Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Give for Debbie, Dawn, Officer Crouse

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me .....

Gifts are not just gadgets or clothes. The best gifts make a difference for years to come.

With so many good causes to choose from, we have singled out three as part of our holiday gift guide. Rest assured that giving to these worthy causes in someone's name has an impact beyond Dec. 25.

*A donation for Officer Deriek Crouse. The father of five was gunned down last week during a routine traffic stop on campus. Virginia Tech students have initiated "Hokies for Crouse," and a memorial fund has been established to support the needs of the Crouse family. Send contributions, payable to:
“Deriek Crouse Memorial Fund,” to National Bank of Blacksburg, Attn: Dana Sutphin, P.O. Box 90002, Blacksburg, VA 24062-9002.

Deriek Crouse
This year's Frosty 5K on Christmas Eve will also donate the net proceeds to Hokies for Crouse. For more information, visit:

*The facts here are sobering and while I know them, every time I read them, I shiver.  Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over the past 25 years. While cancer death rates have generally declined in recent years, the death rate from pancreatic cancer has increased. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest cancer: 75 percent of patients die within the first 12
months of diagnosis; the five-year survival rate is less than five percent. Despite the grim numbers, pancreatic cancer research is severely underfunded.

Pancreatic cancer is a slow, horrible way to die. Fifteen years ago this Christmas, I remember sitting with my father in the hospital watching the tears stream down his face. He was so sick. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the month before and died the following July. He had no good days in between.

In honor of former Virginia coach Debbie Ryan, blessed to have survived this horrible disease, consider a gift in her name to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or to the UVA Pancreatic Cancer Research Program.

*Saving kidneys, saving lives is the slogan of The Nephcure Foundation. Former James Madison point guard Dawn Evans was diagnosed with kidney disease in December 2009 and has since become an ambassador for The Nephcure Foundation.

Donate for Dawn,as Nephcure is the only organization committed exclusively to support research seeking the cause of two debilitating kidney diseases, Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS.

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