Two summers ago I was working three days a week on a large WPF application at a company in New York City, and that's where I met Wendy Friedlander. Wendy brought several important skills to the project. Whereas I functioned as little more than a coder, Wendy revealed herself as a talented WPF programmer and much more besides. Her extensive practical experience in agile development practices, pair programming, and test-driven development helped the project enormously, and introduced me to modern team development strategies. Wendy was also one of the friendliest people I'd ever met and a joy to work with.
Wendy was already noticably pregnant when she joined the project, and her daughter Kaylee was born in August 2008. About a year later, however, Wendy discovered she had a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer, and she began the long and arduous process of battling this cancer and becoming a survivor. As might be expected, it's taken a toll on Wendy and her family, both emotionally and financially.
To help out, some New York City area developers have organized a fund-raising dinner for Wendy on July 7, 2010 at 7:00 PM at a location in Manhattan to be determined. You can read more about Wendy and this dinner in Sara Chipps' Girl Developer blog and Stephen Bohlen's Unhandled Exceptions blog, and most importantly, you can buy a ticket to the event (or just contribute what you can) at Devs for Wendy.
I am honored to have been asked to speak at this event, and I'm busy preparing a one-time-only special presentation on an obscure (but interesting) chapter in the history of computing with appearances (in chronological order) by Cicero, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Fourier, Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Madame Curie, and Albert Einstein. That's all I'll say. You'll have to join us to learn more. (And keep in mind that your non-programming spouse or partner might enjoy the presentation as well.)
If you can be in New York City on July 7, please come to the dinner. There's likely to be pizza involved. If you can't be in New York City, help out with a contribution at Devs for Wendy.