Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Project Fiver

Passing it along; sign if you're of a mind to and pass the good word. Please note this is not my wife - it's done as a favor for fellow fen.

Many of you may know my wife, Melissa Kern (hazelrah1). She has helped out with the Tolkien and Young Adult Literature tracks for many years, in addition to helping plan the HP Yule Ball and (in)famous Pirate Party. She even appeared in a well-known DragonCon TV commercial. But she has received some grave news from her doctor.

Melissa has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It is a progressive, incurable disease that gradually paralyzes you. Average life expectancy is 3-5 years. In September, she marched with fellow Lord of the Rings fans in the annual DragonCon parade, but six months later, she needs my help walking, dressing and using stairs. We have a six year-old son in Kindergarten, and not sure how much he knows.

I wanted to do something for Melissa, to show her the impact that she's had on people, in the Lord of the Rings, Pirates, Harry Potter and Dragon*Con communities and beyond. To that end, I have put together a petition online. I call it "Project FIVER" (after her name on the community websites), and it is a petition to have New Line cast her as an extra in THE HOBBIT. We don't know the course her disease will take, so she worries that she won't be around to see the movies in theaters, so this was the next best thing. Even being a non-speaking crowd-hobbit in the background of one scene would still mean the world to her. It would be her reason to hang on.

If you wouldn't mind, please Go to ProjectFiver.com and sign the petition.

This petition has been going on in secret for a couple of weeks, and I just revealed it to her this weekend at her birthday party. Over 950 people have already signed it, and she was moved to tears. We have "Gone Public" with this now, so feel free to share the link with others openly.
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