Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Giving Thanks

As some of you may know, I recently participated in AIDS Walk Los Angeles. I've always wanted to do this walk because as a huge supporter of the gay community, this is an issue that is dear to my heart. Especially because when I was four years old I lost my godfather to the disease. My mom lost one of her best friends, my godmother lost her soul mate, and I never got a chance to really know the man who read Shakespeare to me as a baby.

Unfortunately, I didn't raise nearly as much money as I had hoped, and I showed up to the walk on Sunday, not having met my goal of $200. The reason for this is mainly that I was too timid about asking for donations. It's silly, really. It isn't as if I am asking for a handout. The money isn't for me. It's for a good cause. But, I know how awkward it can be to be put on the spot when you can't afford to donate.

So here's the deal. Next month I will be participating in the St. Jude "Give Thanks" walk to raise money for St. Jude's cancer research center. St. Jude treats and researches cancer and other diseases that affect children. No family is denied treatment due to an inability to pay.

So, why am I doing this, especially only a month after I failed miserably at fundraising for AIDS walk? Well, you've seen their commercials, right? Where all the celebrities tell you to "Give thanks for the healthy children in your life," and Jennifer Aniston says "OUR research..." and I'm like, "Really, Jennifer? Have you slapped on a lab coat and hunkered down with a microscope and come cancerous cells?" I didn't think so.

I digress. My point is that since I started blogging and "meeting" so many other parents on the web, I've come across countless heartbreaking stories of babies dying of congenital heart defects, kids succumbing to cancer, horrific accidents that cost people their children. And, it's very, very hard to take all that in sometimes. As a mom, I can keenly feel the potential for that kind of devastation and loss. But, nothing I imagine will ever come close to what those parents must be feeling.

So, I'm giving thanks for the healthy child in my life by doing my damndest to raise as much money as possible for the sake of these kids. Cancer is a horrible, ugly, monster that clearly doesn't discriminate. I don't remember this, but apparently after seeing the St. Jude ad in a movie theater, I started crying, looked at Chris, and said through my tears: "I can't believe kids get cancer!"

It seems a simple and naive thought, but it really is something that boggles my mind. I've witnessed people dedicate their lives, their paychecks, all their free time, and more to fight diseases like this, to raise awareness,and organize fundraisers. A perfect example is Kristine McCormick. Her daughter, Cora, died at 5 days old due to an undetected congenital heart defect. Her condition could have been detected if Cora had received a simple and inexpensive procedure called a pulse oximetry test. Kristine now raises awareness and saves lives by educating mothers about this life saving test. Check out for the whole story and to see what you can do to help prevent other parents from suffering the same tragedy. I know I had never heard of this test, and I will definitely make sure any future child of mine receives the pulse oximetry.

Participating in this walk might seem like a small contribution to the sick children in the world, especially when you compare it with some of the more heroic efforts out there. But, it's what I can do right now to show how much I appreciate my beautiful, healthy daughter, and how much I feel for the parents and children out there suffering from cancer, heart problems, and any number of other tragedies.

So, please, if you can spare it, make a donation to my page. Thanks for reading.

Here are some pictures of Chris, Charlotte, and me from AIDS Walk:


This is a crappy picture. What you might not be able to see is that these assholes were there with signs saying things like "Homo sex is sin." Stay classy, guys.

Our cheerleader at the finish line


  1. No fair making me cry as a fund raising tactic...

    But seriously, you walk, I'll donate. (it won't be much, but it'll be something).

  2. YOU are a rock star. Thank you so much, Ginger. Seriously.

  3. Charlotte's Grandma and Pop-Pop give $75. I'd give as much as I did for AIDSWalk, but it IS a shorter course....

  4. Moooooom! You were so off the hook for this one! But, thank you so much, guys!