I have a favor to ask you for a very good friend and a very worthwhile cause.
My friend is Marinus Hoogendoorn, the barge skipper who towed me up the Rhine last July.
The cause is the Fight Against Cancer.
Consider this as similar to your response to a local National Public Radio fund raiser, your way to acknowledge the travel log I have been providing you, since my 2005 departure. An appeal to your generosity.
I do not need to elaborate on the cause.
Marinus and I met in January 2009 in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was chartering to St. Martin. When he heard of my wish to descend the Danube to the Black Sea, he offered to tow me the difficult part of the upstream Rhine portion. And he did.
I would not be here in Romania if it were not for his generosity.
For those who did not follow me on the web blog last July, when Marinus towed me from Lobith to Koblenz, I repeat a few of those pictures.
That weekend with the Hoogendoorn family stands out as a highlight in my voyage. They are fully committed consequential Christians. The way I was brought up and the way I remember my parents and grandparents and what I find has gone missing in myself and most of Holland. They, and a part of the Dutch commercial barge fleet, stay put for the Sabbath. We happened to be in Duesseldorf on that Sunday. It was a day with family and reflection together by way of a recorded church service, swimming and water-skiing.
Two months after I met Marinus, March 2009, Lenie Hoogendoorn, his wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went successfully through chemo therapy and is now in remission.
In gratitude Marinus and his 11 year old daughter Marilene have accepted the challenge to raise money for the fight against cancer in climbing the Alpe d’Huez.
The Alpe d’Huez, in the Western Swiss Alps, is the most gruelling ascent in the annual Tour de France bicycle race. The ascent covers a distance of 9 miles (14 k.m.) with a rise in elevation of 3,600 feet ( 1100 meters). The majority of the 5000 participants will be doing this just as the Tour de France, on bicycle. The Hoogendoorns will join a smaller group who will hike this distance.
Marinus will do the hike twice, the second time with his 9 month old grandson in his back carrier.
When I was aboard the “Glissando”, just after Easter, Marinus was training right in the wheelhouse, while underway, on his tread mill and a 30 pound backpack.
This is a team effort of a group of other Dutch barge crews.
The web site for the challenge is at www.opgevenisgeenoptie.nl
There is an English version on twitter at : http://twitter.com/#!/alpedhuzes
How can you support the Hoogendoorns? The site where you can pledge an amount per climb for Marinus is at:
En voor Marilene at: http://deelnemers.alpe-dhuzes.nl/acties/marilenehoogendoorn/marilene-hoogendoorn/donationpromise.aspx. This is just one heart warming determined little lady!!!!
You should be able to get a good translation from these two sites by using Bing or Google translator.
The English translation for the place where you pledge: Doneer per beklimmingen:
Donate per climbs
Yes, I support this action! Fields marked with * are mandatory.
E-mail address *
* E-mail address is not displayed on the website
Amount per climbs * (�)
Maximum amount * (�)
Since the only way to donate is from an Euro account I will pay for you from my Euro account whatever you pledge. The event takes place on June 8 and 9. And if you add my e-mail address, separated by a comma, to your address in the pledge I will receive the same notification as you will after the successful ascents. Then you can pay me the Dollar amount to my Bank of America account.
Those of you with Euro accounts can pledge or make a straight donation.
Or if you just rather make a donation straight to my account: Jacob D. van Ommen, Bank of America, Chesapeake, Va, A/C # 435005984563 I will make the transfer from my account.
Thank you all!