A few years ago, I decided to take up stair climbing as a hobby. It seemed like something I could do in a group environment without having to talk to people.

(I was right!)

I ran up the Empire State Building to beat a disease called Multiple Myeloma, which is a case of cancer that starts in the plasma cells in bone marrow. Tough stuff for too many families around the world. I wanted to challenge myself and raise money for a good cause.

One of my HR blogger friends said to me, “You’re running up the Empire State Building? Ha. I don’t believe it.”

I said, “Uh, yeah, I know your secrets. I would appreciate a donation.”

I’m not above shaking down my colleagues.

He said, “I’ll tell you what. You actually run up those stairs, I’ll make a donation.”

Yeah, okay, we know where this is going.

1. I ran up those stairs.
2. I raised $3,437 in about a month’s time.
3. That guy never donated.

I was mad for a hot minute, but I’m over it. I’m not waiting for the phone to ring with a heartfelt apology, mostly because I know that phone call isn’t coming waiting.

But the moment stuck with me. I learned something about myself. Setting ridiculously tough goals — and achieving them on behalf of a charity despite what other people think about my body or my abilities — is really fun.

Now I Hustle Up the Hancock (#hustle2015) because I’m truly passionate about anti-smoking initiatives. Tobacco companies still prey on women, children and people in poor countries. It’s disgusting and immoral.

And I’m running up the John Hancock building for the third year in a row because I believe in something bigger than having a stair-climbing hobby, yo. I believe in supporting my friends who are trying to quit smoking.

I’m 91% to my goal of raising $3,000. I would appreciate a donation — big or small. I’m not asking for a donation because you believe in me or you like me as a friend. I’m not asking you to donate because I want a lot of attention. I’m asking for you to donate to a good cause that saves lives.

And if you donate today, I’ll tell you the name of the blogger who didn’t believe in me.

Just kidding.

But thanks for any amount you can spare!


  1. Thank you for working to beat Multiple Myeloma. My Father passed away from this in 1998 and it doesn’t get a ton a press so anything that raises awareness or looks for a cure is well appreciated by my family!!

    • Julia, thanks for the note. I’m sorry to hear about your father. My condolences. I know it’s not easy — even after all these years. MM is not necessarily a rare cancer, but most people don’t know about it. I’m happy to do my part.

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