Ride Across America

Celebrating Heroes Among Us

Laurie Kelley opens gala

Save One Life celebrated its third annual spring Gala at an elegant, waterfront venue, The Exchange, located at Boston’s historic Fish Pier. Enjoying the balcony overlooking the ocean, or the expansive interior, about 120 guests from across the country dined on hors d’oeuvres and mingled. Guests represented the hemophilia community in full range, from pharmaceutical companies, to specialty pharmacies, from patients to families.

Neil Herson receives recognition from Martha Hopewell

I opened the evening at 7 pm welcoming our guests. I like to use very current events to weave into my talks, and found a metaphor to use in my opening: while getting ready for the gala, I dropped something on the floor. When I bent down, I happened to look under my bedroom bureau and amidst the dust bunnies, I found a shoe that had been missing for some time. It made me think that sometimes we have to go into the dark places, the not-so-glamorous places, even the dirty places where we’d rather not go to find the things we are missing or have lost. In our affluent society (and most of us are affluent compared to those we serve), we slowly and subtly can lose our compassion, tolerance, mission, and unconditional giving.

A slide show of the many faces of children and young adults from developing countries helped by Save One Life played in the background during the three hour gala, showing some of those unglamorous places–megaslums, rural villages, hamlets, townships. It also showed the faces of suffering.

Usha accepts award

We thanked our sponsors of the event, donors, and presented Donor of the Year award to Rich Gaton and his company, BDI Pharma, who sponsor 17 children. Special recognition was given to Patrick Schmidt, CEO of FFF Enterprises (88 children), Wolfgang Marguerre, chairman of Octapharma (70 children), and Neil Herson, president of ASD Healthcare (50 children). Only Neil was present from Texas that night.

We had special guests present: Usha Parthasarathy and her husband from India. Usha is our volunteer liaison, and we simply would not have an Indian program without her. We have over 500 beneficiaries just in India and Usha maintains updates on them all! She received a surprise award for her dedication. And she accepted Program Partner of the Year award on behalf of the Kunnamkulam Chapter in India.

A special award was also given to Barry Haarde, a 47-year-old Texan with hemophilia and HIV who had just concluded his second Ride Across America that afternoon, at 3 pm in Salisbury, Massachusetts! Such dedication! Barry averaged over 100 miles a day to raise $35,000 for Save One Life. Barry also dedicated each day of his ride to someone who passed away from hemophilia and HIV, and posted their photos on Facebook. Remarkable thoughtfulness!

Our Inspiration Award went to board member Chris Bombardier, a 27-year-old who has summit both Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua, highest peaks on their continents, becoming the first American with hemophilia on Kili, and the first person with hemophilia ever to summit Aconcagua. We were blessed to have both men in our midst Thursday night.

Laurie with local patients Justin Levesque and Mark Zatyrka of AHF

Thanks to everyone who attended this wonderful event! We raised money to help support our great team. Without them, we could not operate or progress; with them, we have progressed so far!

We have more children waiting for sponsorship. Please visit www.saveonelife.net to learn more! (More gala pics to come!)

Interesting Book I am Reading
All That You Can’t Leave Behind: A Rookie Missionary’s Life in Africa by Ryan Murphy

This might be a good first book for someone
contemplating becoming a missionary in Africa. It’s an interesting first look at the culture shock one can experience. It’s also interesting what drove Ryan and his wife and new baby to ell everything they owned, beg for survival funds, and leave to a difficult place to teach the schoolchildren of other missionaries. For the experienced, this book is much too fluffy, superficial and lacking in depth, history. It’s told in a rambling, blog-style or journal-style, which might appeal to the younger generation. Not bad, but not meaty or deep; it’s a quick read, too. Two/five stars.

Fast and Furious!

Barry the Biker is at it again…. riding clear across America to raise money for and public awareness of hemophilia!

Barry Haarde is a 47-year-old with the stamina and ambition of a 20-year-old athlete and the soul of an ancient sage. He also has hemophilia and HIV, and lost a brother with hemophilia to AIDS. He conceived the idea to ride across America two years ago, and completed one trans-American trip last summer, covering over 3,600 miles in 7 weeks. You can read about that exciting journey in a previous blog.

Last year, Barry became the first person with hemophilia/HIV to complete a trans-American bike trip.

WFTW2013MapThis year, he does it again, but in only 30 days! Starting from Costa Mesa, California, Barry will ride an average of 110 miles a day,  through the southwest and plains, to arrive after 3,456 miles in Amesbury, Massachusetts on May 23. This is also the day of our annual Spring Gala for Save One Life, the beneficiary of Barry’s fundraising. Barry plans to attend, as soon as he hops off his carbon-framed steed.

Each day of his trip, as he did last year, Barry devotes to someone with hemophilia who died of HIV. He posts daily on Facebook. If you are friends with Barry on Facebook, you will be reminded of each beautiful man who died. What a tribute! Does anyone anymore put this kind of thoughtfulness into action?

Last year Barry raised about $50,000 for Save One Life, the child sponsorship program for children with hemophilia in developing countries that I founded. This year he hopes to raise $35,000. Please consider sponsoring Barry in any amount. Thanks to Baxter Healthcare, our Gold sponsor!

Great Book I Just Read

Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography  by Lesley-Ann Jones
I’m on a Queen kick since I witnesses the amazing performance of Gary Mullen and the Works as the Queen tribute band a few weeks ago. I always liked Queen but now love them and appreciate them even more. This is an in-depth look at one of Rock’s most intriguing and talented front men, Freddie Mercury, who is often cited as the greatest vocalist in Rock history. Certainly no one could match his range. This book is a great first look into his life, from a childhood on Zanzibar (I actually saw the house there he grew up in) to his life at boarding school, the roots of his neediness for praise and adoration, the strange duality of his nature–and not just his bisexuality. He was complex, talented and self-destructive. And a showman all the way. His personal charisma, charm and intelligence are clear. This is also about Queen, probably one of the most educated of all Rock bands. Life on the road, Freddie’s affect on the band, how they grew in influence and hit the heights. Those of you who watched Live Aid will recall how Queen stole the show. Their live music far surpasses their recorded. Freddie adored opera and even produced “Barcelona,” an album with his favorite opera diva. You’ll learn about the history of the band, and Freddie’s sad demise to AIDS in 1991. Great read. Four/five stars (but then I am biased)
HemaBlog Archives