Monday, February 19, 2007

Michael Brecker Memorial

In the January 29 issue of Time, page 18, I came across a death notice of Michael Brecker, 57, "11-time Grammy winner widely regarded as the most influential jazz saxophonist since John Coltrane; of leukemia; in New York City."

To be honest, I had never heard of Mr. Brecker until I read this short paragraph about his life and recent death. So a I did some searching and found an article that tells more of the story.

Michael Brecker was diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), an early stage of leukemia in which one's bone marrow cannot produce enough healthy blood cells, sometime after that. His wife Susan had sent out a plea via mass email, "'s critical that he has a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant (which has nothing to do with embryonic stem cells). The initial search for a donor, including Michael's siblings and children, has not resulted in a suitable match. We now hope to have as many people tested as possible that share a similar genetic background as my husband."

The appeal for help has also been posted atop the official Michael Brecker website since soon after the 57-year-old saxophonist first announced that he had been diagnosed with MDS. Despite worldwide publicity, a donor match was never found. An experimental cell transplant procedure was performed on Michael Brecker in 2005 but was not as successful as the surgeons and medical experts had hoped.

His website offer details on a memorial service to be held on February 20 in New York City.

More on his life:

His work as a sideman was featured prominently on TV and movie soundtracks, including "The Wiz," "Warriors," "Footloose," "9 ½ days," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and The Bill Cosby Show. Michael Becker also performed as part of the dynamic house band for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in the 1980s, and recorded with popular artists as diverse a Dire Straits, Herbie Hancock, Todd Rundgren, Manhattan Transfer and funk rock icons, Parliament.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fundraising Update: Six Weeks to Go!

Team Goodman crossed the $1,000 mark today in funds raised for LLS. Our goal is $3,000 before the end of March. Thanks to my big sister for tipping us over into the four-digit territory! (ok, so immediate family - check; aunts, uncles and cousins, I'm coming for you too!)

I'm also working on corporate and local business donors. If anyone has ideas are ways to help spread the word, please don't be shy.

Here's the secure online donation site just in case you lost it.

For those of you we've expressed your intent verbally to support my campaign for LLS, now is the time!

Thank you all again. I'm off to SPIN class. Training update to come too... lots of good stuff to report.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Salute to Coach Tom

TNT attracts a group of seemingly ordinary folks who volunteer their time to train the endurance/fundraising teams, often multiple teams at one time such our winter team and the new spring team which kicked-off their training in '07. I suppose like most humans, their extraordinary qualities manifest once you get to know them better.

Bret from Team Starr provides an appropriate tribute to Coach Tom, the leader of our pack of wild triathletes-in-training, and a super human being.

Read Bret's post. I bet you'll laugh out loud.