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How I did on my 2016 Charity Reading Challenge and What’s Next

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my desire to take part in a charity reading challenge. My goal was to read as many books as I could and for every book I read, I would set aside a certain dollar amount (1-499 pages = $1, 500-999 pages = $5, 1000+pages = $10), to be donated at the end of the year to the charity of my choosing, Stand Up 2 Cancer, in memory of my father who passed away from bladder cancer in 2010.

As 2016 draws to a close, I have managed to read 102 books, and to set aside $131 for donation. Of those 102 books read, 96 were ones that earned $1, 5 books earned $5 and only 1 book earned $10. Although I originally planned on making a donation to Stand Up 2 Cancer, I have since then become aware of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) and have made a charitable donation of $131 to them. My reason for this change is because although Stand Up 2 Cancer is a wonderful cancer organization, I want to donate to a cancer organization that is specifically working to raise awareness about, provide resources for, and find a cure for the type of cancer my father passed away from. Many people are not aware that bladder cancer is the 5th most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States, and I want to do what I can to help raise and support that awareness.

With that being said, moving forward into 2017, I have decided to reduce my reading goal from 100 books to 75 in hopes that I will be able to read longer books and have even more money to donate at the end of 2017 to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

As I did with my original charity reading challenge post, I encourage all who read this to create your own charity reading challenge to benefit the charity or cause closest to your heart.

2016 Charity Reading Challenge Benefiting StandUp2Cancer.Org

It will be ten years in September 2016 that my Dad was first diagnosed with bladder cancer. As with many significant events in my life, I remember the news as though it were yesterday. I had just completed my first week of flying as a Los Angeles based flight attendant, following my six and a half weeks of initial training, when returned home to Colorado for my days off. Arriving home to my parents house, they sat me down on the couch, one on either side. My Dad, a pilot for the same airline I had just started working for, began by saying that he wouldn’t be flying for a while, that the tests he’d had while I was gone had come back positive for bladder cancer.

With tears in my eyes, I began to open my mouth, only to have my Dad stop me and say that he didn’t want me quitting my job in order to be home full time, it was as though he had read my mind. He said for me to keep flying, have fun and that everything would be all right. My Dad would be going out on a medical leave in order to have surgery and recover, and if all went as planned he would be back to flying in six months, the same time I would complete my probationary period.

Well everything did go as planned. He had the surgery, returned to work cancer free, and flew for the next two and a half years before the cancer made its return. By the second occurrence, it  had metastasized  and spread so that this time when my Dad went out on a medical leave, he had to do chemo and radiation. After months of aggressive treatment, the cancer was beaten back for a second, albeit shorter, time. It was only nine months later that my Dad’s cancer reared its head for what would be the third and final time. With a third prognosis on June 1, 2010, the cancer worked its way through his body with a vengeance until it finally won and ended the battle on July 22, 2010.

In honor and remembrance of my father, a man who could always be found with a book in his flight bag to read on trips, especially when he found himself awake in the middle of the night due to continuous insomnia, I have decided to take part in the Charity Reading Challenge. I first came across the challenge while browsing through different yearly reading challenges online. The idea behind this one is that you pledge to set aside a certain amount of money for every book read, and then at the end of the year you donate all the money you set aside to the charity of your choice.

Having looked at how many books I have read this year, 70 with the possibility of a couple more by the end of the year, I have decided to set aside $1-$5 per book read. $1 will be the average donation, but if the book is on the longer side (like any in the Outlander or Game of Thrones series, or on the more difficult side like War and Peace) then those books will warrant a $5 donation. I will then donate the total amount to standup2cancer.org in my Father’s name.

If you are a follower of this blog, or have stumbled across it in your daily internet searches, I invite you to create your own charity reading challenge for the charity that is close to your heart.