Leukemia Slayer Defeats Cancer, Will Keep Helping Other Kids


The Leukemia Slayer has conquered cancer, or in his words, he, “kicked cancer’s butt!”

Jacob Goeders Slays Leukemia

Jacob Goeders letting his 10,000+ fans on Facebook know his bone marrow is free from cancer.

The 12-year-old Slayer, a.k.a. Mountain View resident Jacob Goeders let his more than 10,000 Facebook fans know recently that he is cancer-free after a battle lasting 3 years and 3 months.

In his usual friendly and non-capitalized style, Jacob wrote on The Leukemia Slayer Facebook Page, “hello it is the leukemia slayer well it is official i have slayed leukemia!!!!!!! i was so happy to hear my dr come in and say who in this room has clear bone marrow? that would be me!!”

I had the great privilege of meeting Jacob in December 2011 at a Christmas party in Mountain View for kids with cancer and their families. He told me about his “Santa Slayer” project, where he asked his then 2,000 Facebook fans to each send $1 so he could buy holiday gifts for the other sick kids on the cancer ward at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Despite being in the fight of his life, all he could think about was how crummy it was for other kids to be in a cancer ward at Christmastime. He himself had spent a good chunk of December 2010 in that same ward, immediately after being diagnosed.

[Read more…]

Peninsula Book Stores Collecting Books for Women Prisoners


Former state assemblywoman Sally Lieber and Reach and Teach co-owner Craig Wiesner.

Several Peninsula independent book sellers are asking people to donate new and slightly used books and magazines to give women in state prisons some positive and engaging material to read.

The stores, along with a Palo Alto real estate office and Sunnyvale City Hall, are currently collecting books through May 15. Boxes at seven locations are available for people to drop off donations (click on “more” link below).

“More than two-thirds of the women in state prison are non-violent offenders and more than two-thirds are mothers. Any reading material that engages the mind and broadens horizons will help,” according to Craig Wiesner, co-owner of Reach and Teach in San Mateo.

Books needed include how-to books, quality fiction from diverse writers, and biographies. Paperbacks are strongly preferred. Only paperback textbooks are accepted, and only if they are less than three years old and in good condition. Current, quality magazines, also in good condition, are also being accepted.

Especially needed are children’s picture books, easy reading books, young adult, and teen classics for youth, women with lower reading levels and children during visitation, as are unopened boxes of Crayola crayons and packs of construction paper. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April


National Poetry Month 2014 PosterLike a pebble plunk

Making circles in a pond,

Good neighbors reach out.

Like my haiku? It’s in honor of National Poetry Month, one of many, many great things you can get involved in as a “good neighbor” in your community. Pick one of these five suggestions and reach out!

1. Celebrate Poetry: As I said, April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate an important and cherished art form. Libraries and poets laureate all over the Bay Area are marking the month with special events and displays to help people interact with reading and creating poetry. Folks at the Oakland Public Library decorated the staircases from top to bottom with poems created by Oakland Youth Poet Laureates, California poets, and children’s poets. In Cupertino the Poet Laureate has launched a Poetry Exchange, where people can see new poems daily, or contribute their own poems. Contact your local library to find out what special events are happening in your city. [Read more…]