A Personal Note: Pause & Read

The passing of Tim Russert, a man I greatly admired, came as the result of a massive heart attack, an event that cannot be predicted. Having suffered a heart attack myself earlier this year, I know this firsthand — the heart is no match for the high-stress, multitasking lives that so many of us lead. And before we know it, our poor habits catch up with us. It’s why I urge you to get yourself to the doctor and get your much-delayed physical. You would be doing yourself, your family and even your startup a favor.

As part of my recovery process, my cardiologist Dr. Eduardo Rame of UCSF suggested that I take some time out of my busy life and spend it on projects that are focused on helping others. It is the best and most effective way to de-stress – doing good and breaking your routines. So I decided to get involved with UCSF and help them raise some funds. (If any of you would like to help, please drop me a note.)

Some of the encouragement to help UCSF came from Ron Conway, a well-known angel investor who is as passionate about charity work as he is about startups. He helped build the cardiology ICU facility at UCSF that helped save my life. (He is on the board of the UCSF Medical Foundation.) Today he unveiled another effort that I urge everyone to support.

UCSF along with YouTube have launched a comprehensive Internet video channel dedicated to the improved understanding of incurable neurodegenerative brain diseases. The YouTube channel is part of an overall Internet campaign that will help UCSF’s researchers and clinicians reach out to a global audience.

It was inspired by the “Fight for Mike,” an initiative by Silicon Valley leaders to save the life of former Apple/Netscape marketing ace Mike Homer, who was diagnosed last spring with CJD and is being treated at UCSF. Since June 2007, the Fight for Mike has raised more than $7 million for CJD research at UCSF. Maybe you want to join hands and help support the cause.