09 April 2013

Today is Chooseday Tuesday. It’s morphed a little from when I first started this blog on Jan. 1.

In most cases, it still means that every Tuesday I give money to a charity that a reader has suggested in that reader’s name (if I can...occasionally, the donation form doesn’t allow it). Sometimes, I have something I want to write about that a friend has inspired me to and then, even if the friend hasn’t suggested I give to a specific charity, I pick one close to his or her heart.  I love when people suggest charities to me. I still have a good list to go through, but it reinforces the feeling that even though I’m doing the writing and the giving, we’re on this journey together. Furthermore, they realize that even $10 can make a difference because it can. 

Last week, one of my closest friends, Lynn,  asked me to write about www.adamspector.org, it’s a charity set up to honor her second cousin, who passed away from cancer at the age of 25 in 2007. 

I wasn’t fortunate to meet Adam, but I remember he came to Los Angeles toward the end of his life, and Lynn, Adam's mom, and Adam enjoyed their time in the sunshine, even as he received treatment at City of Hope. His  3 1/2-year battle was a painful one, full of fits and starts, encouragement and then disappointment, and lots of different attempts to battle back the disease.  The recent Wharton Business School grad's life seemed full of promise when he was diagnosed: he was working at JP Morgan as an analyst

When he knew that his time was at hand, he asked that his family set up a fund, the Adam R. Spector Foundation, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in hopes that other Hodgkins patients wouldn’t have to go through so many of the debilitating treatments that he did only to have their pain end in frustration... or worse. 

I’m always humbled and awed by people who are able to turn their tragedy into something that will help others and that’s what Adam’s family has done. A visit to the Foundation's website brings him back to life.

On April 13, the fifth annual Adam Spector Walk To Win will be held in Rosemont, Pa. As in past years, the two-mile walk will be held at Harriton High School , where Adam was class valedictorian in 1999. The event will be hosted by Brian Taff from 6ABC and it looks like it has become quite the local event.

The Adam R. Spector Foundation has provided funding for research studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, as well as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Texas Children’s Hospital. 

In addition to the annual race, the Foundation has held other fundraising efforts, including wine tastings. Since it was established a few years ago, the Adam R. Spector Foundation has raised more than $400,000 for Hodgkins cancer research. 

Today’s $10 goes to The Adam R. Spector Foundation, in my friend Lynn’s name. She’ll be back in Pennsylvania this weekend walking to honor her cousin and helping raise money in hopes that eventually, a cure will be found and no one will have to walk anymore. 

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99 down, 266 to go 

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