Yesterday’s post was an important one for me. Rachel is the daughter of a friend of a friend, whom I have never met. Yet I feel as though I know her already. Until yesterday, I didn’t even know her name, where she lived or that she has cancer. But suddenly, I felt motivated to do something to help, to let her know that there are people that care, to show her she isn’t alone in this, with only her family and close friends to support her.
Her husband, Shawn, recently told her that she doesn’t have to be strong… that he’ll be strong for her. And according to Rachel, that was an epiphany for her. She was finally able to accept not being strong every minute of every day. She was at last able to stop feeling guilty for feelings of helplessness and for being too weak to do anything but rest in bed.
I’m betting that she hasn’t figured out the other half of that equation yet, though. I think that her epiphany has actually made her stronger. Realizing that we have limitations, sometimes has the effect of helping us overcome them. And realizing the depth of support available makes us stronger as well.
Yesterday, I and others peppered the internet with links to her blog, her website and our own blogposts on her behalf. We showered Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Friendfeed, MySpace and a dozen more social sites, asking people to get involved. We asked them to donated money, where they could, and to help us spread the word about Rachel and her need for assistance. And a lot of you came through for her.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you personally, for giving Rachel and her family your support. This is just getting started, but I really think that we can make this happen, judging by the show of humanity so far. Her mom, Sandy was moved to tears yesterday, by messages from all over the world. People in Australia, Canada, the UK and other countries have joined those in the US in offering whatever sort of support they can, to help us achieve our goal of financing the $80,000 co-payment that Rachel needs to come up with, for her bone marrow transplant. Thank you, each and every one.
Yesterday, I sent messages out to many of my contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook, asking them to visit Rachel’s website, and do what they can to help. Then, this morning, over my first cup of coffee, I broke a long-standing rule of mine, and wrote up an email, and sent it out to eighty people in my address book. There may be one or two that will resent the intrusion, but I don’t care! Rachel, Shawn and their daughter, Alexa resent cancer’s intrusion into their lives, too. So if you’re one of those that received my email and resented it… sorry about that. Get over it! The fact that you even followed the link to read this, makes me think that you probably weren’t bothered all that much, anyway. I hate spammers, but it seems that I may have become one since yesterday. Qué será, será!
I’m renewing my plea to all of you to please take the time to visit her webpage, and leave your well-wishes while you’re there. If you can, make a donation. If you can’t, then at least let her know you were there, and that you care, and then pass the link on to your friends and family, and ask them to do what they can. And help us take this issue viral, by bookmarking to as many social site, forums and websites as you have at your disposal.
You could also stop by her blog, and comment there, so she doesn’t feel like she’s just writing to herself. Sitting in a bed, particularly a hospital bed, can be a mighty lonely experience. Each of us has a chance to help make that hospital room seem crowded, if we’ll just take a couple of minutes out of our day to do it.
And if it’s something you do, feel free to offer up a prayer for Rachel and her family. I’m pretty sure they’d appreciate that, too. I know I sure would, if Rachel was my wife or daughter.