If you follow Linux or open source, there is a good chance you have already heard about the indiegogo campaign to raise money for Ken Starks, a strong open source supporter who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.
Ken has a form of cancer which has an 80% survivability rate, but only if he receives surgery in time. Unfortunately, his doctor estimates he only has 2 or 3 weeks before the cancer spreads beyond the point of surgery being an option, and he has reached out to the community he has served for so long to help him with the staggering costs.
Ken is best known in the Linux world as the founder of the HeliOS Project, a not for profit organization that donates Linux-powered computers to school aged children who come from low income families. In order to fund the philanthropic goals of the HeliOS Project, Ken started HeliOS Solutions, a company dedicated to helping people install Linux on their personal computers.
In June, the HeliOS Project merged with “Recycled Electronics and GNU\Linux Used for Education” or REGLUE, as that group was already a registered 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization, and as such could apply for grant money to further their goals. But due to his health issues, Ken took something of a backseat in the newly merged organization, as he didn’t want his health to effect the goals or success of the group:
And as an aside, while “Executive Director” might sound like a leadership role, it is not. The Executive Director serves at the pleasure of the President and the directorship. There’s a reason I did not accept a leadership role, and I will touch on that in a bit.
The HeliOS Project will still exist for some time, but as an associate project under REGLUE. HeliOS will take care of all the educational aspects, to include holding various classes within our facility. For you that help fund us with your donations, nothing will change for quite a while. We will post here should HeliOS officially fold into REGLUE. For now, HeliOS still exists and your continued support is appreciated.
Most of you know that I am battling throat cancer. At this time, we are looking pretty good as far as prognosis goes, but then again….It was looking good the last time as well. I don’t plan on going anywhere for quite some time, but then again, I am not really in control of that. These changes are a simple preparation, should I not be able to help steer this effort in the direction it needs to go.
As of today, Ken’s campaign has managed to beat it’s original goal of $5,000 with still 9 more days to go. While the first goal being met is wonderful, it is only the very tip of the iceberg. It costs $50,000 just to reserve the operating room for Ken’s procedure, so there is still a very long way to go.
Ken Starks has spent years serving the community, hopefully the community will be able to repay him.