Now, I know exactly what your thinking…. and No, this isn’t that kind of post… but if you were thinking like I was thinking then you automatically started thinking about this:

Ahhh, yes… old school Double Mint gum commercials. If you thought that commercial was ridiculous you should go to Youtube and check out the rest of them, because they are hysterical. My favorite at the moment is this one:

Now, I didn’t send you here just to look at Doublemint gum commercials. It just happens to be one the big benefits of coming to by blog of randomness from time to time. The purpose of today’s post is to ask you donate to the LiveSTRONG foundation.  This is where you immediately start thinking of the millions of other things that you would rather be doing right now or that you cannot be bothered by this whole idea, or that you’ll get around to it later. Let me outline a few reasons why I think this is a worthwhile donation and overall how it relates to the Doublemint commercials. 

Why you should donate:

1st: The donation to the Livestrong Charity is a donation to aid the 28 million people currently fighting the disease. 

2nd: It is a donation to try to end the number 1 global killer and the number 2 killer in the United States:

3rd: In terms of money raised, The Lance Armstrong Foundation provides more money to actual cancer programming on a percentage basis than is used for any other “expense.” The foundation raised 32 million dollars in 2008 and its administrative costs were just over 1 million dollars. To put this into perspective the Livestrong Foundation provides more money on a percentage basis to cancer research then  the American Cancer Society:

This is where you say, “Prove it!” and I say, “Bring it on!”  Here’s the proof. An independent, non-profit organization named Charity Navigator, which also works like the Better Business Bureau and American Institute of Philanthropy (which also have ratings and guides that you may use to find out how charities use the money you donated) have rated the Livestrong Foundation as a higher donor to programs as compared to the American Cancer Society. 

Check it for yourself: Charity Navigator

4th: Most importantly for this post and the reason for the title is that whatever money is donated by the Game on, cancer team will be doubled through the kind workings of Pfizer, INC.  That means if you donate 5 dollars it will actually be 10 dollars. And because of number 3 more of that money will go to cancer programming!

5th: Remember your donations are tax-deductible! Our government and the fine folks at Internal Revenue Service actually admire the fact that you provide money to charities and cut you some slack on your tax returns!

6th: Are you aware that we are slowly moving to a point where nearly 50% of the population will have cancer in their lifetime. Wouldn’t it be better to start working on a cure now, rather than to wait for you to develop the disease and then think about how you should have done so from the start?

Why you think you shouldn’t donate:

1st: I don’t have enough time: Honestly – It takes 5 minutes, actually probably less Donation Page .  Look I’ve even given you a link to a donation page!

2nd: I’ve already donated: Listen so have I… and donating money that can be doubled is like donating 3 times. If you’re like me, I can’t turn down girl scouts and their cookies or the Salvation army when they are outside the mall… why turn down cancer patients?

3rd: With all of the turmoil around Lance Armstrong, I feel that I’m donating my money to a “villain” or a potential villain.  Trust me: There are few people more than I who will be any less devastated by a confirmation against Lance Armstrong, but I’ve been thinking about this and the more I think about it the more I can look past the cycling career and focus on the fact that this man and his recovery from cancer is still an incredible thing and the message that he puts out is positive about ending a disease that will ravage many of us in the years to come. Here’s my history lesson for the day: How many of us go to Rockefeller Center, go to libraries, colleges, and other educational facilities created by Andrew Carnegie.   How many of you use Windows – remember the story is that Bill Gates sacrificed his partner to take it over himself and now he is promoting the return of half of his fortune to charity. He’s also convincing other billionaires to do the same! The funds for those good endeavours came from the exploitation of millions of workers at the profit of those business tycoons, but yet we do not dare tear those structures down, because now they are viewed as positives in our community. I’m not promoting cheating (if in fact Lance is guilty) but I am promoting the message – The idea to overcome a challenge that seems insurmountable, the idea of promoting positive symbolism to take down cancer, the image of strength in knowledge and power of knowledge to take down a disease that threatens us all. I am for that.

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Real Men Wear Spandex

July 23, 2010

I’ve done it! Purchased a road bike and have completed my first solo and small group ride. The picture above is moments after my first legitimate ride of any distance (10 miles.) You can clearly see how pleased I am to have done it, there even appears to be a little cockiness in the completion of that ride. If there is? It’s completely momentary, because entering into the world of cycling has been a very interesting road. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve followed cycling. I understand the competitive side of the sport, but actually getting involved in the machinery of it… that’s a completely different story. All of the decisions that need to be made: First: Do you want a road bike, a hybrid, or a mountainbike? Do you want clipped in shoes, (road shoes, mountainbike shoes)? What type of pedals? What type of helmet? So many questions… to the point I felt like I was Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Riddler in Batman Forever… think back to Edward Nigma repeating to himself “Too many questions… Too many questions.” It can be very overwhelming, but thanks to some great advise and research I settled on a Trek 2.1 bicycle.

This bike so far rides like a dream.  And so far in my first two days of riding I’ve really enjoyed the process. Not necessarily the falling and gaining your balance as you step out of or attempt to step of your clips. Yes, I admit it I have taken the plunge fully attached to my bike on two separate occasions. I think that is probably the most interesting component to get used to, well that and the spandex.

Spandex is a very interesting material and I understand the importance in cycling… something that is aerodynamic, breathable, and padded for all the right spots, but for me who was brought up in a very modest fashion, it’s interesting to wear clothes that, “show-off” your body. I will manage and even at some point get used to it. I’m not saying that I will be wandering around my home on casual days in spandex, but that I think that I will be able to wander around others in spandex soon enough. That comfortablity  certifies for me that men who can feel comfortable in spandex truly are in a class all of their own. It takes a confidence and lack of concern of other’s thoughts, impressions, and humor. 

I think for me I will focus primarily on the fact that cycling and owning my bike will allow me to participate in both the running portion of the Livestrong Challenge and the cycling portion of the Livestrong Challenge, to be held on August 21st and August 22nd respectively at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.  With that in mind, I can focus on what the importance is… which is raising awareness for cancer research and cancer prevention.

Update on the Livestrong Challenge: At this point: the team has raised 1,285.00, which will hopefully be doubled here in the future and we have a few other surprises coming up in hopes of raising some money.  We are as of this moment at 29 days away from the challenge and there is still time to get involved! Looking forward to seeing you there!

  

Photo courtesy of: http://www.livestrong.org/Take-Action/Team-LIVESTRONG-Events/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Series/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Philly 

It’s that time of year again, folks! Hopefully, you have all been getting ready for the biggest LIVESTRONG event in the Philadelphia area, and for that matter on the East Coast!!!! Remember that there are 4 LIVESTRONG Challenges: San Jose, Seattle, Austin, and Philadelphia. You will notice that out of the four only ONE is on the East Coast!

Here are the official details from the official website: LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE Website

“In Philly, on August 21—22, the LIVESTRONG Challenge takes place in the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell on the Montgomery County Community College Campus. This year we’ve expanded our Philly event to a 2-day format. Because of the growth of the event, moving the run/walk to Saturday will allow us to welcome more participants and add an additional 10K distance and Post Event Party for our runners and walkers. On Sunday, our riders can enjoy bike rides varying from 10, 20, 45, 75 and 100 mile options. For the first time ever in Philly, enjoy both activities of the LIVESTRONG Challenge.”

 (Me Again:) I’m again looking to put in an effort for one of the two  running portions of the event.  There is a 5k and a 10k. I’m going to do the  10k, unless I can come up with a road bike and start training for the actual ride. If so, I’m going to try and do both! I’m hoping you are looking to participate to do the same and join us or  come back out for another exciting adventure in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. This is a fun day of both exercise, friendship and unity in the fight against cancer. I personally have been involved in this event every year that it has taken place and I’m amazed at how every year this particular event  gets larger and larger.  In addition, I’m hoping that afterwards, we could BBQ or and enjoy the post party events. I’m also thinking T-shirts again as we did last year. Let me know if you’re interested email me at gameoncancer@aol.com! And register here:  Philly Registration

 Also, I believe if the rumour (Yes, I know it’s the british version of rumor. I’m being fancy) is correct that Lance, himself, will be making an appearance at the event, following his conclusion of his last Tour de France.

Everyday we go through our lives purchasing some small convenience or another. For many it’s the morning Grande White Mocha  from the local Starbucks or Boston Creme donut, etc.  As we go through our day we make our transaction and receive our change. Occasionally, we fall short by just a few cents. We look down at the counter and there in a small rectangular dish is the our salvation. This redeemer often has some teenager’s handwriting in black sharpie that reads “TAKE A PENNY, LEAVE A PENNY!” We naturally gather up the needed coins and to finish our purchase and go about with our sugary goodness, quite content with our fortune.

http://www.riseoverrunmag.com/images/1108.jpg

image courtesy of: http://www.riseoverrunmag.com/images/1108.jpg

This type of action takes place everyday countless times and we generally don’t think much of the value of those tiny “copper” coins, because they are so the lowest part of the American currency ladder, so much so, that the United States’ government was actually thinking of discontinuing them, because they’ve become more expensive to make then the coin is actually worth. Here’s the USA Today article that discusses the possible dismissal of the Penny: Penny Value

However, today’s post doesn’t deal with the day-to-day interactions and the use of the penny, but more importantly the power that the penny actually possesses. Recently the penny actually went so far as to prevent a cancer patient from receiving the benefits of her medical coverage.  This woman La Rosa Carrington, a single mother of two, encountered this problem. The issue was that her medical provider Discovery Benefits would not continue her treatments for form of leukemia that requires 5 chemo treatments each week for the course of a month, because she did not pay 1 penny. The interesting part of this is the following: that La Rosa actually went through the process of determining  how much she was responsible for paying in her medical coverage since she had recently lost her job. She had calculated her payment to be roughly $161.15.  Discovery Benefits calculated the payment to come out to $161.16.  The actual math should would have determined it to be 161.1545. 

Now this, is where your math skill should kick in. When you were taught rounding… you didn’t round to the nearest whole number unless that number was a five or above… for example if you had an 89.5% in Math, you hoped your favorite math teacher would round that up to a 90%.

image courtesy of: craigtmonroe.wordpress.com/2009/10/ 

 However, if you were to receive an 89.4% you knew it wasn’t going to be rounded unless you went in and asked for extra credit.

Fortunately, since this story was printed and publicized Ms. Carrington has had her medical coverage reinstated. It still leaves many questions; however, about the medical profession and the pursuit of payment. This article is meant not as a malicious attack on the medical field, but more of an awareness for people undergoing medical treatment and those that are caring for people undergoing medical treatment to be aware and cognizant of the bills that are coming and the payments required.  Hopefully, some steps will be taken to care for those in trouble or financial stress. Furthermore, it goes on to prove that Every “Penny” Counts, not only to help those undergo treatment, but to aid those who are searching for a cure. 

If interested in the reading more about La Rosa Carrington, here is the original article written by the Gazette: Colorado Springs Article.

Courage…

November 9, 2009

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson was an American journalist born in 1893.  What is remarkable about this woman is that she was the first journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, that taking place in roughly 1934. Dorothy was an avid Anti-Nazi demonstrator and was described by Time Magazine as one of the most influential women in America, behind only Eleanor Roosevelt.  I envoke this Dorothy Thompson’s name because I was fascinated by the above quote… It is so poignant and inspiring and I happened to think of it when I read the story of Elena Desserich. 

The Desserich Family - Elena is on the right

 

This is the story of a 6 year old girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Elena was given only 135 days to live and during that time, this exceptional light spent her days coloring and writing notes to her loved ones, and hiding them in places where they would be found later on, in hopes of brightening their days or more importantly giving her little sister, Grace some momentos of her big sister.  I was simply blown away by this article and the unselfish nature of Elena, that I felt it was a story that must be passed on. I can only hope that I live out the rest of my days with nearly as my courage as Elena displayed.  If you are interested the article is linked here  and so is the collection of her notes and diary that will make a new book entitled, Notes Left Behind.

 

The Race Across the Sky!

October 25, 2009

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity as a surprise birthday present (Thank you, Leigh) to go see the documentary, The Race Across the Sky.  This is a beautifully crafted film about the Leadville Trail 100.  Leadville is a grueling century mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado.  It is a physically demanding ride, due to both the course, which travels across mountainous overpasses, flat roads and treacherous downhills and the conditions, which include high elevation, limited air, rain, sleet, and hail.  So grueling is the course that there is even a portion of the trail that most mountain bikers carry their bikes back up! 

The film does a wonderful job of telling the story of not only why the race was created, which was basically to save the small municipality of Leadville after the mines had closed, but also….

Tangential Brief history of Leadville (skip ahead if not interested): Leadville historically was a silver and gold mining town, but was also rich in Mollybdenite.  The Climax mine, which I believe was the primary source of revenue and jobs for the town closed, it created a major detriment for the town.  They needed to figure out how to survive and thus began the Leadville Trail 100. 

 … they did a wonderful job of setting the stage for the epic race of  Lance Armstrong v. Dave Wiens.  Lance Armstrong, 7 time Tour de France Champion and one time World Road Race Champion, versus Dave Wiens, six time and defending champion of the Leadville Trail 100.  This was a rematch of the 2008 Leadville Trail 100, in which Wiens had vanquished his “second” Tour de France winner (the first being Floyd Landis and Lance the second.)  Here’s the article written in the New York Times about Wiens’ victory over Lance.  Leadville Victory.  This year’s (2009) edition of the  challenge would be completely different for the now 45 year old mountain biker and father of three, would be taking on a fresh off the Tour de France (3rd overall) Lance Armstrong.  This race was all that anyone would expect… monumental, and often throughout the film, you found yourself rooting for Dave Wiens, even though you found no fault if Lance were to win.

The only part of the film that was better than the storyline of the Gunnison Gunslinger (Wiens) v. The Ultimate Assassin (Armstrong) was the vinettes of other racers who have overcome horrendous odds for the opportunity to ride in this particular race.  I say opportunity because the race is limited to 1400 participants.  By the time it ends you are left with the beautiful sights of Leadville, Colorado and the voice over of Bob Roll (noted Hall of Fame cyclist and play-by-play commentator on Versus.  I’m eager to see how the exposure of this race by the film aides the town and the race itself.  To paraphrase Lance on the topic, I hope this becomes one the great challenges of people’s lives.  That they add the Leadville Trail 100 to their list of lifetime challenges!