This Matters: Support Brent's Run For Research

I wanted to take a moment out from my usual banter to call attention to a really amazing member of the Magento community and a charity event they're involved in right now. Brent Peterson is running the Boston Marathon this year as part of Run for Research, an American Liver Foundation fundraiser. Before I dive into the details, please, take a moment to visit his fundraising page and contribute $25.

I'm supporting Brent's run and encouraging you to do so for two reasons - first, because of how Brent has inspired me, and second, because of the importance of the work the American Liver Association does and the impact it's had on my life.

About Brent - if you're involved in the Magento community, active on Twitter or have ever attended Magento Imagine or another Magento event, then you know Brent and he needs no introduction.

For those of you who don't know Brent, he's been involved and active in the Magento community for a number of years, he's active on Twitter and he loves to run. He's not one of these guys that every January says "Hey, I'm going to exercise now" and tweets about it non-stop. Nope, he's a die-hard, day-in-day-out, runs every chance he gets sort of guy. If there's a Magento event, chances are Brent has found the nearest race and is not only running in it, but also encouraging other event attendees to run as well.

And that's what has really inspired me. Brent is dedicated to running, and to encouraging others to run and live a healthy lifestyle. Too many people in the Magento/development community are sedentary, myself included. And too many of us lack the inspiration, the drive and the follow-through to change that, but Brent is right there encouraging us and serving as a solid example even when so few of us take action and start exercising. I've never heard Brent say a negative word about someone because they don't exercise, but instead I hear him constantly encouraging people to give it a try.

So, as a way of saying thanks and recognizing the positive impact he has in our community, I encourage you to donate to Brent's Run for Research.

The other reason I encourage you to donate is because of the cause - the American Liver Foundation. The American Liver Foundation is working to eliminate liver disease, and in the process is providing education, research, support and advocacy around liver disease.

Liver disease isn't something we hear much about, and there's a lot of misconceptions about it. For instance - did you know that six million children in the US (10% of all children in the country) have been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? Among different types of cancer, liver cancer consistently has one of the worst 5-year survival rates. While other diseases and disorders get a lot of attention, as a society we just don't talk about liver disorders very often.

Personally, I'm very aware of the impact of the work the American Liver Foundation is doing because I watched a great man struggle with liver problems, and thanks to the type of work the American Liver Foundation is doing, he received a liver transplant and was given several more healthy years of life, during which he had a great impact on the people around him and his community.

So, please take a moment to donate to Brent's Run for Research - it's a quick online form, and you can enter any amount you'd like to donate. You have the option to be anonymous, and they take all major credit cards.

Please share the link to Brent's donation page with everyone you know - if we can get 150 people to donate $25, Brent will meet his fundraising goal and we'll all be supporting a great person and a great cause during the 2015 Boston Marathon.

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Jamie Larson