Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This trip is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Julie Sweet. With our efforts we plan to raise money, as well as awareness, for Pulmonary Embolisms (PE). A PE is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage usually is caused by a blood clot that travels to the lung from a vein in the leg. PE most often is a complication of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In DVT, blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, most often in the legs. These clots can break free, travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, and block an artery. The exact number of people affected by DVT and PE isn't known. Estimates suggest these conditions affect 300,000 to 600,000 people in the United States each year. If left untreated, about 30 percent of patients who have PE will die. Most of those who die do so within the first few hours of the event; my mom's life was taken almost instantly, while she was asleep on a Sunday morning this past June.

We are looking to raise $1.00 per mile of river, somewhere in the ballpark of $2,500. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Mayo Clinic out of Rochester, MN. Mayo is conducting research on Pulmonary Embolisms. Scientist are specifically trying to answer why the risk of pulmonary thrombosis increases with infection and in women as they age, perhaps due to menopause and decreased estrogen. Mayo uses an interdisciplinary research team approach that includes the expertise of physiologists, hematologist, biochemists, clinical cardiologist and cardiac surgeons. The goal is to better understand the underlying cause to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies directed towards reducing Pulmonary Embolisms and associated events.
Finally finished speaking with Mary over at the Mayo Clinic regarding how to go about collecting donations. I have a few options for everyone interested. 100% of everything raised will go to the Mayo Clinic for research and it can be tax deductible ( I will email you or snail mail you the tax forms on donations of $100 or more).

Feel free to donate anything from $1.00 - $1,000. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Also, I have made an incentive for donations as a way to show my appreciation and to give back to everyone that is contributing to this great cause.

Donate $15 - receive our favorite 8 x 10 print from our journey.

Donate $30  -  receive our favorite 8 x 10 print and a 5 x 7 mail-able postcard with a picture from the trip to use as you wish.

Donate $80 - receive our favorite 8 x 10 print, a 5 x 7 postcard, and a 3 x 4 magnet with an amazing trip photo on it.

Donate $150 - receive 8 x 10 print, 5 x 7 postcard, and not just a single 3 x 4 magnet, BUT 3 different 3 x 4 magnets to decorate your refrigerator with.

As far as making donations goes, this is how they can be done. I have decided to only accept checks for ease of keeping track of everything and for the paper trail.

1. A personal check made out to Mayo Clinic - Department of Development. I also have a donation form from the clinic for you to fill out electronically or it can be printed, http://www.mayoclinic.org/mcitems/mc2500-mc2599/mc2581-26.pdf. You can then either email it back to me, or you can print it off and include it with the check to the following address:

Camden Sweet
1515 East Tracy Street
Appleton, WI 54915


I will then hang on to the checks and send them to the Mayo Clinic just prior to leaving for the trip. This will allow for ease in keeping a tally of how much as been raised.

If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me. I will reply in a very timely fashion. camden.sweet@gmail.com

Monday, April 16, 2012

One of my favorite things happened today. I received snail mail, that wasn't a bill. Today was a brown package, about the size of a shoe box with my name on it. Eagerly I ran over to the couch, ignoring the dogs that were so happy I was home from work. The return address was from a company specializing in the coolest bug related clothing I've ever seen. I had heard a few horror stories about crazy amounts of mosquito's and fly's  that we'd encounter on the river, so I sent an email over to the incredibly thoughtful folks at The Original Bug Shirt Company, http://www.bugshirt.com/welcome.htm, and just 5 days later received this much appreciated gift. Picture and some more info in the Sponsor section. Thanks again Sara, the shirts are great!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We've received some more promising emails from some very generous companies. http://www.sanborncanoe.com/ has offered to donate two handmade, bent shaft paddles to us, both made specifically for our stroke length. Sanborn Canoe is a company that started as a couple guys in their garage with an itch to learn how to build a cedar-strip canoe. The rest is history, check out their website for some great craftsmanship.

Even though both Stevie and I can swim rather well, it's smart to have some PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices) along. Thanks to http://www.austinkayak.com/, we don't have to use our 35 year old life jackets, but instead will be receiving some up to date, non restricting life jackets to help us in our journey, in case we ever find ourselves in the river.

We are very grateful for everyone that has contributed to our trip. Every little bit helps and we are getting very close to having everything that is needed for this Mississippi cruise.