On March 5th, Conan O’Brien wrote the following on his Twitter page:
What he didn’t know was that, in a way, a lot of people’s lives were about to change because of one little Tweet. That’s because Sarah Killen (or @LovelyButton) is walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure in Michigan this year.
As you are probably aware, Conan is the former host of The Tonight Show on NBC. After a rather spectacular series of shows earlier this year, Conan’s gig abruptly ended, with Jay Leno returning to host The Tonight Show in his place. With no show left to host, Conan had a lot of time on his hands. And as we are all wont to do these days, he spent his free time on the internet. On February 24th, Conan made his way to Twitter, quickly gaining what is now 662,876 followers. Clearly, the public missed Conan in his absence.
A few days later, Conan posted the tweet that I wrote above. Sarah Killen was chosen at random from the zillions of folks on Twitter to be the one and still only person that Conan is following on Twitter. And, as predicted, her life has changed since then, going from just three followers pre-Conan to 27,870 followers now. She’s also made a slew of media appearances and received countless gifts to help her plan and pay for her upcoming wedding.
So what does one do with overnight internet fame? Well, if you’re Sarah Killen, you use your fame to do something AWESOME. Just 8 hours after Conan’s tweet about her, Sarah posted a link to her fundraising page for the 2010 Michigan Breast Cancer 3 Day. In the nine days since then, Sarah has already raised $3085, with many of the donations coming from Conan’s loyal fans. (Seriously, you should check out her Fundraising Honor Roll on her page!). Sarah’s mother, who can be found on Twitter as @Sarahkmom, is also signed up for the Michigan 3 Day on Sarah’s team, which is fittingly called “LovelyButton” after her now famous Twitter account.
I don’t know if Sarah was planning to do the 3 Day or not before Conan changed her life. She only had her Twitter account for a few days before that and hadn’t mentioned it before. In the end, that doesn’t matter. What is so awesome about this story is how one person is using her fame to do something big that will literally change the lives of breast cancer patients everywhere. That $3085 that she’s raised so far, the significantly more money that she’ll almost definitely raise in the coming months and the $2300+ that her mother will raise will help women and men everywhere by funding important breast cancer research. And that’s worth praising, I think.
Well played, Conan. You picked a great girl to follow!