Hey everyone,

This is John Hoelscher, one of the conchairs for Matsuricon.  We take a break from the insanity that is Matsuricon to share something that is very personal – why we do the charity.

Yes, I have my story on the website under the charity header, but I wanted to take a minute and remind people why I started it.

I started it because I laid in a hospital bed, feeling like I got lucky.  I was in the state of the art hospital, receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer that usually strikes people in their 50s.

This is why I started the Matsuricon Charity drive.  Though in reality, it was never about me.  The only solace I get from this is the knowledge that I started something that is talked about at the convention, how people get excited about wanting to bid on this or that item, or what we’re going to put up to auction this year.  The mere fact that I get to see people I consider “famous” give up something near and dear to them for our cause, and not blink an eye.   I see random people who are not even part of the convention come up to me and just give us $100 and say “keep it.”  I see kids half my age, even younger, come up to me or to my staff and give them $50 dollars after LOSING on an auction item, saying “I’m not going to spend this on anything good anyway.  I don’t do this for me.  I do this because of what I see – it’s more than just me now, it’s everyone who comes to Matsuricon and takes part, from the attendees, to the staff, and to our wonderful guests who come and hear about what we do, and just give, just because they want to.

Why do I share this today?  Because today is my 5 year remission date.  I was diagnosed and treated in 2009, and had a long recovery process that took almost 6 months.  But not even 2 months after, I decided to start this with my staff, and we haven’t looked back since.  As I said, this is not about me – this is about the people who do not get a chance to walk out of the hospital.  This is about giving a fighting chance to people today, and in the future, to walk away from the hospital after their treatment, with their head held high.  This is about bringing the fight to cancer, in the best way we know how to – to research the hell out of it and beat it into submission.

I may not be a direct recipient of this charity, but you know, I felt like I’ve done something for everyone, and if we keep this going, who knows what we can do.

Thanks for the few minutes to indulge. Business as usual tomorrow.