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Summary:

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 […]

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.

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  1. Nicely Done Om!!!

  2. What a wonderful way to give Tim Russert’s death some meaning to you and others. Thank you for sharing that.

  3. “I urge you to get yourself to the doctor and get your much-delayed physical.”

    That’s great but Tim Russert’s heart attack, and many others would not be prevented, nor detected by getting a physical. Plaque could break off anytime and clog your artery causing a heart attack. This cannot be predicted when it will happen. But excercise, not smoking and eating sensibly to keep your cholesterol down can help greatly. Are you doing those things Om?

  4. kamla bhatt Monday, June 16, 2008

    Thanks Om for that timely post and reminder to take some time off and smell the roses and help others.

    Hope you are feeling better.

    Kamla Bhatt

  5. Was touched by this. It’s amazing how we relentlessly have to be shocked, essentially, into taking a time out or at minimum a momentary redirection, isn’t it? I called my dad when I saw the news. He’s Tim’s age and of a similar work ethic (and likely many other similarities). I’m glad, too, Om that you brought the message of giving to this post. -p

  6. @ Doug,

    Well, there is two ways of dealing with this – not doing anything like not going to the doctor or doing something about it. I learnt the hard way that doing nothing can be seriously injurious to your health, and now I am making amends – making massive lifestyle changes which at my age are still patchwork repair because at the end of the day, I am trying to keep something which malfunctioned going. So if I had gone to the doctor a year earlier, my actions to save me from myself would have started sooner. Just a different perspective.

  7. @ All,

    I just don’t want anyone and I mean anyone to make the mistakes I made. I think in the end we think about everything except our own health and our families’ happiness. That you realize when it is taken away form you.

  8. Om:
    Thanks for that good reminder. Yep, we techies always try to solve every problem in the world ingnoring our own problems. My cholestrol is way too high :-). Trying my best to bring it down.

    Cheers,
    Omfut

  9. @Omfut

    three things you can do to do that easily: get low cholesterol cereal and have it in the morning with some kind of berries. For lunch, make yourself walk somewhere. For dinner, make sure you eat before 7.30 and don’t watch too much television. Instead walk for 15 minutes. So even if you don’t go to the gym you will see a slow change in your cholesterol level. If you drink restrict to two days a month – moderation is much easier than elimination and that is what you can do instantly.

  10. Very nice post Om!

    Yes, you are right you should spend time taking off and helping others.

    Just taking time off to go to Hawai! Will not help. There are lot of people around the world who need help. Helping the needy gives us lot of inner satisfaction and helps us in return.

    I am really touched by your post, never thought that such a famous person would think like a normal person like us.

    I am hoping you are taking good care of your health, and working out regularly.

    Keep writing those good posts… we all love ..

    Cheers, Nag

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