Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nosmokeathon Total: $2,297.50 (DAY 222)

I am happy to report that the Nosmokeathon raised $2,297.50!

Both organizations, PanCAN and ACS, will receive checks totaling $1148.75.

I am putting the envelopes in the mail today. I apologize to those of you who have had checks outstanding for so long.

I just want to thank everyone again for the support. This was an amazing thing and you should feel proud to have been a part of it. I know I am.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Dear Friends,

I am very proud to announce that today, September 4th, marks the successful conclusion to my Nosmokeathon! It has been 185 days without a cigarette and I am very happy to have achieved my goal. Although I know that this is not the end of my fight with this addiction, I feel that I am well on my way to being a non-smoker for the rest of my life. And it feels great!

Your support made a huge impact on the success of the Nosmokeathon. You helped motivate me to kick this deadly habit and together we raised a lot of money for two worthy organizations, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) and the American Cancer Society (ACS). I am truly grateful for your support.

Because I want to give both organizations an equal amount of money, I am asking my sponsors to split their total donation in half and write two checks. For example, I pledged $1.00 per day for a total donation of $185.00. I will write two checks for $92.50, one made out to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the other to American Cancer Society. However, if anyone would like their entire donation to go to one of the organizations, that is perfectly fine too. In that case they will write one check for their total donation to the organization they choose. I will still make sure both groups get an equal amount of money overall. The checks will be mailed to me so that I can present them all together to PanCAN and the ACS.

I do not currently have a total for the amount of money raised overall through the Nosmokeathon. When all the checks are in, I will get a tally and I will reveal the grand total on this blog. Please continue to check the blog over the next few weeks for this update plus any other news or details that may arise.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments for me. I can be reached by email at

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE LOVE AND SUPPORT! Whether it was a monetary donation or words of inspiration and encouragement along the way, I could not have done this without you.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update (DAY 177)

Hello all. Sorry it has been so long since my last past. Things have been good (I will fill you in momentarily) but what is even more exciting is that the Nosmokeathon is quickly coming to a close!

It has been just about six months now without a cigarette and it feels great. I set my mind on quitting and I can proudly say I did it! I had loads of support from family and friends and everyone who donated money to this cause. Together we raised a lot of money that will go to fighting cancer (grand total to be announced in a later blog entry). I am looking forward to presenting the American Cancer Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network with checks in the weeks to come. Raising money for two important cancer organizations was great motivation for me. It made this process bigger than just me. If I failed, I would have let a lot of other people down besides myself.

I want to thank everyone who supported me with this. As much as the monetary donations were appreciated, the words of encouragement and interest in my success were just as important to me. You guys made all the difference, so thank you again.

Now to fill you in on my summer. I had a good one! I finished up with my teen tour program a couple weeks ago. It was a great experience for me. I met some wonderful people and visited some awesome places. The last four weeks of the trip were to Virginia (Colonial Williamsburg and Va. Beach), Pennsylvania (Hershey and the Amish Country), Maine, and Toronto. I had never been to Maine or Toronto so it was nice to see some new things. I ate delicious lobster in Maine and checked another baseball stadium off the list catching the Blue Jays play the Athletics in the Skydome, which is now called the Rogers Center (booo corporate naming rights). I am now looking to carry my momentum from the summer in to acquiring some full time employment. Anyone looking to hire a smart, well-rounded, semi-good looking young man, here I am!

I will try to update the blog a bit more frequently. Please check back again soon. Thanks again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dr. Randy Pausch Passes Away (DAY 146)

I am sad to report that Randy Pausch passed away on Friday from Pancreatic Cancer. He was 47 years old. He is survived by his wife, Jai, and his three young children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.

Dr. Pausch, a Carnegie Melon University professor, became famous in recent months after delivering "The Last Lecture," about achieving your childhood dreams. It is my opinion that he faced death with a lot of courage and bravery and was able to use his unfortunate situation to help and inspire millions of people.

I first learned about Dr. Pausch and his story through researching the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Since then I have followed him in the headlines as he has made appearances on Oprah and ABC. I also frequently checked his personal web page, where he posted updates about his health. In recent weeks the posts had stopped and I wondered if something was wrong.

For more information about Dr. Pausch and Pancreatic Cancer, please read my posts from April 8th and April 27th.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update (DAY 132)

It has been a while since my last post, so here is an update of what I have been up to.

Two weeks ago, I started work for American Trails West, a teen tour program. The tour I am on takes 14 and 15 year olds to different areas along the East Coast. The trips are Monday to Friday and I come home on the weekends. The first week we did Boston and last week we went to Montreal, with stops in Burlington, VT and Lake George, NY. So far everything has been excellent. I am enjoying myself and I really like the other staff members on my trip. I eat great, sleep in nice hotels, and get to do cool activities. Last week we went jet boating in Montreal, which was thrilling and my favorite event so far. I am getting excited to head to down to Virginia next week.

I would not say the work is hard, but the job keeps me active and busy all day. This is great, because I do not think about or crave cigarettes at all during the week. Even if I was still smoking, I would not have the time for it, so it is especially good that I quit.

Our bus driver is a chain smoker and is constantly lighting up when we are not on the bus. This has not been a problem for me at all. I am proud of myself for that. One time however, the driver asked me to hold his cigarette while he went to get something on the bus. I did it, but felt very uncomfortable. I held the thing like it was a dirty sock. I was not so much tempted to smoke the cig, but just holding it felt weird to me.

There is a camper on the trip who brought cigs the very first day. After hearing that these were not allowed, she came to me and I told her to give me what she had and I would give it back at the end of the week. I told her about my efforts at quitting smoking and try to show her that she does not need cigs and now is the time to stop. I lent her a few sticks of my Trident the first few days to help her out. I think she feels comfortable talking to me about it and I am glad. It felt good to be able to give advice as someone who has been going through the same thing. The second week she brought no cigs with her and I hope she can keep up the good work.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more updates and posts. Thanks.

Thanks for the love and support:
The Math Family

Friday, June 27, 2008

Steel Train to Perform on Conan! (DAY 116)

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Nosmokeathon, but interesting nonetheless and I think it’s really cool.

A friend of mine, Jon Shiffman (pictured far right), is a very talented musician and the drummer for Steel Train, an up-and-coming “indie rock” band. The band is currently on tour this summer, hitting up major music festivals along their way. They recently performed at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Last summer while I was traveling across the country, I was able to meet up with Jon and his band twice, in Lawrence, Kansas and again in Anaheim, California. I have also seen them play locally, and they put on a great show.

The reason I bring up Steel Train, is because they recently found out that they will be the musical guests on Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Monday, July 7th! I think this is very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing my buddy rock out on TV. Everyone should tune in for the show.

To find out more about Steel Train, check out their website at, where you can also listen to their newest CD, “Trampoline.”

Saturday, June 21, 2008

BenZev Fine Art Gallery (DAY 110)

My friend Dave is an incredible artist and has just relaunched his website, an online gallery of his works. Please take some time to check it out by clicking here --> BenZevArt. I am also adding a link to the sidebar.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

DAY 100!! (DAY 100)

Wow! I can't believe it has already been 100 days without a cigarette. I am really proud of myself. The midpoint of the Nosmokeathon has come and gone. At the very beginning, I had doubts as to whether I could reach the half-way mark. It is definitely a rewarding feeling to have made it this far. Although there is still a long way to go, I'm confident in the fact that the Nosmokeathon will be a success and that I am on the right track to be a non-smoker for the rest of my life.

The other day I was thinking about how much money I have saved so far by not smoking. Since it is day 100, the math necessary to figure this out is about level with my ability. I'm not sure what the average price of a pack is now but lets say its $5.50. That is $550 saved already, a lot of money. I can tell the difference too, as I am not running to the ATM every few days like I used to.

Thanks for the love and support:
Andi Schlissel

Monday, May 19, 2008

Digg It! (DAY 77)

My friend Ben read my last post and came up with a bunch of great ideas for getting more exposure of the Nosmokeathon. He has added a story about this blog and what we are doing to

I had never heard of Digg before, but it is really cool. Digg is a website where people can share content from anywhere on the Internet. Anyone can submit something from the Internet they think is neat or worthwhile. Then, other Digg users can see what they have submitted. If they like it or find it interesting, they "digg it." A submission that receives a lot of diggs will be posted to the front page of, where millions of people will be able to see it.

Help get this story to the front page of Digg! I have added a button on the sidebar under the heading "Digg This." Click on "digg it." If you are not signed up with you will have to, but its a reputable site and you can find some very cool and new information if you take the time. Thanks!

Thanks for the love and support:
Toby Tider
Diane Tider
Aaron Rosenblatt

Friday, May 9, 2008

Update (DAY 67)

Hi all. It has been a while since I have blogged about how I am doing with not smoking and how the Nosmokeathon is going, so that will be the subject of this post. I will begin with the latter.

The Nosmokeathon has now been going on for over two months. I am happy to report that our total for money pledged so far is $1571.25, which is great. However, while the first month saw more and more pledges coming in, the second month has seen less and less. I guess this is to be expected, but it has been a bit deflating for me. I have been trying to find ways to spread the word better, to extend the reach of this Nosmokeathon to more than just friends and family perhaps. I have been thinking about contacting the ACS and PanCAN to let them know what I am doing and see how they might be able to help. I will keep you updated.

As for not smoking, it is going well. I have not smoked a cigarette and I can confidently promise that I will not. There is just too much riding on it. Since my last update, things are getting easier and better for me. The cravings are less often and my mood swings are not nearly as bad. Still there are times here and there when I do want a cig, but not too often. Sometimes I see a person smoking and I think it looks gross and I am glad I do not look like that anymore and that I am no longer dependent on cigarettes. There are time though that I see a person having a cig and I wish it could be me. It all depends on the circumstances and the way I am feeling at the time. In both cases though, I do a good job of having self control. I really do not find it too hard to be around someone else who is smoking. That is their right and it should not affect me one way or another.

In my last update, I talked about how things had changed for me since I stopped smoking. Here is another... I know have space in my pockets to carry everything I need when I go out. A pack of cigs and a lighter would take up an entire pants pocket and would make it hard to carry everything else I needed with me (keys, wallet, gum, etc.). Somehow I guess I fit everything, but my pockets would be bulging, not a good look. Now, I have ample space for anything I might need to have on me! Pocket room is a nice luxury.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Last Lecture - Dr. Randy Pausch (DAY 55)

In my blog on April 8 about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I ended with a video clip of Dr. Randy Pausch meeting with members of Congress to discuss the importance of increasing funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer. A few days after I posted the blog, ABC did a special about Dr. Pausch and his story has reached millions of people in the last few months. I first learned about Dr. Pausch a few months ago when I was starting up the Nosmokeathon and was doing research on the PanCAN website. Since then, I have spent hours online watching testimony and lectures given by Dr. Pausch, which have really inspired me. I want to share some of what I have found with you.

It all started back in September when Dr. Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, gave his "Last Lecture," a university tradition giving professors a chance to speak to their students as if it were the last time ever. For Dr. Pausch however, this was no hypothetical situation. As a pancreatic cancer patient, the idea of a "Last Lecture" took on a new kind of reality with him. The lecture, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," inspires people to have lofty dreams, like playing football in the NFL, and then to overcome any obstacles that may stand in your way. One lesson from the lecture that particularly stuck with me was, "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." The lecture ultimately found its way on to YouTube and has since been viewed by millions, making Pausch a self described overnight celebrity. With this celebrity status, Dr. Pausch has done a great job of making awareness for pancreatic cancer, through testifying for PanCAN and other organizations, to the ABC special, and finally coming out with a book recently, called The Last Lecture, which expands on the lessons talked about in his speech.

Nothing I can write will do justice to this great story. I highly recommend that you take some time and watch the full lecture. It is about 75 minutes long, but well-worth every second. I guarantee you will be glad you watched. I know we are all very busy though, so in addition to making a link below to the full version I am also putting up links to some highlights from the lecture as well as some other video I have found of Dr. Pausch online. If you are not sure you want to watch the full version, watch the clips first and you might just be intrigued enough to do so.

The Last Lecture - Highlights

Dr. Pausch Special on ABC - Full Version

Dr. Pausch on ABC - Highlights

PanCAN Public Service Announcement

Dr. Pausch for the Lustgarten Foundation

Dr. Randy Pausch's Homepage (has many of these videos and more)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Cancer Society (DAY 44)

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a national organization dedicated to fighting cancer through numerous programs and projects. The mission of the ACS is to "eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service." For more detailed information about the ACS please visit their website, which not only tells about the organization, but which also gives information and support to patients, survivors, and friends and family who may be affected by cancer. I was even able to find a Guide to Quitting Smoking that had some great information for me.

On the website you can also read about the great programs and activities the ACS puts on to raise money and awareness. One of these programs is Relay For Life. Relay For Life is an overnight walkathon that takes place at schools and parks all across the country. Relay is a team event and the goal is to have at least one member of each team walking the entire night. The purpose of Relay is to remember and honor those who have lost their lives to cancer, to support people currently afflicted, and to raise money and awareness in hopes that one day we can overcome cancer once and for all. The Relay started out with one man trying to make a difference. Today over 3 million Americans take part in events all across the country each year! This just goes to show us that one person really can make a huge difference.

I was fortunate to be able to participate in Relay For Life a few years ago at the University of Delaware. It was a great event and really fun. I was on a team with a bunch of my friends which made the whole thing even better. Throughout the night there are different themed laps which add another fun element. There is also a special luminaria ceremony during the night to remember the people that have lost their lives to cancer. In all, Relay For Life is a special event and it makes you feel good to be part of something like that. If you are interested in participating in Relay For Life, the ACS website will help you find one that is in your area and let you know how to get involved.
The American Cancer Soceity

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (DAY 36)

While it is one of the less common forms of cancer, Pancreatic Cancer is one of the deadliest, as it is the fourth leading cause of all cancer deaths. Unlike many other forms of cancer, which have seen decreases in the amount of cases in recent years, the number of people diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer continues to rise. In 2007 it was estimated that over 37,000 people would be diagnosed with the disease in the United States and that over 33,000 would die from it.

Pancreatic Cancer is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat. Symptoms, which include jaundice, significant weight loss, pain in the back or abdomen, and digestive problems, are usually not detected until the later stages of the cancer because they can be vague and easily attributed to other more common health issues. The life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer that has metastasized is just 3 to 6 months. About 80% of Pancreatic Cancer patients are dead within the first year of diagnosis. Only about 5% survive for five years or longer, the lowest survival rate of all the major cancers.

“In 2006, an estimated $66.7 million dollars of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) cancer research investment was spent on pancreatic cancer research. This is just 1% of the NCI’s $4.8 billion dollar cancer research budget for 2006.”

The numbers are alarming, and prove that Pancreatic Cancer is obviously not getting the support or attention which it demands.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) works hard to create awareness for the disease and to advocate for a cure. PanCAN’s mission is “to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.”

“The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. (PanCAN) was founded in 1999 to focus national attention on a disease that impacts over 37,000 Americans annually but receives far less consideration than cancers of comparable severity. Initially created as a grass-roots organization, PanCAN has become the national leader in the quest to defeat pancreatic cancer. PanCAN fulfills its mission through a comprehensive strategy that combines directly funding research, generating public policy, providing patient services, and extending community outreach and education nationwide. The organization stands as a beacon of hope for the pancreatic cancer community by providing leadership and unity in the urgent fight to find a cure.”

Dr. Randy Pausch is a Carnegie Melon University professor and a Pancreatic Cancer patient. Last month he visited Capitol Hill to testify before members of Congress on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please take a few minutes to watch his moving and compelling testimony.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Rhode Island Cancer Council, Inc.
Thanks for the love and support:
Alyce and Marty Jacobson
Jon Silberg
Priya Chandrashaker

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Funds-Raising! (DAY 27)

Just a little update...With pledges continuing to come in, our new total for money committed so far is $1471.25! This is a lot of money and it is going to continue to rise. There are still a few people who have agreed to donate but have not yet told me for what amount. With those pledges as well as new ones that I hope keep coming in, I am confident that we can reach and then pass the $2000 mark, at least doubling the original goal. That would really be amazing. Thanks go out to everyone for making this possible.

I will continue to list my new sponsors on each blog post. For a complete list of sponsors please see the sidebar, where I have just added this feature.

Thanks for the love and support:
Cyntia Leo
Ben Tider
Andy Tider
Harria and Lew Archer

Monday, March 24, 2008


The American Cancer Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are just two of many great organizations that are dedicated to the fight against cancer.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) is another of these organizations, lending support to cancer patients. Founded by champion cyclist and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, the organization is known for their LIVESTRONG campaign which created awareness by selling yellow wristbands that became very popular a few years ago.

The band Wideawake donated their song "Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow" to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and it has become the theme song of the organization. All proceeds from the sale of the song directly benefit LAF "and its cancer initiatives." Quoting the Wideawake website:

"Upon learning of a friend's cancer diagnosis, lead singer and songwriter Scott Leger penned the song as both a coping mechanism and a tribute. Inspired by the LAF's LIVESTRONG campaign, Leger and the band decided to donate the song. 'We are so proud to dedicate Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow not only to my friend but also to Lance Armstrong and the millions of people affected by cancer -- those we've lost and those who survive, fight, volunteer, support, research, raise awareness, give, and inspire.,' said Leger."

Please click on the link below to hear "Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow" and to visit the Wideawake website where you can find out more about the song and the band.

LIVESTRONG Song - "Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow" by Wideawake

I have also added video clips (courtesy of Youtube) to the sidebar of the band performing the song. There are three clips shown. I think the first one has the best quality. The third one does not seem to work. Just click on them to play.

If you like the song and want to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation, you can purchase it on iTunes for $1.

(Thank you, Shayna, for putting me onto the Livestrong Song!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Update (DAY 20)

Hey folks. I thought I would update those of you who read this (I think that might just be you, Mom) about how quitting has been going for me so far and some of the things I have experienced.

It has been 20 days since the Nosmokeathon officially began, however I actually stopped smoking cigarettes a month or so earlier. So in total, it has been about seven weeks.

The first few days and even weeks were really tough. All I could think about was cigarettes and the thought of not smoking one for the next six months, let alone the rest of my life seemed completely crazy. I thought about smoking constantly because pretty much everything I did on a day-to-day basis involved having a cigarette. Waking up, going to sleep, eating, driving, all these things and many more, in a way, I think I associated with smoking.

I also got to experience some pretty annoying withdrawal symptoms and I am sure they were much more annoying for the people around me. In the first few weeks I was extremely irritable and anxious. The littlest thing would make me so frustrated or angry for no good reason at all. If I got mad at you during this time, I apologize, you probably didn’t deserve it. In addition, I would get very restless and not know what to do with myself. I would find myself wandering around my house with no real purpose.

Luckily, somewhere along the line since those first few weeks and now, things started to change. It was not something that just occurred over night, but looking back now, I can really notice a lot of differences in my moods and behaviors and just the way I feel. Of course, I still think about cigarettes, a lot, but it does not even compare to how it was. I can get in the car to go somewhere now, without my first thought being to light up. My brain no longer assumes there is a cigarette coming after a nice big meal. It is just good to know that I can do everyday things without needing to smoke. The withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing began to noticeably decrease as well. This is really good because I would not have any friends left if they didn’t. Every now and then I still get a little irritated or antsy but it is so much better.

One thing I really have had to be careful with is not replacing smoking with eating. It is really easy to just stuff your face when you are actually craving a cig. It has helped me to try to be conscious of myself doing this and when I do want to snack I am trying to have something healthy like grapes as opposed to candy or sweets. On the same topic, it would not be right if I didn’t give a little shout out to Trident Tropical Twist gum. Without a doubt the best gum on the market right now, this stuff is not only sugarless but it also has xylitol, which helps repair cavities. Does it get better? I don’t think so. This gum has been so helpful to me in quitting. Instead of having a cigarette, I pop in a piece of gum and I am good to go. I’ll take that trade off any day.

There are certain things or times that I find it extra hard to not have a smoke. For me, the hardest things are probably long driving trips and the few occasions when I am out drinking socially. Driving has always been something I have really enjoyed, however it was pretty much synonymous with smoking for me, especially longer trips. I would break up a drive by having a cig every half hour or so. I know it will get easier because I can do short trips no problem, but its still really hard right now. Going out to bars and drinking with friends is hard too. Cigarettes always complemented booze really nicely I thought and just the whole atmosphere at a bar, again kind of coincides with smoking cigarettes. But this is just another thing I have to get used to. Last week I played in a high stakes poker game for 5 ½ hours straight. It was super intense and nerve racking and 8 weeks ago, I would have been getting up from the table every hour to smoke. It was hard to see other players go out to smoke but the only times I got up were to go to the bathroom, so I was really proud of myself. I wound up winning a lot of money too, so maybe it had something to do with being smoke-free.

I want to end by telling you some of the really great things that have happened since I stopped smoking! I find that I have a lot more time now. I never thought about it before, but smoking 20 cigs a day at an average of 5 minutes is an hour and 40 minutes every day spent smoking (I think)! That is crazy. Instead of getting restless I try to find productive things to do instead like write on this blog. Not only am I saving time, but also a more obvious thing would be money. I don’t even want to think about the money I spent in cigs over 7 ½ years but I can definitely tell my pockets are fatter now. Smelling good is another nice perk to not smoking as well. I can already tell that my lungs are getting stronger and I don’t lose my breath too easily now when I’m at the gym or playing soccer. Overall, I just feel a lot healthier and that is a really good feeling.

A lot of people have been telling me about when they quit cigarettes and how they dealt with things, so I want to invite anyone who is so inclined, to make a comment to this post and share some of your stories and experiences about what you went through when you quit. I think it would be cool to see what experiences were similar and to hear about those that were different.

Finally, the pledges are still coming in! It’s great to have support like this and it is exciting to see how much money we can raise! Let’s keep it going strong.

Thanks for the love and support:
The Klein Family
Emily Berenback
Alisa Stephens

Sunday, March 16, 2008

$1000 Goal Already Surpassed!!! (DAY 13)

I am very happy to let everyone know that we have already reached and exceeded my goal of $1000! This is awesome and so motivating to me. It has been less than two weeks and the pledges keep coming in. I can't wait to see how much we will raise all together, but the sky is the limit. With this kind of money on the line, there is no way I am going to fail.

Thanks for the love and support:
Jacob Fox
Judy and David Fox
Dave Master
Shayna Kritz
Jason Green
Harriet Gottlieb
The Herman Family
The Tobias Family
The Rutz Family
Mimi Sigel
Ruth Becker and Herman Darnell
Elena Matsui

Friday, March 7, 2008

How to Donate (DAY 4)

Hi all. Officially 4 days without a cigarette! I can't say I dont miss it, but I keep telling myself that smoking is just no longer an option. The donations are already starting to come in, which is really motivating to me! Keep them coming please. My next post will have a list of the names of those people who already said they would sponsor me as well as a new total of the amount we have raised so far.

For those who wish to donate but have no way to get in contact with me, now you do! Please feel free to email me at

Also, it was brought to my attention that when I collect the money after the completion of a successful "Nosmokeathon," those donating should be able to write the checks out directly to the organizations. I think this is a good idea and just something for you to keep in mind. We can fine tune the details when the time gets closer.

Thanks again for all the support. Keep checking back for new posts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hello and Welcome (DAY 1)

Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Matthew Fox and I have been smoking cigarettes since the age of 17, almost 7.5 years! In the past few years, at the height of my addiction, I was smoking up to a pack a day. Over the years I have made many unsuccessful attempts at quitting. I've tried everything from quitting cold turkey, to cutting down gradually, to the patches and gum and for one reason or another, I failed every time. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I have tried to do in my life. Recently though, I made the decision that it is time for me to quit cigarettes once and for all!

As a way to motivate myself this time, I came up with the idea for a "Nosmokeathon," in which I could raise money for cancer charities by being sponsored to not smoke cigarettes over a six month time period. The idea being that with a lot of money for a great cause depending on me, I will have even more incentive not to smoke. I know if I can be smoke-free for six months, I can be smoke-free for the rest of my life. Therefore, sponsors are helping me to quit smoking cigarettes as well as supporting two great cancer organizations.

The organizations I have chosen to donate to are the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Both groups do great work in the fight against cancer. I plan to write more about these organizations in future blog entries, but you can check them out now by clicking on these hyperlinks:
American Cancer Society
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

The "Nosmokeathon" begins today, March 4th and will last until September 4th, a total of 185 days. I am asking for a daily donation for every day I do not smoke. However, if I slip up at all in the next six months (meaning have even one cigarette) then the "Nosmokeathon" is null and void and no money will be raised. Those who choose to donate will have to trust me to be truthful. All I can do is give you my word and promise to be honest. I want to do this the right way.

A pledge from you for just a few cents a day will really make a huge difference, both for me and the charities involved. Here is an example to show you how it will work:

• John pledges $.10 per day.
• After September 4th I will contact John and ask for $18.50.
($.10 x 185 = $18.50)
• Once I have collected all the donations, I will total the money and split it evenly between the two charities.

To get things started, I have personally pledged $1 per day. This means that if the “Nosmokeathon” is successful, we will have already raised $185. My goal is to raise $1000 and to be able to give $500 to each organization. I plan to continuously update the blog with news about how much money we have raised as well as how I am doing with not smoking.

Even if you can not make a pledge, you can still help me by spreading the word to your friends or anyone who you think might be interested. Together, I know we can really make a difference!

I thank you in advance for your support on this. It really means a lot to me. I think this can really be great and I hope my excitement about it is contagious.

Please continue to check my blog for news and updates. Also feel free to make comments, they are not only welcomed, but appreciated. Also let me know if anything is unclear to you. Thanks again.