hug and we started to catch up. Then Theresa Gonzales, one of the staff members at the Phoenix Landmark Center, walked up. I hadn't seen Theresa since I moved either, so suddenly it was a mini reunion!
I started catching them up on life since moving to CA, and they both knew from different sources about Bella, and so we started talking about her story. When I told them that I am COMMITTED to raising the $1, 050,000.00 for Drs Tolar and Wagner to finish this research and find a cure for EB, Theresa looked at Tom, and Tom looked at me and said quite matter of factly, "That's not a lot of money to raise. We can do that easily." Theresa then added, "You know Tom is the master at fundraising for non-profits, right?" I knew he was involved in the community, but I never knew to what extent. Turns out Tom is an expert in raising LARGE sums of money for good causes. He IMMEDIATELY started to break down how to do it. Then, he added, "Just to give you a little back story on me, I contracted polio when I was 2. My dad was somehow asked to be part of a fledgling group called The March of Dimes to raise money for research for a cure, and he raised $50,000 in less than a year (this is going back to 1955), and in that same year, Dr. Jonas Salk discovered the cure for it." (Editor's note... I am trying to quote Tom as best I can, and I think I got the story right. The March of Dimes at the time had another word in front of it that Tom mentioned and I can't remember it.)
The three of us spent the next 3 HOURS brainstorming ideas and when we left, we were all filled with energy and inspiration. We have MULTIPLE STRATEGIES now to raise some serious cash for the docs.
These strategies involve YOU.
Yes, I mean YOU, too.
Here's the deal, every single day, around 1,500 of you read this blog. THAT is amazing. Why? because if each one of you PLEDGED to raise $1,000 for this cure, WE WOULD HAVE $1,500,000.00 to complete the research needed to isolate and identify the specific stem cell that is causing this BREAKTHROUGH.
Do you think you (yes you) know 10 people that would donate $100 to find a cure for EB? What's better, they will be funding the treatment of OVER 400 DIFFERENT SKIN DISEASES with their $100.
Think that's a good investment?
Do you see how EASY that is?
There are 10 people in your life that would give you $100 in a moment's notice if you really needed it.
When was the last time you could tell someone exactly where and how their $100 donation would be spent, and to what good would come of it?
Folks, it's that simple. Plus, it's actually more than the docs asked for.
Our friend Sara raised $4,500 for the CHOC walk for Team Bella. Think you could raise $1000? How bout if I gave you till Bella's birthday: May 27. 6 months. Think you could raise $1,000 in 6 months?
I tell you this: I could raise $1000 in 6 weeks. I could raise ten times that probably. How do I know? I already have. With just the little button on this blog, combined with what I raised at the conference in LA, we have already raised over $11,000.00 in 6 weeks in honor of Bella. I don't share that to toot my horn, I share it to say that despite what anyone says about the economy, the time of year, or any other circumstance, $11,000 has already found its way here, which means, IT IS POSSIBLE.
Now, the reality is that 1,500 people will not answer this call.
That's okay, too.
So, those of you who DO...
What are YOU willing to raise? You know people I will never reach with this blog.
Here's what I challenge you to do:
send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and say: I'M IN! Then, sign it with:
So, your email would read:
Then, once I amass this list of members of TEAM BELLA, I will start emailing you once a month with some personalized strategies and motivation and inspirational stories to keep you focused on your pledge.
We will also have conference calls that will be recorded monthly where we can get on the line together and share our successes and our challenges.
Now, it's Monday morning, and you are probably starting or ending your day by reading this. JUMP ON THIS. Right now. SERIOUSLY! Send out this blog address with a CALL TO ACTION to your email list, post it on your facebook page (again), tweet this on your twitter page, call 2 people you know TODAY, heck, call and email Oprah! Share with them this game.
How would you like to be part of a cure?
Life is a lot more fun when it is about more than myself. How 'bout you?
Has Bella inspired you? Taught you a lesson or two? Many of you have said she has changed your life in some way. Here's how to pay her back, and pay it forward at the same time. Let's make sure that in the very near future, no other EB child has to follow her steps to heaven so quickly.
I have already given my word to Tom and Theresa that I will text them with just one word:
God night, indeed.