August 28th, 2012

It’s called a community for a reason

It’s called a community for a reason

Most days, I chirp about how great the Portland startup scene is. How amazing all of you are. And how wonderful it is to be part of our community.

But then there are some days—like today—where I have an obligation to share less than happy news.

We are a community. And that means we have to deal with the good. And the bad. And this is one of the bad days.

Kris Wallsmith—an early technology lead at Athletepath, a member of our open source community, a proponent of Symfony, and one of the folks leading the FounderDating group here in town—recently lost his wife to a battle with cancer. He is the father of three young children.

What can communities do during these kind of horrific events? It’s quite simple: we can help.

Hi everyone, my name is Jon Wage and I am a friend of Kris. We’ve worked together over the last several years in the open source world and we work together now at OpenSky. I am posting this for Kris to help him and his family get through a difficult time.

As many of you may already know Kris and his family have been dealing with, as Kris would put it, “a lot of life” lately. His wife, Franya, was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. Until a few weeks ago she was not experiencing any symptoms. She’s declined rapidly since then and is now experiencing acute liver failure and has been moved to hospice. I want to ask you all to take a moment and send whatever you have be it prayers, thoughts, love towards Kris and his three young children.

Franya lost her battle with cancer on August 26, 2012.

Please take a moment to consider a donation to support Kris and his family. Or read some suggestions on how else you can help.


Chris Teso at Chirpify has allowed us to use the Chirpify platform to accept donations, free of charge.


It’s easy to be there during the good times. These are the times when we as a community prove ourselves.

Kris has given a great deal to us. His time. His energy. And his insights. It’s the least we can do to repay that in kind.

Sincerely wishing Kris and his family the best.

(Image courtesy Mr Thomas. Used under Creative Commons.)

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One Response to “It’s called a community for a reason”

  1. I don’t have much to give personally, but I would be willing to do a fundraiser using my company. I will donate 40% of my profits from any business that signs up with TextNoMore in the months of September and October. Let me know if you are interested. My brother is fighting Colon Cancer and he is only 36, and my Grandfather is a cancer survivor. I will keep him in my prayers and have some connections within the news to promote the fundraiser.

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