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Airplanenut's Charity Auction #7... Donations Now Being Accepted!

6 posts in this topic



Those who have been on the boards for a while may remember Charity Auction #1, which took place in early 2003 when I was a high school sophomore. At that time, I couldn't drive, I thought school was easy, my parents were responsible for the trouble I didn't cause (let's be honest, I was a pretty good kid), and I had no idea how true it is that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind and heart to it. Now, things are a bit different. In the last year I've spent far more time flying planes than driving cars, my classes are incredibly challenging, I'm old enough to buy alcohol (just turned 21), and I've seen my initial attempt at raising a few hundred dollars take off into something incredible.


For those who haven't been around since that time, I've been running charity auctions on the PCGS and NGC message boards since 2003, and have run 7 so far. The first one began after I did a research project in 10th grade biology on pancreatic cancer, which took my grandfather in 2000. His life was aviation, having worked as a mechanic for the Royal Air Force, BOAC in London, Continental in Los Angeles, and finally as a professor in a technical college. He would have gone into engineering, but was never able to go to college, so he did the most he could. I fell in love with aviation in July of 1998 while on a family trip to France, England, and Scotland that put me on 5 flights. My new passion was my first connection with my grandfather (and the only real connection he had with any of his 5 grandsons--no granddaughters), and it was cut short when he passed away in 2000.


Over the years, especially as I learned more about pancreatic cancer, I've realized that I only have one real goal in life. I want to do the two things my grandfather couldn't do: become an aeronautical engineer and beat pancreatic cancer. For the former, I've almost met the goal. I have one and a half semesters left before I've met the degree requirements for a Bachelors in Aeronautical Engineering at MIT, and I'm getting my feet wet with the industry this summer when I go out to work in the aerodynamics division of Boeing Commercial Aircraft. For the latter, I've spent a summer working in the pancreatic cancer labs at UCLA (run by the doctors who treated my grandfather), and also I have worked to raise as much as I can (through auctions and other means) for the charity that supports the lab, the [l=Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research]http://www.pancreatic.org/[/l]. Indeed, I now consider those who run the charity to be family.


For those who don't know about pancreatic cancer, here are a few important statistics:


According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 4%. These low survival rates are attributable to the fact that fewer than 10% of patients' tumors are confined to the pancreas at the time of diagnosis; in most cases, the malignancy has already progressed to the point where surgical removal is impossible.


In those cases where resection can be performed, the average survival rate is 18 to 20 months. The overall five-year survival rate is about 10%, although this can rise as high as 20% to 25% if the tumor is removed completely and when cancer has not spread to lymph nodes.


About 33,000-35,000 people are diagnosed each year in the US.



These numbers make pancreatic cancer, though low in overall occurrence, the 5th leading cause of cancer death in the US. However, at the same time, they shed some hope in the future. Only a year or two ago, the 5-year mortality rate was 99.9%. While 96% is certainly not something to be joyous over, it does show some progress. In addition, the Hirshberg labs at UCLA were recently awarded a few large national grants for research. In the past, because of its low occurrence (though high mortality), pancreatic cancer was greatly underfunded. After showing promise with research funded by money from the Hirshberg Foundation, finally additional sources of income are coming into the lab. I'm proud to know that I contributed to the research, both physically in the lab and with funding made possible by so many generous board members, that helped gain these grants, but I know that's not enough. You don't stop fighting when you've won a battle; you stop when you've won the war. So with that comes another auction to help research treatments and cures for such a terrible disease.




As with the past auctions, I would be grateful for any donations you could provide--coins, books, services, even unrelated items that would interest people. My goal, as always, is to raise as much as possible to help what I know first-hand to be a truly wonderful cause. I'll be happy to receive your donation by mail and ship to the winning bidders, or if you'd prefer, you can just send me a list of items you'd like to donate (with descriptions/photos as appropriate) and ship directly to the winner. I'd like to start the auction in early/mid-April (with bidding going through late April), so the sooner you can let me know, the better.


Please send me a PM or email charity@jkwd.com for shipping information or with any questions you may have.



For those interested, here are the results of the past 6 auctions. I would love to see the 7-auction total surpass $35,000.


Auction 1: $1700

Auction 2: $3000

Auction 3: $5400

Auction 4: $7225

Auction 5: $4000

Auction 6: $7000


6-Auction Total: $28,325



If you would like some additional inspiration, please take 10 minutes out of your day and watch this professor's last lecture. Prof. Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University has pancreatic cancer and has been a strong voice for research. His website documents his treatment as it takes place, knowing the prognosis is not good. His last lecture puts of lot of day-to-day activities into perspective, and I recommend it to all.



The Jewish Oral Law teaches "To save one life is as if you have saved the world." How great it would be a part of the cure that saves the 33,000+ who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year.


As always, my greatest thanks for your help. These auctions wouldn't be possible without the unwavering support from all of you.




Jeremy Katz

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I shall participate once again.


I urge others to do so as well, this is a well run charity and a chance to not only give, but to recieve as well (by bidding on and winning those donated coins)

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Hi Jeremy.

I look forward to this each year. It feels good to help with such a great cause.

Cancer took my father a few months ago so this year is special to me.

I'll try to do something special to help.

I hope everyone here will jump in and do what they can.


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I'm surprised I missed this thread on its original incarnation. I'm out at sea right now, but expect I'll get home Tuesday or Wednesday. I will see if I can wrangle something together to donate.

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