In exactly a week, I’ll be cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the Fireflies West tour, to raise money for The City of Hope.
The City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for life threatening diseases, i.e. cancer, and also diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
Each rider pays their own way, so every dollar of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to the City of Hope. I really don’t like asking for money at all, so I find writing things like this quite hard. I’m deeply appreciative of any contributions.
When I first signed up for this, I thought I had been relatively lucky to not have been greatly affected by the ramifications of cancer, diabetes or HIV in my life. But as I began writing this page and various emails asking for support, I have reflected on the many times my life these diseases have had a significant impact.
My father-in-law succumbed to a particularly aggressive cancer before my daughter was born. In a couple of weeks it had gone from a smaller, isolated tumor, to spreading throughout his body. A gregarious and jolly man, he was looking forward to her birth greatly. He knew he was terminally ill, but held on to the hope that he would survive to her birth. Tragically, he died only hours before she was born. The rapid acceleration of the cancer caught his doctors by surprise, and became something they wanted to further research.
When my own father was much younger than me now, he started having scores of skin cancers burnt off his face. Skin cancer is Australia’s biggest killer, and generations spent their time not thinking about the sun until a massive awareness campaign in the 80s changed the way we considered our exposure. Burning off the cancers was somewhat ineffective back then, and the cancers would often recur, requiring them to be painfully treated all over again. Thanks to medical research, the treatments now are far more effective, and a lot less painful.
A friend and colleague of mine suffers from HIV. His life, in recent years, has been massively improved by medical research and new generations of drugs that are able to stabilize and dilute the effects of the disease.
It is this kind of palpable change that places like City of Hope make. I hope it changes people’s lives. I hope that treatments, as incremental as they might be, change my friend’s and loved-ones lives. I hope they change yours too.
I’m just $1000 from raising my target of $4000. Any donation, of any size, is appreciated. I promise to instagram the whole trip.
If I raise more than $4,000 I promise to stop posting photos of my legs (insta: @jimmy_whippet)
Fireflies West is in it's eighth year and has raised over a million dollars.
San Francisco to Los Angeles, is 550 miles (885km).
To contribute, just click that big DONATE TO ME button at the top of the page.
Thank you so much for your support!