For the past couple of months, a young Portland woman named Erin (redscorner on LiveJournal) has run an unusual Internet effort to raise money for surgery she needs. It's called Project Download, it's explained on her website, and it offers a simple text file to download. If the downloads add up to a certain amount, the download company Mega Upload will pay Erin an amount of money, to go towards her treatment. (Much more is explained in her FAQ.) I've been participating for about a month and a half, after the amazing cleolinda wrote about Erin's situation, and I've had nice online dealings with Erin, sending her amusements to keep up her spirits. (I included a quick mention of Project Erin in my note to Neil Gaiman.)
Yesterday, she took a turn for the worse. Erin's now in a hospital, recovering from two seizures and suffering from memory problems. At the time of that above-linked update, she didn't yet remember Project Download, or even that she was sick.
I've been meaning to post more about Project Download, to ask more people to participate. This makes it more important for me to bring it up again, and get more people to help. It's a quick process: no risk (you're downloading a small text file; viruses can't be connected to it) and possible huge awards for Erin.
And I'm not the only one who's supported her and Project Download. Author Neil Gaiman wrote about it at the end of October (scroll to the bottom of that page). Actor and writer Wil Wheaton also wrote about it. The web comic Something Positive gave it a mention. Author Alexandra Erin brought it up.
Here's what I hope you can do. Go to Project Erin. Click one of the "Download The File Here" links (the original and two mirrors) on the left side of the screen, or to the "Clicky!" link that Erin had put at the top of most of her entries on the Project Download LJ page. Save to your computer the file "whatthisis.txt." One download each day from each computer counts. (One day I went to a coffee shop with computers and downloaded the file from two of those computers, as well as from my home computer. That meant she was three downloads closer to her goal...) Again: a small and safe effort by many of us could be a huge help for Erin.
And I'll ask one more thing: have Erin in your thoughts. If you pray, your prayers may help; if you believe in good mojo or in vibes, imagine those being sent her way. She can use whatever positive effort, and whatever positive energy, we can direct her way.
Let's do what we can.
The Dec. 10th update: Hello to anyone visiting from Le LJ De shadesong. I want to pass along good news that hadn't happened yet when I wrote this entry: Erin's home from the hospital and taking it easy. She gave us an update in this entry over on projectdownload.
She's not out of the woods yet, but I was relieved to read her.