leukemia – Stay N Alive

Forget the Economy – The Burns Family Needs Your Help!

phil2.pngThe economy’s in bad shape right now. Let’s put it a little in perspective – it could be a lot worse, and that’s the situation the Burns family is in right now. I was just contacted by my former colleague, Phil Burns, and he sounded quite troubled. I could hear the concern and worry in his voice. He notified me that one of his twins, Teran, recently had an appendectomy and was experiencing complications from Hemmoraging. He said there’s a strong risk of death.

For those that don’t remember, Phil and his family just in the last year experienced and are experiencing another setback with their daughter who was diagnosed with Leukemia. I’m told the circumstances are still difficult with her. So now, instead of the unimaginable one child with a strong risk of death in their family, the Burns are now experiencing the very immediate possibility of two children dying in their family.

I asked Phil how we could help, and he asked that we pray. If you could join me, I would sincerely appreciate your help. In addition, please feel free to leave your thoughts for the family below and I’ll be sure they get them. You can also follow Phil on his blog at http://phil801.com/wpblog/. Or Adria, his wife on her blog at http://www.chezadria.com. I won’t expect to hear much from them, as they obviously have much greater priorities to attend to.

Phil and Adria are prominent members of our blogging and Twitter community which have been set-back over the last year due to these amazing trials. Let’s continue showing them our support! You can help by re-blogging and re-tweeting the message about them – let’s unite behind this family and help them out. Phil and Adria – we’re thinking of you!

The National Bloggers Blood Drive – How You Can Get Involved

TSFBlood.jpgMy good friend, Phil Burns (@phil801), whose daughter was recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, has organized a cool concept that is starting in Salt Lake City today, but could be organized soon in your area as well. The idea is organized by his foundation, The Serenity Foundation, in conjunction with Takes All Types, who you may have heard about on TechCrunch and the New York Times, and is intended to organize bloggers in different areas to donate blood in honor of the need to donate and give blood in the USA. Did you know that only 5% of those eligible to donate blood actually donate?

The first of the blood drives is to take place as I am writing this, until 8pm MST in Salt Lake City, Utah at Twelve Horses, 13961 Minuteman Dr. Suite 125. You can help organize your own however by simply contacting Phil, or editing the Wiki they have set up with your own organized efforts. The Serenity Foundation will be there with you to help you get it organized and announced.

If you are a blogger, microblogger (aka Twitter, FriendFeed, or Identi.ca), or just like to donate blood, I highly suggest you look into organizing one of these for your own area. In fact, if you do, let me know and I’ll feature you here – I think this is a great, Web 2.0 way of allowing bloggers to unite in an effort to combat the shortage of blood in your area and our nation. Also, please help spread the word by blogging, twittering, “dent”‘ing, FriendFeeding, or whatever – the more exposure we can bring to this cause the better (and please, don’t feel like you need to link to me for it – go ahead and link to the Serenity Foundation’s site!).

You can learn more about how you can get started with a Bloggers Blood drive in your area via the Serenity Foundation’s website at http://theserenityfoundation.org/national-bloggers-blood-drive/. If you’d like to donate to the Burns family (Kevin Rose and Gary Vaynerchuk, this is as good an effort as any to shave your heads for!), you can do so on Serenity’s website at http://www.liftingupserenity.com/blog/donate/. I’m looking forward to see what comes of this.

What an Amazing Week in Donations for Serenity!

2535995696_c9c5c74ee9.pngIn just the last week, you have raised $3,230.97 for @Phil801 and @Mrs801’s 2 year old daughter, Serenity. I can’t tell you how amazed I am at the generosity and power of the Social web in raising such funds. There is still much more we can do. Obviously, I had set a goal for $10,000 for today, and perhaps I was a little too ambitious, but I was also in San Francisco for over half this week and wasn’t able to pay as much attention to it as I would have liked to.

I’m going to keep the goal at $10,000 and change the date to Wednesday. Here is how I think we can do it. If you go to this page:


I would like you to find the Social Networks you are involved with and post the widget to each one you feel comfortable with. When you add the widget, please send a personalized message about Serenity and the Burns Family, mention that they are on Twitter and other Social Networks. People will donate when they are aware we’re all a part of the same community.

If you have a business or blog you can offer help through – match funds, offer a percent of proceeds to Serenity, or whatever, please don’t hesitate to let me know. The ways to donate are all listed here and if we need to do anything special to help promote your cause or get it set up for you don’t hesitate to ask. (Note that we have also added an Amazon wishlist on the sidebar which the Burns Family has put items needed that you can buy for the cause of Serenity if you would prefer not to donate cash)

I just want to share that as Tyler Jensen was setting up the bank account for the Burns family last week he was sharing the story of Serenity with an old Lady in Line. Out of pure generosity and compassion for this little girl, that kind old lady that didn’t even know him gave Tyler $5 to put in the Bank Account Tyler was setting up. There have been many donations like that, and any little amount helps.

Phil tells me that just his last trip to get medicine cost him over $500. This is not going to be a cheap year for the Burns family – let’s all work together to help them out.

UPDATE: You can also add it to your Facebook profile by clicking on this link:


Lifting Up Serenity – New Website and How You Can Help

I mentioned earlier that we were working on a Fund for Phil Burns’ daughter, Serenity, and would post information about it today. Well, we have a bank account set up, but unfortunately the fund will take a little bit to get going. However, I’m going to set a new goal for the Chipin widget.

I’m proud to announce that the Chipin Widget for Serenity and the Burns’ family is, as of this writing (and in just 2 days!), at $1,506.97. There seems to be some issue with the Widget updating on mine and others’ blogs, but I’ve got a support request to get that fixed. We’re going to raise the goal for the Chipin Widget to $10,000 by the end of this Saturday. If you can donate, just a few dollars, help promote this, and maybe even Digg it up, your efforts are sincerely appreciated. Any little effort is a step towards Serenity’s recovery.

In addition to the ChipIn widget, you may also go to any Wells Fargo branch (I think only in Utah), and make a donation to:

Serenity Burns Donation Account
Wells Fargo Bank

or you may send a Check to:

Serenity Burns Donation Acct.
224 S. Main St. #555
Springville, UT 84663

Of course, you can install the Chipin Widget on your own site by visiting here. Please feel free to set aside a little now, or the coming months ahead to help out this family. I estimate their costs for medical expenses alone will exceed $100,000 and we should do what we can to help them not have to worry about that and focus on getting Serenity better.

I’m also proud to announce, thanks to the Burns’ friend, Becky Wilson, the creation of a site just for Serenity. You can find it at http://liftingupserenity.com. Please leave a Guestbook post for her or the family, leave your wishes, see updates from Phil and Adria’s blogs, Twitter feeds, and the FriendFeed room. You can also donate there. If your business would like to promote this through sharing proceeds with the Burns family, we will be happy to include your promotion on the website as well.

We’re also creating an Amazon “wishlist” that you can purchase items for Serenity and the Burns’ Family. Please look for that soon on the liftingupserenity.com website.

So let’s all “Lift up Serenity” together and do what we can to promote this cause.

Would you Like to Donate to the Burns Family? Use This Widget.

I’ve created a ChipIn Widget that goes straight to the Burns‘ Paypal account, which you can donate to help them with their miscellaneous expenses over the next few days. I’ll also be adding it to the right-sidebar of this blog. Until the banks open, please feel free to donate what you can – I am sure they are very much in need of help with their miscellaneous day-to-day expenses while they are in the hospital, so they can focus on their daughter, Serenity and getting her better. You may also use this widget to promote donations on your own blog – I highly recommend you share with others! We’ll be getting a tax-deductible (hopefully) fund organized for the Burns’ family as soon as the banks open after the holidays. In the meantime, let’s see if we can raise just $500 in the next few days to help them out. Any donation is very much appreciated!


My Old Partner, Phil Burns’ Daughter has Leukemia

2519922124_4dc53c5171-1.pngFor those unaware, my old partner and good friend, Phil Burns (aka @phil801 on Twitter) just found out today that his daughter, Serenity, has Leukemia. She has been pricked, prodded, and the stories Phil and Adria tell are heart-breaking! Phil says (much of what I have learned has been through Twitter) that Serenity just got a transfusion and is feeling relatively better, if there is such a thing. She will start chemo in the next day or two. I’m still trying to get things organized – we’re working on a website to show support for her and raise money for the family, and I’ve had numerous Web 2.0-related organizations offer to dedicate funds in their name. The support and interest in helping has been amazing so far. For now my suggestion would be to contact Phil directly to donate money in the more immediate term – I will try to set up a fund as soon as we’re able to. There are many expenses that they are unable to avoid now and I’m sure they can use all the help they can get (they are checked into the hospital now, so I’m sure things like just paying for food at the hospital restaurants is much appreciated).

In the meantime, I’ve set up a FriendFeed Room here that even if you’re not on FriendFeed, you should be able to subscribe to via rss and get updates on the situation. I’m trying to share everything I see from Phil there, including his Twitter posts, blog posts, Adria (his wife)’s blog posts, and his Flickr photo uploads. If you are a member of FriendFeed feel free to leave your comments there or on his or his wife’s blogs, where they seem to be documenting the process.

For those unaware, my Grandmother died from Cancer, my Aunt is fighting it, and seems to be surviving it, and my Uncle died from Cancer. My Grandfather is a Cancer survivor. Things like this hit home for me. Phil says Serenity has the type of Leukemia that has an 80% survival rate (the “good” kind, as he puts it) – however we need to make it easy for them to focus on her and give her 100% of that 80% to survive! Please stay tuned and I’ll post more here as we get organized. If you’d like to help out in any way please let me know and we’ll find a way to put you to good use.

In the meantime, please blog, retweet, or share with all you can to send support and encouragement their way!