Now that you’ve “met” my mom, I’ll be introducing you to a few special people who are also my inspiration for climbing Kilimanjaro.
… Because, let’s be honest, I will be winded and cold before I even reach 9,000 feet, so I’ll need as much inspiration as I can find. In fact, I’ll be accepting applications to identify 19, 341 people who inspire me. I can be bribed. Just kidding. Share your story, no donation required, but if you do donate, you and you only you will be my favorite person EVER. Seriously! Erm, I digress …
As I was saying, in addition to my mom, there are a few people in particular that I’m climbing for. First, I’d like you to meet Amy. She’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro with me. (Thanks, Bartlett, for letting me copycat). You can read more about her story on her LIVESTRONG fundraising page.
Amy and I have been friends since our days slinging video games for EA SPORTS. She’s radiates goodness. Not long after I started at EA, she told a handful of us that she had a job as “Popo the Clown” when she was a teenager. A clown!!! How awesome is that?!?! I knew we just had to be friends. Heart-to-hearts and many laughs followed. We’ve consumed a fair amount of chips, guac and margs together, judged an omelette-off (EA peeps, remember Anthony’s holiday after party? Big Tex threw one fabulous boombastica) and walked the course on Pebble Beach. Perhaps, my favorite memory is when we hopped on the Big Dipper roller coaster in heels and dresses to honor our friend Dino on our way to his memorial service. (Dino is also all kinds of awesome. You’ll meet him later).
Amy is a survivor. She was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma on March 5, 2007. After intense chemotherapy and radiation, her cancer took a hike. She’s been in remission for almost five years, but her journey is far from over. She often shares the LIVESTRONG Manifesto when asked about her experience: “Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.” And, as any true LIVER of STRONG does, she’s about the fight – a fight that never ends. She kicks cancer ass.
Not long after she was diagnosed, she raised $20,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for shaving her head, and less than a year after she finished treatment, she raised another $25,000 when she ran the New York Marathon as a member of the LIVESTRONG team. That’s not to mention the events she’s done in between. I may have to start calling her “Money” because the cash she’s raised for the cause could fund an entire program. Needless to say, I’ll have stiff competition fundraising. [Update – 3/6/12: Amy raised $9,000 in less than 48 hours, because, well, she is awesome. YEAH, Amy].
Thank you, Bartlett, for your inspiration, I can’t wait to hike and laugh our way up Kilimanjaro.