As we’re now in Australia, I’m wrapping up several projects. A key one from 2010 was my Ironman fundraising campaign Transplants for Children. I had hoped to raise $10,000 (the most I had ever raised for a charitable cause before was $8,000), and so I set my public goal at $20,000.
I’m proud to say that we raised over $11,000 for Transplants for Children, and I can vouch that every dollar donated will have an impact on the kids and families in the program.
To all the people who supported my campaign, thank you. Each donation meant something personal to me, and your generosity and support means a great deal.
Many of you have asked me how Elida is doing – which means a lot to me. When I first began searching for someone to represent the community that I wanted to help (young kids in need of a transplant who represented the diversity of Central Texas), I never imagined that I’d find such an amazing example of why this cause is so important.
Elida is doing well. After spending time with her, I’m not surprised that she continues doing well in school, despite going to dialysis three mornings (school days) each week. Initially the hope this summer was that Elida’s mother, a perfect match, would be able to donate – but that was not possible this summer for a variety of reasons that I won’t detail for the sake of the family’s privacy. It goes to highlight how challenging finding a match can be, and even then how many things can easily disqualify a healthy potential donor from being able to donate. I remember how many steps there were in the process, and how many times my approval for transplant got delayed over an arbitrary piece of bureaucracy.
All the more reason to make sure you’re a registered organ donor, and that if someone you know and love needs a transplant, to consider being a donor. The good news is that Elida is back on the transplant list, and her journey only underscores the need for the help that Transplants for Children provides.
Here are two pictures of Elida from a recent Transplants for Children STARS event. She still amazes me at how incredibly positive she is, and how well she deals with the daily challenge that she faces.
The main lesson of my fundraising campaign was the main lesson of all of 2010 – I tend to take on too many things at once and don’t get to put all my focus into my priorities. Training for my first Ironman, hunting for a job in three different continents, still working 75% of the time, getting more involved in two charities, trying to run a fundraising campaign, and stay happily married was too much all at once. In hindsight, I hit every single one of my goals in each part of my life, which I guess should make me happy and content, but in each area there’s a realization of how much more I could have done in each area with focus. And the TFC campaign is no exception – there were over 100 activities I wish I could have added to the campaign, and even more personal time working with the kids would have been tremendous. In the end I am happy with the funds I raised, but I feel that I still have something to prove to myself in the future. And I think that’s a good thing.