To celebrate my birthday, I am launching my big 2010 fundraising campaign!
In June, I'm going to spend a weekend cycling from Vancouver to Seattle to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The final route is still TBD, but will be something like 250 km / 150 miles over two days. Oh, and did I mention I only have a hybrid, rather than a road bike? (Yes I am crazy). The longest ride I've ever done was 60 km in one day, for the MS Society; I did that without any training at all, but this is a different beast altogether and I will be putting in some serious clicks between now and June!
I work for the BC Cancer Agency, who will be the ultimate recipients of the money raised. The money is all going to support our research efforts, rather than our publicly-funded treatment centres.
A couple of years ago I wrote about the difference in culture between the BCCA, where many of the staff and trainees raise money to support the institute, and my PhD institute in Scotland, where people were more than happy to donate to, say, a cancer hospice, but were reluctant to raise money for their employer.
So, what convinced me that my Canadian colleagues have it right?
Well, my PhD and postdoc projects were almost completely divorced from any clinical impact. But my new colleagues' research is very, very different. I work with people doing some simply amazing work in cancer genomics, and I'm involved in some other outstanding translational and clinical research projects. (I wish I could tell you about some of the other awesomeness emanating from our labs and clinics, but until it's published, that's just not possible). For the first time in my career, I have more contact with cancer patients than just seeing them in the canteen when I pop into the clinical building to grab some lunch, and I have a much better understanding of how my colleagues' work can and will result in better diagnostic and treatment options.
In the last couple of years I've also seen several relatives, friends, and colleagues (and their kids) diagnosed with cancer, and a few of them have either died or have incurable metastases.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
In order to take part in the ride, I need to raise at least $2,500. This is almost as daunting as the length of the ride, and hence I am asking my awesome blog readers to help out!
Now, I'm not just asking for money, and I'm not expecting people to give without receiving anything in return. I know a lot of my readers are students and postdocs on minimal salaries, and so I would be very grateful for any "in kind" donations such as arts/crafts/services I can use as raffle/auction prizes, unwanted books I can sell at yard sales etc. And I am also in need of advice on how to train and how to fundraise! Even a link or tweet directing your own readers to this post would be greatly appreciated.
If you can afford to make a cash donation, I would love to give you something in return. Here are the options I've thought of so far, but please feel free to suggest more ideas!
- For $50 I will write you a personalised limerick (and post it on one/both of my blogs with a comment saying how awesome you are, if you wish)
- For $100 and up I will answer a question, write a blog post, complete a challenge, or do a silly / embarrassing / amusing thing, of your choice, and I will post photographic and/or video evidence on the internet as required. This item is AT MY SOLE DISCRETION!!! I will not do anything illegal, dangerous, creepy, or potentially damaging to professional reputations (my own or others'), or anything else that I just do not want to do, for any reason at all. I also reserve the right to negotiate my price... for example, I might, say, dump a tub of ice-cream over my head for around $100. I might consider shaving my head... but it's gonna cost you somewhere around the region of $2,000. (You can, of course, go in with other donors to make up the total). If you're interested in this option, please contact me (blog comments or email: vwxynot [at] gmail) with your idea and suggested price, and we can discuss it BEFORE YOU DONATE!!!
- I could also potentially proofread or edit your manuscript or grant proposal in exchange for donations, but my ability to a) understand it properly and b) do the work without causing a conflict of interest in my day job would depend on your field and nation of residence. As above, please contact me before donating!
You can view my personal page and make donations here.
This will be the only time this year or next year that I ask for donations. 2012 and onwards... well, it depends on how my legs feel when we get to Seattle!
Thank you in advance for your donations, advice, link love, and good luck vibes!
Right, I'm off to work and then to the Canada-Norway hockey game. Let's hope Team Canada can give me a win for my birthday!
If anyone's watching the game on TV, I'll be the one in the red shirt.