Thursday, August 5, 2010

Platform Contest!

Please read this post, enter my contest, and pass it on.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

- Anne Frank

I wish I had 1 million followers.

All this talk about writers having a platform, but there are more important uses for platforms than promoting ourselves.

I’m attending the BlogHer conference in New York City this Saturday. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what it’s about.

But this weekend something else really important is taking place. Every year, the Pan Mass Challenge happens on Cape Cod: Since I moved here, I knew about it because the funds went to Dana Farber, where my husband used to work. I also heard about it because Lisa, the woman who died a couple of months ago, told me her husband rode in it every year. I was impressed not only with the number of miles he rode over two days, but the amount of money they needed to raise so he could ride.

“Whatever we can’t raise, we give as our yearly charitable donation,” she replied.

Last Saturday, I went to my husband’s coworker-friends’ home. Each year, he has a meeting about his foundation: The foundation was started because his daughter, who’s now in college, has cancer. She’s had it for years. It’s a rare cancer. Right now, there is NO CURE.

Most parents do everything they can when they’re given news like that. But he went even further. When he wasn’t entirely happy with the one organization out there that addressed his daughter’s disease, he created his own. And he assembled a group who rides every year to raise money for his foundation:

What does he do with this money?

When someone has a rare disease, big pharmaceutical companies don’t target finding cures or even treatments for them. The NIH doesn’t fund grant to target cancers that affect a small population. If you were a parent and your child had a rare disease, how would you feel?

I’d feel helpless.

But my husband’s friend refuses to be helpless. He founded: And he uses the money he’s raised to fund two scientists at Dana Farber.

One scientist is working on a vaccine that will try to halt the cancer. Preliminary tests have shown that there has been a halting of blood vessels in people with cancer. Creation of new blood vessels is how cancer can spread.

The other scientist takes tumor samples and tries different treatments on them to see how they react.

(I’m sorry I can’t be clearer. My science understanding is only slightly better than my grasp of algebra and calculus.)

The scientists explained what they were working on and the challenges they faced. At the end of the night, my husband’s friend welcomed feedback. One question was how to raise more funds. I suggested rather than just having a donate button, he could add a “What Can I Do to Help” icon.

What could I do to help? My mind raced. I thought about my blog and getting the word out. But then I realized my blog didn’t have enough followers to make a difference. If only I had 1 million followers. As we drove home, I thought about donating. I thought about writing a post. I thought about trying to bike next year. I wanted to do something.


So I’m writing this post. Anyone can enter this contest. You don’t have to be a follower.

Put it on Twitter – 5 points

Put it on Facebook – 5 points

Put it on your Side Bar – 5 points

Write a Post about it – 10 points

Total your points in the comments section. If you win, you’ll get a $25 gift card to the place of your choice. I’ll also donate $25 to in your name.

And Candace Ganger has also been kind enough to add a $15 gift card with a matching donation:

And now Jackee (whose mother is battling cancer) has just offered in the comments to add a $15 gift card with a matching donation:

AND now Lydia Kang has offered in the comments to add a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble with a matching donation:

Update: The Words Crafter has offered in the comments to add a $15 gift card and matching donation

Contest ends 08/29.

Help me use my blog, my platform to raise awareness and hopefully raise money for this cause.

Please use your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and/or e-mail address book to raise awareness and hopefully raise money for this cause.

Thank you.

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.”

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy


  1. I tweeted you. I'll be back later. Great cause.

  2. Oooh I shall put this on my sidebar!!!!! It's a brilliant cause - Yay for you and the ASPS community!!

    Take care

  3. Hey Theresa, I think it's great that you are doing this. Too many people think about doing something, but do nothing. I am often one of them! I hope you have fun with the contest, all the while raising awareness for a very important cause. My computer time is about up for the day but I'll try to get in on it if I can! Good luck.

  4. Such an awesome post, and way to use this avenue to help generate support. One of my CP's was just diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, and is stage 4. I am doing a blog tommorow on how our group is doing something for her to lift her spirits and I will definately make mention of your post tommorow and put this in my sidebar and tweet and whatever else I can do to help the cause.

  5. Theresa, thats a great idea - well done to you - will create links to this post ! All the best

  6. What a great post, Theresa! I'll tweet about it now!

  7. Wondeful idea Theresa - lovely.

    I've tweeted for you :)

  8. Theresa, this is so nice of you. I'm going to add a side link on my blog about your contest.

  9. I am posting this to my FB page right now. I will also make a donation. Can I do that by going to the site?

  10. Thanks to everyone who's promoting and/or offering to donate. Jackie, here's the info:

    There are two convenient ways to donate:

    1. On-line donations through the website. After you enter into the PMC site, click on the “e-gifts” link on the upper left side of the page. You will be directed to a web page, which its title: “Click the type of donation you wish to make”. Then click on: “Sponsor one Rider with one donation”, then you can locate my fundraising account by clicking on “Select a person by eGift ID” and then typing my eGift ID number: YL0002. Fill in the amount of your donation, then your personal and credit card information. Then submit your donation.

    2. Alternatively you can write a check payable to “PMC-Team ASPS YL0002”. Mail your donations to:

    Yosef Landesman
    260 Tappan St.
    Brookline, MA 02445

  11. Some side-bar love: 5 points
    A blog post on Friday: 10 points
    TOTAL: 15 points

    This is a wonderful cause and I am glad to particpate. :]

  12. awesome contest. This is a truly worthy cause--I've never been moved to do any of the fundraisers for "cancer awareness" because I'm certain that the money just goes to the drug companies. And do the drug companies really want to find a cure? no. It would mean less money for them in the long run.

    This is an awesome way to fight cancer, though. Good for you for helping! I'll see what I can do, too.

  13. I am off to their website, and I will donate to them. No need to enter me in the contest...I'll pimp it all over twitter and my blog for you. I'll 'win' this contest by helping you make a difference. :)


  14. I'll twitter +5, facebook +5 and post +10 = 20 points. And wouldn't it be cool if you had a million followers and everyone gave ONE DOLLAR!! This is why I love the internet.

  15. Cancer is such and evil disease! Glad to oblige, Theresa.

  16. Super post and idea and a great contest. I'll tweet this, for sure.


  17. This is a great thing you're doing, Theresa. I know I would feel helpless if I were in that situation and I would have no idea what to do. Awareness is the key thing and you have now spread that awareness to us, which is a gift. And now we can help too.

    I just donated. I'm also going to share on Twitter and Facebook, but you don't have to hold a contest to get us to help out! :)

  18. Super post! I'll tweet and facebook the link. Good work you're doing here. I'll send you an email and follow your blog as well. Talk soon, Simon.

  19. This is so nice of you Theresa - it's such a worthy cause.

    I am adding you to my sidebar :)

  20. Expect to be twittered, sidebared and posted (tomorrow)!!!

    This is fantastic Theresa! JUST LIKE YOU! Candyland rocks too!!!

    PS I have a lovely blog award for you! ;)

  21. PS count me in for 30 points, I'm about to facebook it :)

  22. This is a fantastic thing that you are doing! I'm posting this on my sidebar and tweeting. No need to enter me in the contest. I've lost someone to cancer and will do whatever I can to spread the word.

    Wonderful post!

  23. Great work Theresa. My post on your worthy effort will run tomorrow morning.

  24. I want you all to know I'm reading every comment, appreciating every sidebar, and feeling touched by each post on your blogs. I've also been happy to see a few shares on Facebook.

    I have an amazing bunch of blogging friends. Thank you for spreading the word about ASPS.

  25. I just posted about it. I have two young sons and I would be devestated if this happened to one of them.

  26. Hi Theresa,

    I commend you for using your blog to promote this very important message. I choose not to be entered into the contest but am happy to do what I can.

    Blessings and prayers.

  27. What a wonderful use of your platform. I will put this on my sidebar and on FB on one condition, if I win the contest the prize goes to the foundation.

    Well done Theresa.

  28. That's a great idea. Should I win the contest, please give the prize to the foundation!

  29. i'll blog about it in just a bit- when i get done reading everyone else's... but of course if my name turns up as a winner-just give the money to the foundation.
    great cause, great idea.

  30. Ann, Ted, and Aspiring X, you guys are great!

  31. Got your link from Slam Dunks blog. Wow. This is so impressive and good of you. I blogged about your efforts at and I posted on Facebook. Will also send out the info to email contacts, and I will Twitter.

    I have no idea how to put it on my sidebar in blogger, so if someone can help out the feeble minded, that would be great.

  32. Katherine, thanks. I tried to comment on your blog, but it wouldn't let me because I wasn't a team member. Here's what I wrote:

    Shiba is adorable. You really captured her essence with this list. Did you read Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo? The protagonist tries to capture what's special about her dog. It's an excellent book.

    If you copy and paste this link, you can go into your dashboard. Click "Add Gadget" and then choose "Link". Put link in spot and save. Let me know if you have trouble. Thank you!

  33. Thanks, Theresa! If you want to have permission to comment on my blog, send me an email and I can add you: I will keep your email private.

    Will try the sidebar thing.

  34. Okay, did it. It actually place the link under my banner which is kind of cool. I don't know if that "counts" but it's front and center which is a nice touch from Blogger, I think.

    I also sent the info to my church. And my Twitter account shows up on my other site, Will also add the link to my OTHER site (I am just all over the place, aren't I? LOL!)

    So put me down for 25 points if you don't mind, and I will see what else I can do.

  35. You are here, too. :)

  36. Thanks for letting me know about this! I tweeted, and amended my blog posting, so I guess 15 pts (I also donated - I hope your friend reaches his goal!).

  37. Wonderful, Theresa! You told me about your cancer post, but you didn't tell me about your donation. :o)

    If it's okay, please don't enter me into the contest, but instead put me down as matching Candace's gift card and donations ($15 each). Because, as my mom says, it's better to have cancer yourself than to see your children suffer with the disease.

  38. Thank you, Jackee! I just added your generous offer to the post.

  39. What a great cause! No need to enter me in the contest, but I'll put you on my sidebar. What a great thing you're doing!

  40. ...and I'd like to help. I'll add a $20 gift card from Barnes and Noble plus a matching donation.

    !!!!You're inspiring!!!!!

  41. @ Lydia, thank you! The outpouring of generosity is just amazing.

  42. You have such a wonderful heart, Theresa! This is an amazing contest. I will mention it on my blog.

  43. I'll do what I can to spread the word, Theresa! How wonderful that you're doing this.

  44. hi miss theresa! you know im gonna help for sure. i know about this cancer stuff and its real important to help get it cured. im gonna give all my allowence for all of august. im gonna ask my family to help. we helped for miss candaces joy 2 the world. im real happy cause i won lots of stuff there so i dont need to be entered in your contest. i hope you could get tons and tons of money.
    ...hugs from lenny

  45. Hi Theresa. I'll write a lil' post about it for my huge readership to see. ;)
    I don't need to win any gifts though. Maybe we could say if I win, the corresponding sum of the gifts will be donated to this organization. Or you can just not enter me in the contest but I'll blog about it.

  46. Great post Theresa! I just did a walk for juvenile diabetes and walk for the cure. I hadn't thought about using my blog as a tool to increase awareness of these caauses.

    I'll tweet your cause. But don't put me in on the prizes...I'd feel guilty winning when it was for a cause.

  47. You are such an inspiration! Posted on facebook and put on my sidebar. Will do a post tomorrow. (Remind me, it's been CRAZY) I would like to do a gift card and matching donation, maybe $15? How do I do that?

  48. @ The Words Crafter, that's very nice of you. I'll update the post to reflect the $15 gift card and matching donation.

    I will leave it up to each person who has said they're giving a donation to go directly to the site to donate.

    As far as the gift cards, I guess I'll find out where the winner would like the cards from, and I'll ask the donators to send them to me. When I receive all of them, I'll mail them to the winner.

    If the person who wins has already said to have the $ donated to the site instead, each of us who said we'd do a gift card can just donate the winnings to the ASPS site, perhaps in that person's name.

    Sound good?

  49. Hi Theresa,

    I will definitely donate and spread the word via my blog's next post. I don't want to be entered in any contests, just want you to know that I support what you're doing.

  50. Great idea, Theresa, best of luck I will do a link on my blog.

  51. blog post up! and thanks for the info. will be sending in my donation on friday.

  52. How nice of you Theresa!! I'll do all the above in the hopes that it will spread the word and increase donations. And God Bless your husband's friend for taking such an initiative to help his daughter!!

  53. Thanks for the nice comments and help. I'm glad people are still finding this.

  54. Great contest! Off to spread the word now. Twitter and FB for 10 points. =)

  55. Great blog Theresa! Thanks for spreading the news...xo

  56. Karen, thanks. Maybe I'll try to do something similar soon.

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