June 2, 2010
I Thank the Lord There’s People Out There Like You
So my brothers formed a team for the Walk to Defeat ALS in New York City. They’d done it last year on short notice and raised about $2,000, so this year they set a goal of $5,000, which to me seemed like a heck of a lot of money. But I wanted to help, so I made a page on the Walk’s website and sent an email to a few friends and neighbors, hoping to raise a few hundred bucks. I got my first donation within an hour. I raised $500 the first day.
As the total edged upward each day, what touched me was where the support came from: at first neighbors and close friends, but then people I’d known in high school. Sorority sisters I hadn’t seen in 25 years. People from my husband’s office. A friend of my brother’s who I’d never even met raised over $1,500. Then my mother reached out, and here were neighbors from my hometown, teachers from my high school, cartoonists who’d known my dad. Meanwhile, my brothers, sisters-in-law and friends were all hard at work raising money too. My friend Tricia in particular was born to do this stuff. (She also deserves special credit for calling all over Long Island looking for an accessible hotel room, but that’s a subject for another rant.) In the end we raised over $13,500.
Best of all was coming back to the city I love so much. It was a beautiful day and my family and friends were with me to walk along the Hudson River from the Village to 55th Street. (I couldn’t believe how much the West Side had changed since the bad old 80s!) I was filled with happiness to be in New York and to know that I wasn’t alone. There were thousands of people at the walk and we were all there because we want to beat this disease. And behind each of us there were dozens of people who gave donations or words of support. I don’t know how to say thank you for such a gift. I am the luckiest person on the face of the earth.