As Dave Freed was approaching his 50th birthday he knew he wanted to do something big. He decided to tackle a 50–mile run from Tarzana, over Topanga Canyon, clear to Palos Verdes.
Then he thought, “If I’m going to do that much work, why not make it count?” But he wasn’t sure what to do.
Shortly thereafter, he ran into a high school buddy whose wife was being treated at City of Hope. She told him her time there so far had been wonderful and could not speak more highly of the staff.
A Perfect Fit
Dave had seen the billboards for years and knew of City of Hope’s reputation. He had also heard stories from his mother-in-law about City of Hope. She had been a member of the Monterey Park Chapter of City of Hope. That meant Dave’s wife, Sandy, had grown up helping throw garage sales and other fundraising events for City of Hope.
Dave began promoting his 50 miles for 50 years for City of Hope fundraiser to his friends on Facebook and through emails. Dave told his friends they should give because, “Cancer affects us all. At some point either we, ourselves, or someone we love will be affected. We all want to feel in the back of our mind that should, God forbid, the day come for us, that there is a reputable, successful, topnotch hospital there that can help us—that knowledge gives you hope.”
“Teaching By Example”
Sandy added, “City of Hope has top researchers and scientists who constantly focus research of causes and cures, and least invasive treatments. To know top scientists are focusing on that, gives you hope that they will be there when you need them.”
But Sandy and Dave had another reason for wanting to throw a fundraiser. “We want our children to be people who give back. We are teaching them by example,” they explained.
When his daughters asked him why he didn’t want any presents, he explained, “Life is about giving back. To not give back when you are so fortunate is wrong. I want to help cure cancer.”
The Big Run
After six months of training, the day of the big run arrived. A few friends and family members followed Dave by bicycle, bringing him water and Goo (an electrolyte replacement) to drink throughout the race. Not only did he finish — he had plenty of energy left over for the party that night!
About 60 people showed up to celebrate this amazing feat and this amazing act of generosity. Dave’s daughters watched in awe as people donated dozens and dozens of envelopes full of money to City of Hope. All told, they raised nearly $7,500 to fight cancer.
A Lesson of Hope and Kindness
Not only did Dave and Sandy raise money, they also raised awareness and raised the level of generosity among those who gave. They also took another step in raising their children to care about others and make a difference in the world.
Would they do it all over again?
Sandy says, “Now, I’ll have to come up with something to top that for MY 50th birthday!”
Thank You, Dave and Sandy
And City of Hope thanks you, too. Even if you do not run 50 miles for your 50th birthday, your support of City of Hope gives thousands of people the chance to celebrate another birthday with their loved ones.
In fact, through your generosity, you have played your own spectacular role in curing, treating, and giving hope to people with cancer and other diseases. You make possible the compassionate care and pioneering research that saves lives at City of Hope every day. On behalf of all the lives you have touched, thank you!