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  July 16, 2010
A Pain in the Neck...

One year ago today I was released from my first hospital stay in 46 years (my prior hospital stay was when I was 2 years old suffering from a double pneumonia).

On this hospital visit I was suffering from more acute symptoms - a crushed clavicle (requiring a plate and 12 screws), 3 broken ribs, a collapsed lung and several contusions and bruises.  All of these injuries were incurred as a result of a bicycle crash. 
At the time, I was training for the Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic (CCC), a 650-mile ride from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf down along the coast arriving in San Diego 10 days later.
My friend Lisa first told me about the CCC ride last year.  She has a unique way in gathering support for the ride and the Arthritis Foundation (AF).  She first tells you all about the ride and the great things that the AF is doing.  Then she says, "I’ve got a great idea...you should do the ride with me!".  At which point almost all of the people typically have the same response, "What?!...are you crazy?!...I’m not riding 650 miles on a bicycle!!...but tell you what...I’ll just support you on your ride..."
Well I suppose that I’m not her typical friend, so when she asked me to join up I replied, "that sounds awesome!...I’ll go out and buy a bike and start training right away...where do I sign up?"...
They say that there are only two types of people in this world...those who suffer from some sort of arthritic condition today and those who will suffer some day in the future.   The AF estimates that 48 million children and adults in the U.S. currently live with one of the many forms arthritis.  It is second only to heart-related illness in terms of lost work time and cost $128B to the U.S. economy each year (click HERE to read more interesting Arthritis facts)
Arthritis comes in many forms including:
  • Osteoarthritis -, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - an auto-immune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.
  • Gout - which affects mostly men. It is usually the result of a defect in body chemistry. This painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe.
  • Juvenile arthritis - a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.
A year has now passed since my accident.  After rehabbing my shoulder for three months, I got back on my bike last Thanksgiving and have since logged in approximately 5,000 miles training once again for the 650-mile CCC ride in late September.   God willing, I will not crash...again...but will finish the ride safe and sane.
Each week I write about how each of us are but a small piece of a really big world with many problems but if we all work together and keep a positive attitude we can do our part.  This is where you come in...
I am trying my best to raise funds and awareness for Arthritis which will hopefully help to find a cure and allow others to live a pain-free and productive existence.  I’m really not good at asking people to support causes...regardless of how good they might be...

Here’s my pitch to you...
  • I am asking each one of my 2,000 weekly blog readers to pledge something...ANYTHING... even if it’s just $1...to support a great foundation looking to make a difference in millions of people’s lives. 
  • If you are in the position to donate $40, then I will send you a high-quality  OptiFuse / AF tee-shirt.
  • If you are in the position to donate $75 or more, then I will send you an high-quality embroidered OptiFuse polo shirt.
  • I will raffle a prize of 50K frequent flyer miles on American, United or Frontier Airlines (good for two domestic round-trip tickets...winner chooses the carrier).  If you donate ANY AMOUNT you will have an entry into the raffle.
  • If your company has a matching gift program, we can raise even more.
  • OptiFuse, as a way to give back to our community, will match any and all donations raised (up to a total of $5,000).
  • The Arthritis Foundation is a registered 503C charity and therefore any donation you can give is tax-deductible.
So to sum it all up...you can support a great cause...help our community...get a high-quality tee-shirt or polo shirt...have OptiFuse match your donation dollar for dollar...have a great chance to win 50K frequent flyer miles and your donation is tax deductible...
Oh...and you don’t need to actually ride the 650 miles!!...I’ll do it for you.
Pledging your support is extremely easy.  Just click HERE to sign up today.
I generally find fund-raising a big pain in the neck and would just rather write a check myself than ask my friends, colleagues and family to donate.  This is truly a worthy cause and I am trying my best to make it worthwhile for you to join me in this endeavor.
Thank you so much for supporting OptiFuse so we can in turn support the people in our community.

Jim Kalb

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