Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Six degrees of clicking

A couple of thoughts about six degrees.

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth.

Kevin Bacon founded which is about using the idea , "that we are all connected to accomplish something good".

To expand on that are we an average of six "clicks" away from each person in cyber-space?

How can we click to accompish something good? I do believe we are all connected to accomplish something good.

Because I clicked on a website, I started a cyber space friendship with Dane Rauschenberg, a young man who in 2006 ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks and raised over $40,000 for a charity that benefited people with disabilities. We started corresponding about running, my experience as a charity runner, the special friendship I had with Kelly. Dane was kind enough to send Kelly an autographed picture of him running for her birthday last January. Dane knew that Kelly was very ill and he was one of the first people I reached out to when Kelly passed away in March. I had sent Dane one of the links about Kelly and he wrote a blog about her. If you get a chance look for the post he wrote on March 24, 2008.

Someone else was clicking in cyber-space, reading Dane's blog. The title of Dane's blog that day caught Shayna's eye and after reading the article about Kelly, she did some more clicking and asked Dane for my e-mail address. Shayna sent me a very kind e-mail offering her support the same day Dane posted his article about Kelly.

Shayna and I have stayed in touch and she is one of my best friends in cyber space. Shayna is also a multiple TNT participant. Shayna lost her Mom to cancer and has also endured the loss of her team hero, Laiken Kenwood about five weeks after Kelly's passing.

So Shayna and I have become friends because we both read Dane's blog, in different states. We are linked together by a common interest in endurance running, share the same passion and commitment in being relentless in providing hope and inspiration to those we love and serve.

Shayna has been an unexpected source of comfort and continued support for me as I have struggled through my grief this year. Amazing the good someone can accomplish with a few clicks.

Dane had a very short post on his blog tonight and I just love this quote.

"There are many things we can't do, trying is not one of them".

I think that exemplified the way Kelly and Laiken lived their lives. Not trying was not an option for them. Not trying is not an option for Dane, for Shayna or for me.

Keep clicking, keep moving forward, keep trying. I know Kelly and Laiken would want us all to do that.

Please check out Shayna's blog. She has a very touching article about Laiken and Kelly on her blog.

Relentless for a cure.

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