Earlier this month I helped launch Geeky Giving, a geeky and literary endeavor to raise funds for the Barrow Neurological Foundation. The charity is focused on research of ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain tumors and traumatic brain injuries. We’re releasing four-story monthly with exclusive content from brilliant science fiction and fantasy authors culminating in an epic anthology and a Phoenix Comicon shindig in June.
You can read more about Geeky Giving, and snag the first bundle with stories from Mary Robinette Kowal, Karina Cooper, Edward Ashton, and Sierra Dean at the official site, but let me explain how I became involved with Barrow and Geeky Giving.
Books and Barrow go hand-in-hand for me.
Five years ago my father was diagnosed with brain cancer—pituitary carcinoma, if you want to get technical. My dad was a man who laughed a lot, even after we had this terrifying word thrown at us: cancer.
I had a lot of fear about how it would change my dad. It’s a common fear with any neurological disease. His brain tumors were large, and so he sought the best: St. Joseph’s Hospital/Barrow’s tumor board. The doctors he and my stepmom met with regularly were brilliant people. Not just smart doctors (duh), but genuine caregivers who got to know my family through the surgeries (three in a row!), radiation (CyberKnife, I was assured had nothing to do with Skynet despite the very T2 name) and varied chemotherapies.
When my dad was undergoing chemotherapy he discovered a love for books—especially Janet Evanovich. I still smile every time I see someone reading a Stephanie Plum novel. As an author and a voracious reader, I loved this additional bond with him.
My dad passed away on Feb. 11, 2012. He was still my dad then. Still funny and creative and quick witted. He even kept his beard for quite some time, which made him very happy. I credit Barrow for helping my dad stay himself during that time. The doctors and staff fought their hardest to save his life and made quality of life a priority.
After he passed, I ran an auction to raise funds for Barrow. It’s how I coped with that first Father’s Day without him. It also showed me how generous and giving the genre lit community could be. More than $4,000 was raised in that single weekend.
So, I’m back with Barrow to raise more money on a grander scale with Geeky Giving. More books to win, more exclusive stories to share, and more money to be raised so others may have hope their loved ones will win against neurological diseases like brain tumors, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s.