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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nano: It is finished. The novel? Not so much.

Yay! So today, I wrote my 50,000th word of what is probably the seventh (and hopefully final) incarnation of my novel. Sounds like a lot, but there's still such a long way to go.

The sad thing: of those 50,000 words, I'll be surprised if half of them make it into the final cut. Nano Wri Mo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about barfing words onto a page as fast as you can. And while there's something to be said for free flowing creativity, it's the editing where most people give up. I almost have a number of times!

Shouts to all the other nanos out there typing toward the homestretch. Or writing. Or keying into their palm pilot. Almost there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Donations Map - As of November 22, 2010

Here's a map of donations from around the world! Let's work on coloring this in ... will post again in a week.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

All I want for my birthday (besides James Franco in a red ribbon)

Sarah's TNT Donation Page (Insta-link for those with short attention spans)

My mom wrote last week to ask what I want for birthday (December 5th). When I read her email, here's the picture that came immediately to mind:

What's that? It's the three-fourths of my Bangkok shipment that has never been unpacked! Yup, it's gathering dust in the basement because there's no room for all my junk in the tiny house I share with a roommate.

Frankly, the idea of adding any more material possessions to the mix over the upcoming holidays makes my head explode. In fact, I'm contemplating a serious trip to Goodwill to thin out my stuff.

The good news: there's an awesome birthday (and Christmas!) present you can give that will not only put a smile on my face, but will go to help a great cause -- a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

As many of you know, I'm running the Canyonlands Half Marathon on March 19, 2011 to honor my mom, who is a 10-year survivor of lymphoma (see post below for more details). Your gift will help me reach my goal of raising $4500 for blood cancer research and programs.

Yesterday I told a friend of mine (someone who just loves giving presents) that I only wanted a donation for my birthday. "But that's kind of boring!" she said. "Can't I get you something fun?"

My reply -- there's nothing better you could give me! Because of advances in blood cancer research and treatment made possible by donations like yours, I have the greatest thing in the world -- my mom!

I truly believe that when you donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you're helping give someone back a mom, a dad, a child, a brother, sister, friend or partner. In fact, seventy-six cents of every dollar you donate goes directly to research or patient programs.

Do you know someone whose life has been touched by blood cancer? Instead of a tie or another kitchen gadget, consider making a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their honor. That's a heartwarming gift that shows how much you care.

To sum up my plea: Instead of adding to the overflow of stuff at the Maurer-Keller house, please consider clicking here and making a donation to The Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

There's a $25 minimum to donate online with a credit card. If you'd like to make a smaller donation (and every single dollar is appreciated!), or if you simply prefer to donate by check, write your check to "The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society" and mail it to:

Sarah Maurer

(Email me for Address)

To ensure I meet my fundraising deadlines, please donate TODAY. No need to wait til Christmas.

So now you can cross one gift off your holiday shopping list. Unless, of course, you can catch and deliver James Franco to my doorstep. (Run James! Run far. Run fast =)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's Fight Blood Cancer Together

My mom and me, three years after she was diagnosed with lymphoma

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm writing to invite you to join a cause close to my heart -- the fight against leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. As you may know, my mom Kathie was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2001. Though her cancer was quite advanced at diagnosis, she is alive today because of an amazing treatment called monoclonal antibodies. She's now been in remission for almost 10 years, and I swear she's healthier than I am!

As late as the 1950s, blood cancer was 100 percent fatal. Today, 89 percent of children with leukemia and 96 percent of people with Hodgkin's disease will live, thanks to research funded by organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Like me, you've probably experienced a friend's or loved one's cancer. Did you know that when you help to fund blood cancer research, all cancer patients benefit? Research sponsored by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been the catalyst for the effective treatment of breast and lung cancer, among others.

While treatment has come a long way, nearly a million people are still battling blood cancer today. Every 10 minutes, an adult or child dies of blood cancer, and leukemia still causes more deaths to children under 20 than any other cancer.

With accelerated funding through generous donations like yours, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society predicts that we can make all blood cancers curable by 2015.

To raise money for blood cancer research, I've pledged to run the Canyonlands Half-Marathon (13 miles in the blazing Utah desert) through a program you may have heard of -- Team In Training.

Team In Training is a fundraising program which benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Each year, they train over 40,000 runners, walkers, cyclists, triathletes, hikers and snowshoers to race at events around the world. The group has excellent coaches who provide a daily training schedule, advise on gear and nutrition, organize group runs, offer track workouts and keep our motivation level up with regular communication.

In return, I have pledged to raise money to help fund research and support for blood cancer patients and their families. My goal is $4500. It's a big challenge, but not nearly as big as the challenges these patients face every day.

I've just returned from our Team In Training kick-off party in Denver, where I met our team hero, Kimberly. She was 27 years old -- and 28 weeks pregnant -- when she was diagnosed with leukemia. After a successful course of treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., she ran her first half marathon in 2010. This season, she'll be up and training with us every Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m.

Kim was pregnant with her daughter when she was diagnosed with leukemia

I would greatly appreciate your donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Over 75 percent of your donation goes directly to research and patient programs.

As a thoughtful and heartwarming holiday gift, consider donating in the name of a friend or loved one.

There are two ways you can donate:

1. Credit card: Visit my personal Team in Training fundraising page. All donations are private, secure and 100 percent tax deductible.

2. Check: Make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Mail the check with the enclosed form to Sarah Maurer at (e-mail me for address).

Please also keep in mind that many corporations have matching programs and will match any donation you provide. It's an easy way to double your contribution!

Thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting this effort. Feel free to contact me for more info, or visit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at

Yours truly,

Sarah Maurer

TAX ID # 135644916

P.S.: While I will gladly accept donations through March, your early support will help me to meet my fundraising deadlines -- the first of which falls in December. So your donation TODAY will help raise even more money to fight blood cancer!

Our Fort Collins/Northern CO Team In Training