Work Study: myclimbforacure.com
This is a website I created for the fundraiser I started for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was unique because in a way I was the client, along with the LLS. In late 2017 my dad was diagnosed with Acute Myleoid Leukemia, a very rare and aggressive form of Leukemia. On average there are less than 20,000 diagnosed cases in the US each year. Because it doesn’t affect as many people as other forms of Leukemia, there has not been as much research done for treatment and cures. This completely outraged me when I learned this because it may not affect as many people, but AML has the lowest survival rate (about 20%) than any other form of Leukemia.
Dealing with my dad’s diagnosis was devastating, I felt completely helpless. When trying to find ways to cope, I came up with the idea of creating a fundraiser to raise awareness and money to fund research on rare forms of blood cancers. By doing this it made me feel less helpless.
First I had to think of a fundraising goal. I wanted it to evoke emotion and tell a story, more than just simply asking for money. I also knew my case was not unique, thousands of people are diagnosed with different forms of Leukemia every year, so what could I do to make the LLS want to partner with me to raise money. I thought of a shared passion between my dad and I, the outdoors. My dad has undergone several rounds of intensive chemotherapy over the last few months, and most likely still has a few more to come. Watching his body slowly weaken from it’s previously fit condition has been extremely hard to see, but he has relentlessly been working to keep his strength up as best he can. He is a fighter, always has been, always will be, but despite this I know he will not be able to go on all the adventures that he would like to this year. So I pledged to do it for him by hiking 1,000 miles to raise funding and awareness.
I wanted people to be inspired and for this to be on going, not a one time visit for a donation and never to be looked at again. My first task was to add facts and statistics to raise awareness. I did lots of research and added the most important points to a page on the site. I also dedicated a page to the LLS, what they do and all their accomplishments, because all the proceeds would be going directly to them. I chose the color scheme to match those of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to show support: red, black and white.
My last decision was to add a blog to keep visitors engaged. For every hike I did that added to my mileage count I made a post with pictures and a short account of my adventure. I continue to add to the posts as I get closer to my 1000 mile mark. I used these on social media to connect with a larger audience. Soon my page got recognition within the outdoor community and my story had been shared on several large social media page.
As a result of this website and my continuing engagement with the public, donations reached $800 in the first month and are still continuing to come in. My original goal was $1000, one dollar for every mile that I hiked, but I had almost reached that goal before I had even hit 500 miles so I raised the goal and continue to update the site weekly.