Despite the brutal blow it delivered to Journalism (that stubbornly myopic first love of my life) the Internet has been a consistent and exciting friend, the kind of hostess who actively encourages mingling and nudges newcomers into the mix through her World Wide Web.
In 2007, for instance, she introduced me to Maddy Ruff thanks to a combination of Maddy’s caring cousin (and my friend) Colleen and Caringbridge.org. Maddy charmed my high school journalism class and me with her cheerful updates about her love of food, music and the Gossip Girl book series. Meanwhile, she fiercely battled Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that eventually cost the Broadway dancer’s daughter her leg.
Our last update in March of 2007 saw Maddy walking confidently on a brand new prosthesis down a New York City street, an accepted student at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
Occasionally, I asked Colleen about her spunky young cousin and learned she had graduated from college, successfully battled a second cancer, Melanoma, and fought her way back to New York to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter.
Earlier this year, I contributed to a Kickstarter campaign to help produce Maddy’s first EP.
I love Kickstarter and enjoy supporting young artists’ campaigns. All of the campaigns I kick started have involved talented, driven young people and I sincerely wish them all well.
Maddy added a special touch to her debut album and it genuinely thrilled me.
Tucked into the packaging of the CD I received this weekend, the artist I met through the Internet included an old-fashioned, hand-written note.
“Dear Laura, Thank you so much for helping me make my first album possible. I am so excited to see where it takes me. I hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for the next. All the best, Maddy.”
Check out Maddy Ruff’s debut CD “Don’t Fall” and enjoy one of the strongest, classiest young talents you’ll ever virtually meet.
The campaign is over, but you can view Maddy’s adorable Kickstarter video here.