Stay the Night, Join the Fight: Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

When starting my website in 2011, I never imagined the opportunities that would eventually be afforded to me. I’ve received invitations from tourism boards to places I never thought I’d visit and worked with internationally known brands that I’ve admired for years. I can’t help but be proud of what I’ve accomplished, but what prompted me to initially launch Leah Travels was my love of writing and travel, as well as the death of my mother from ovarian cancer.

 Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

It’s interesting how things seem to come full circle. It was just announced that I would be an Official Contributor for Room Key’s blog, Beyond the Front Desk. Room Key, started by Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, and Wyndham, is a booking engine that allows customers to book directly with over 100 leading hotel brands in 159 countries on six continents. I’m thrilled to be associated with such leaders in the hospitality industry, but also Room Key’s charitable initiative.

 Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

For the company’s new campaign, Stay the Night, Join the Fight, Room Key has joined forces with Stand Up To Cancer in order to raise $3 million to support collaborative cancer research. Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and was established in 2008 by leaders of media and film such as Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Laura Ziskin, and Kathleen Lobb.

I first learned about Stand Up To Cancer {SU2C} in 2012 when ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and a host of cable networks, simultaneously aired a commercial-free, primetime fundraising special for the organization. Stars such as Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Justin Timberlake, and Julia Roberts made appearances, while Alicia Keys, Coldplay, and Taylor Swift performed. Fostering a collaborative philosophy of bringing together scientists from different disciplines across various institutions, Stand Up To Cancer’s telecast resulted in a reported $81 million in pledges.

 Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

Through the Stay the Night, Join the Fight collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer, Room Key will not only make direct donations, but also includes its users in the battle against cancer.

For every stay booked on, the company will donate $1 to SU2C through February 2017. During April 2014, $5 will be donated for stays booked on the site. There are no fundraising limits, and a minimum donation of $500,000 annually is guaranteed. The money will go toward Stand Up To Cancer’s goal of accelerating vital research, delivering new therapies to patients, and helping to save lives now.

 Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

Other than simply raising money, Room Key also wants to raise awareness by sharing personal stories of those who have participated in the campaign through their blog, Beyond the Front Desk, and social media sites. People can share their experience with Stay the Night by emailing StayTheNight, posting to their Facebook page, or by using #StayTheNight on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

I’ve lost my mother, two aunts, and a grandmother to breast and ovarian cancers. I have the BRCA gene {like Angelina Jolie}, which means I have approximately an 85% chance of developing breast cancer and a 25% chance of developing ovarian cancer in my lifetime. Because of this, I visit MD Anderson, the world’s best cancer hospital, four times per year for MRIs, sonograms, mammograms, and blood work. More than a handful of my cousins also carry the BRCA gene. My father has survived prostate cancer, and I have three cousins who are breast cancer survivors.

This is obviously a cause that hits very close to my home, but cancer affects everyone, killing more than 560,000 Americans and eight million people worldwide. Nearly 1,600 Americans die from cancer each day. One out of every two men and one in three women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetimes.

 Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor

Words really don’t do justice describing how I feel about being associated with Room Key and its initiative. In November when the company first approached me about contributing to their site, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share my writing on another stage. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I learned of the impending partnership with Stand Up To Cancer and the Stay the Night, Join the Fight campaign. Upon hearing the news, I was overcome with emotion. I know my mother would be proud.

The circle is complete.

The post Stay the Night, Join the Fight: Room Key, @SU2C & Who #IStandUpFor appeared first on Leah Travels.