I’ve already blogged about how excited I am to be going to SMX Social Media in New York this week. (Yes, I’ll be blogging at least daily, if not more, so stay tuned.)

When I made that first post, Chris Winfield of 10e20 and the Internet Marketers of New York, commented. Winfield is presenting at the conference and (I’m assuming) one of the organizers of the IMNY’s Charity Party Monday night to kick off the event. The event, sponsored by Best of the Web, raises money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

If you’re going to be in Manhattan on Monday night, come join us at Town Tavern Bar & Grill at 134 W. 3rd Street and 6th Avenue, bring $40 for a donation to The L&L Society and have a good time networking with a roster of social media stars and studs, me notwithstanding.

Here’s what I know about Leukemia:

A young girl in my hometown was diagnosed with leukemia when I was in college. She was several years younger than me, but I knew her because our families went to the same church. My mother implored me to visit her when she was in the hospital in Lexington, Ky., receiving treatments. Despite my college-aged selfishness, I did.  And I’m glad I did.

Leslie was pale. Her hair was falling out. She looked terrible.

Her mother and I talked briefly. I stuttered around and forced a five-minute conversation with Leslie to try and lift her spirits. My approach was to just carry on as if she wasn’t sick. I’m not sure if it worked to distract her from what she was going through, but she seemed responsive and humored I was there.

Oddly enough, because of our age differences, that might have been the longest conversation I ever had with her.

Months passed and Leslie’s condition fluctuated. I prayed for her, as did thousands of people in my little town of about as many.

This story would have to take a sad turn if it weren’t for the generosity of people who gave then to organizations fighting cancer like The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Leslie is in her late 20s now, has been cancer-free for years and is doing well.

And while I still haven’t had a conversation longer than that hospital visit with her, I’ve run into her brother and sister online and still see her parents when I visit my mother’s church. They didn’t have to lose their daughter or sister. It might have been science supported by funding from the L&L Society. It might have been prayer. It might have been a combination of both.

Whatever it was, I’m glad I paid a visit then. Monday night, I’ll gladly do it again.

[tags]SMX Social Media, social media, IMNY, leukemia, lymphoma, charity, Internet Marketers of New York, fundraiser[/tags]

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?