Are you one of those people who judges someone who gets diabetes or cancer?

“Oh, they’re fat. Oh, they’re a smoker. They wouldn’t be sick if they took better care of themselves.”

Man, I hope you’re not one of those people. While it’s true that some health-related conditions are due to lifestyle choices, it’s also true that everybody gets sick and dies. Being alive is expensive, and, if you have your health, you are lucky.

I’m especially appalled when I hear people judge smokers and vapers. Most people start smoking before they’re adults, and they get hooked because of hegemonic corporate interests and super-slick marketing campaigns. If you don’t start smoking by the age of 21, it’s 95% unlikely that you’ll ever start.

Once you start smoking, studies have found that it’s harder to quit than heroin. And, unlike heroin, nobody gives you 21 days in a rehab facility to put down the e-cigarette or pack of Marlboros and get your shit together. No mindfulness, no meditation, no respite for the weary former smoker whose nerves are frazzled. We only allow wellness in our lives when we’re in deep crisis, and maybe not even then.

This holiday season, imma make another big ask of you: please donate to Hustle Chicago 2019 to help me fight lung diseases. Far too many people in my life are smokers who can’t quit. Some suffer from asthma and COPD and are struggling with air quality problems in California. And my elementary school friend, Jenny Stein, was a half-marathoner and badass mom who died of lung cancer just a few years ago.

You might be like — Laurie, this holiday season left me drained. I have no money to donate.

Listen, I feel you. Budgets are choices, and right now I’m going eight weeks between hair coloring appointments because I want to be more philanthropic in 2018. One of my priorities is fighting lung disease. Plus nobody thinks I’m a real blonde, so let’s put my money to better use.

Furthermore, I’m going back to Chicago and running up a skyscraper for the 7th time because my sister hasn’t stopped smoking. Not only am I a donor who puts her money where her mouth is, but I’m also a warrior.

And I can’t do this without you. Any amount will make a difference.

Please donate to Hustle Chicago 2019, this Thanksgiving, and make a difference in the lives of children who have asthma, caregivers who are taking care of family members with COPD, and everybody who is at risk from second-hand smoke.

I’m running up 94 floors to help improve lung health and fight disease. I’ve got your back when it comes to these issues. I hope you’ve got mine.