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.