Monday, November 27, 2006

A Worthy Cause: Help Fight Brain Tumors

If you've been reading the Sentinel regularly, you know that I do not often solicit your financial support, including for the operation of this blog. However, I have been introduced to a project that I know is worthy of your support.

Brian "Brain" Kissinger is the husband of a high school friend of mine. Below is a bit of his bio from his website:
Brian enlisted in the Florida Air National Guard at 18 as a heavy equipment operator while attending the University of Florida. He married Priscilla Hettler and they later had their first daughter. In 1990 he graduated first in his Air Force ROTC class and their young family moved to Mather Air Force Base where he attended Air Force Navigator training. After earning his wings, he served in a variety of Special Operations assignments flying MC-130 E & H models around the world. After his initial 8-year active duty term he transitioned into the Air Force Reserves and was later mobilized after the events of 9-11. He served in Tajikistan and other locations
overseas and stateside.

In 2003, while still on active duty at Scott Air Force Base, he was diagnosed with a stage II oligodendroglioma brain tumor and was medically retired in early 2005. He currently works for General Electric Healthcare.

Brian’s first solo was at the age of 19 in Gainesville, Florida where he washed and waxed airplanes in exchange for flight time. After leaving the active duty Air Force in 1998 he was able to save enough money to buy his first airplane, a 1946 Luscombe, and earned his commercial and certificated flight instructor ratings (single & multi-engine and instrument). Since then he has bought and sold a variety of airplanes and enjoyed every minute of being in the air and tinkering with airplanes.

Building and flying an airplane to raise money for brain tumor research is a natural extension of Brian’s love and fascination of aviation. It is also a great way to celebrate life, allowing him to define the disease instead of the other way around.

Brian’s lifetime goal is to raise over $1 million for brain tumor research and education. In 2004 he and his team raised more than $2,500 running the Air Force marathon. Please read the article from Airman Magazine:

As with all veterans, Brian deserves our heartfelt gratitude. As a veteran and brain cancer survivor - one that has dedicated himself to helping others - he deserves our support.

As you can see at his website, Brian is restoring a WWII aircraft and will pilot it across the U.S. to raise money for brain cancer research.

Please make an effort to contribute what you can. Email this post to everyone that you know. We all know someone that has been touched by cancer. This is an opportunity to fight back.

Please do what you can. Donations can be made at his National Brain Tumor Foundation website - click here.

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