Sep. 7, 2007

Thank you Aiden and Brian!

Finally, the moment to reveal who won the signed Erik Zabel Cycling jersey and the signed Dirk Nowitzki shoes!
I know I'm a little behind schedule, but first I was going through a bad case of summer flu, and then I couldn't reach the winner of the shoes, so here it is, finally.

The jersey was won by an Australian young man, named Harley (I'm so sorry for confusing you for a girl, but the same thing happens to me all the time- people confuse me for a guy because of my unusual name, so we're having something in common!) It already arrived down under and is put to good use- not by putting it in a frame, but by actually wearing it during his training rides. I'm glad you like it! And thanks again for participating!!

The basketball shoes got me introduced to a remarkable man in Canada. His name is Aiden and he was entering the raffle for his son, who is a huge basketball fan. But things changed after the raffle came to an end. His son was diagnosed with testicular cancer and his doctors gave him a 25% chance of surviving. That was why I couldn't reach him- he and his family were busy dealing with that kind of news and making plans for his future treatment.

When I did manage to get in touch, I was amazed by the response letter I received and very much touched. Aiden, his wife and his children, including the son who is a huge Nowitzki fan, had some kind of a family conference and decided to donate the shoes. They wanted me to auction them off and then to donate the money from that auction to the LAF in Brian's name. I was absolutely blown away by their generosity, but at the same time I wasn't sure if I should do it- I mean Brian won it and after his diagnosis, I wanted to give him an incentive to give him some extra motivation for his upcoming therapy.

But than he called me, and insisted on his plan. He's a brave young man, only 26 years old- and talking to him was something I'll never forget. You just can feel his absolute will to kick cancer's butt and quite honestly, I don't think that cancer will have a chance of winning. I wouldn't let him give up his prize without any kind of compensation, though, so I organized a Nowitzki signed cap and some Livestrong Challenge items for him. I'm proud to know this family and I'll put Brian on the list of names of people, I will ride for in the Challenge.

I will auction off the Basketball shoes during the next 10 days, starting today. I'll also auction off some signed sports memorabilia from German stars, including a signed swimsuit from former world class swimmer and world-record holder Franziska van Almsick.

As soon as I start the auctions, I'll put a link to the eBay site on my blog, so please check back! If you know someone interested in some of the items, I'd appreciate it if you could pass along the information.

By the way, the other smaller prizes will be shipped in mid-October. So maybe you'll get a pleasant surprise soon! A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE PARTICIPATING IN THE RAFFLE! I met some amazing people during the event- you rock!

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