The SQL Server community is amazing. I’ve been in technology for 30 years, and it’s the most uniquely connected set (pun intended) of professionals I’ve seen. There’s a “SQL Family”, and that’s not hyperbole. We actually care about each other. I’ve stayed with some of you, and some of you have stayed with me (stop by any time for coffee).

One of our family recently had a life-changing event. Mike Walsh https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikepwalsh) was told he has Multiple Sclerosis. That’s a tough thing to hear, and it would be normal to back out of any commitments he had to take some time and deal with that. I don’t know what I would have done if I got that news.

But Mike is tougher than me. He’s stayed upbeat, funny, and fully engaged. He was at the PASS Summit event, working his job, presenting, and encouraging others. He’s a wonder.

So I’m inspired by Mike. So much so, that I’m going to do something, and I want you to do something too.

At Christmas (or whatever tradition or season you celebrate), we give gifts to each other. This year I want you to *not* get a gift from those you love. Instead, ask people to donate in Mike’s name here (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Donate) as their gift to you this year. And let Mike know you did that by tweeting or facebooking with the hashtag #sqlcares. Something good can come out of bad news. Mike knows this, and you should too.

Mike isn’t alone. Yanni Robel is another of my heroes with an amazing story. We’re surrounded by people whose character is stronger than we can imagine.

So give away a gift you might get this year. It will do you good, teach your children about true courage like Mike’s, and help the fight against a terrible enemy that’s messing with our #sqlfamily. Let MS know that we don’t tolerate that behavior, and let Mike know you care.