Category Archives: Breast Cancer 3-Day Ambassador

Celebrating 41 years

On March 27, in just one week, I will celebrate my 41st birthday. Birthdays are meaningful to me–especially this one. I was 36 when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. This year I turn 41 and celebrate 5 years of survivorship. I feel so lucky to celebrate another birthday. Sadly, there are far too many women that don’t make it to 41. Yes, breast cancer is still stealing young lives, and I am committed to do what I can to stop that in its tracks. For my 41st birthday or just because, please join me in my fight to put an end to breast cancer.

This year, I have two ways for you to help. Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered has just launched a hereditary cancer research fund–the goal of the fund is to specifically look at the issues surrounding hereditary cancer. I’ve said goodbye to many amazing women who have faced cancer because of a genetic mutation. The research is absolutely critical, and I’m asking for your help. The goal in year 1 is to raise $100,000 to begin funding this important research. With your help, FORCE can get there.

In August, as I officially celebrate 5 years as a survivor, I will also proudly walk with over 40 men and women on Ta Ta Breast Cancer in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. I am proud to say, we are under $70,000 away from raising $500,000 since I first formed the team in 2008.

Please help me celebrate 41 years. Many small donations will add up to so much for both of these organizations. Together, we can say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

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11 reasons WHY $11.11 donations are NEEDED

Mike and his mom

I love this campaign developed by my teammate and very devoted fundraiser, Mike Hull.

11 reasons why $11.11 donations are NEEDED.

1.Approximately 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer globally each year.

2.Approximately 456,000 people worldwide die from the disease each year.

3.Somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer every 69 seconds.

4.In the past 25 years, incidence rates have risen approximately 30 percent in westernized countries.

5.Why let another mother, sister, father, friend or even a stranger die from breast cancer…when we can fight back?

6.$11.11 is the amount a typical person spends on lunch in one day…can you eat in one day and a make a small but VERY worthwhile donation?

7. Susan G. Komen for the Cure paid for more than 600,000 breast screenings in 2009!

8.Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised more than $1.5 billion to fund research, advocacy and community programs since Komen was founded in 1982.

9.Your donation can and will save safe a life.

10.Cancer sucks….please help stop it!

11.Why not donation….really….why not? All donations benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Mike Hull is walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-day event hosted in mid-August and has a goal to raise $11,111.11. Mike walks because his mother currently has stage 4 cancer and he needs a cure (her birthday this year was 1/11/11)! You may not know Mike, but what you need to know is the mission of Eleven-11 and Susan G. Komen, which is to find the cure for breast cancer! Please help! Please pass this on. Donations accepted on the Susan G. Komen website, http://www.the3day.org and search for participant Mike Hull or the direct link is http://www.the3day.org/goto/InHonorOfJean.

$400,000 in 4 years

We did it. In a little over two weeks, Ta Ta Breast Cancer will walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure for the 4th year. 30 minutes ago, we reached an enormous milestone–$400,000 raised in the past 4 years. $400,000 funding life-saving research in the fight against breast cancer. Thank you to every walker, donor, crew member and fundraiser who’ve helped us reach this goal over the past 4 years. Together we WILL say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

Our new Ta Ta Breast Cancer shirts

Just walked 15 miles in our brand new, hot off the press, shirts.

Come cheer us on in the Michigan 3-Day!

Only three more weeks until the big walk, and we are in serious prep mode. This weekend we are doing back to back training walks–15 miles Saturday and Sunday. And I just got our brand new 2011 shirts–can’t wait for the team to see them.

We are excited to share the 2011 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Michigan cheer sections and hope you’ll come cheer us along the way. If it’s 95 degrees, bring popsicles, bags of ice and anything else cold.

Friday, August 12

7:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Main Street between Center and Griswold (North side)
Northville, MI 48167

11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kmart
33400 W. 7 Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48152

Saturday, August 13

7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Newburgh Road
Between Schoolcraft and Amrhein Roads (West side)
Livonia, MI 48150

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Kellogg Park – Downtown Plymouth
Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street
Plymouth, MI 48170

11:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Newburgh Plaza
16818 Newburgh Road
Livonia, MI 48184

Sunday, August 14

8:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Franklin High School
31000 Joy Road
Livonia, MI 48150

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Boy Scout Recreation Area
Hines Drive (east of Telegraph Road)
Dearborn Heights, MI  48127

Hope to see you along the route.

Here come the 40s.

In less than 1 week, I will celebrate my 40th birthday. Many people have asked me how I feel about turning 40 and I can honestly say, I’m excited. Getting older beats the alternative and unfortunately, I know far too many people who haven’t had the opportunity to celebrate a 40th birthday. I’m lucky beyond belief and I’m taking this week to reflect back on my 30s and where I am today. My family and close friends have asked what they can buy me for birthday. And I can really only think of one thing that money can buy that would make me very happy. It’s not immediate gratification. The results take time but we are seeing the results every day. I know with perseverance, great brains and the power of people, we can and will make my dream come true. I’m asking for an end to breast cancer, an end to the pain of chemotherapy and surgery, an end to suffering the great trauma and loss of losing a loved one. If you are one of my friends or family that wants to know what I want for my birthday, I’ll make it easy for you. You can contribute to my 3-day journey to end breast cancer or you can make a contribution to FORCE, an organization that is working very hard for me and so many others.

A tribute to Suzanne Bartholomew

I never thought my blog would turn into a way for me to say goodbye and show my admiration and respect for true cancer heroes. But here I go again.  This week, I said goodbye to a beautiful, inspiring, and wonderful woman.  I sat among throngs of people at Ira Kaufman Funeral Home to hear about Suzanne’s life . . . how she touched people everywhere she went; how she was always far more concerned about others than herself, even when she was battling for her life.

Suzanne came into my world when I needed her most.  She fought stage II breast cancer 1 year before me, and I could always count on her for a pep talk, advice, inspiring cards, and some great hats.  Her hats kept me warm all winter long and made me remember that it wouldn’t be too long until I was done with them.

With Suzanne at the 2008 3-Day

In 2008, Suzanne and I both walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day.  We held hands as we walked into closing ceremonies.  We were both survivors, done with treatment.  We had beaten cancer.  Less than 1 year later, Suzanne’s cancer was back and she was unable to walk with her Suz Cruise team.  Members of my team tucked pictures of Suzanne into our packs and prayed throughout the entire weekend that Suzanne would once again beat cancer.  It was a much tougher road this time–the cancer had spread . . . but a miracle drug started killing those cancer cells.  And in 2010, Suzanne was walking again.  She not only walked; she was the top fundraiser in Michigan for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.   And she signed up to walk again in 2011.

Suzanne was passionate about contributing to find a cure.  She wanted her girls to know a world without breast cancer.  For Suzanne, I will fight harder than ever before. I will continue to walk, raise awareness, and fight this terrible disease with a goal to fulfill Suzanne’s dream and the dreams of so many others.  For Suzanne and all women, we will say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

With Suzanne at the 2010 3-Day

Why I walk the 3-Day and you should too!

Happy 2011! It’s day 2 of 2011 and my mind is already shifting toward warm summer days and long walks with good friends. It’s about now when I start longing for a good long training walk to Birmingham or through downtown Royal Oak with members of my team who become like a big giant family. The 3-Day is so much more than a 3-Day walk–it’s an opportunity to meet new friends, spend hours walking and talking and enjoy the great outdoors all summer long. So many people worry about the training, and well, the training is really one of my favorite parts. In the craziest of raising three kids, working and taking care of a house, my training walks are an opportunity to focus on me. And because I’m truly training and not just working out, it becomes somewhat of an obligation that I cannot skip.

And then there’s the fundraising. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to ask for money. But when you truly believe and see how this money is saving lives, it makes it a whole lot easier. Without raising money we can’t conquer this disease. I love our annual fundraiser at 24 Seconds, our summer bash to end breast cancer, our shop for a cause, our annual theater fundraiser and our newest bartending event at Lily’s Seafood. So if you’re thinking about walking with us and looking for a fundraiser, feel free to grab one of these ideas. I’ll give you the tools and help you along the way.

A great auction item

All the preparation culminates in 3 amazing days of hope, friendship, love and lots of pink. Most people will tell you it changed their lives forever. You will feel an energy you’ve never felt before and experience something so powerful, so emotional and so wonderful. Words don’t do it justice. Just try it once and you’ll be hooked. If you’ve walked the 3-Day before, post a comment, share your thoughts, help me convince others to experience the 3-Day first hand. Join our team, our giant 3-Day family and train with us, fundraise with us and walk with us next August.

Loving the Susan G. Komen 3-Day

With my mom, Aunt Bunny, and cousin Lizzy

It’s been 3 weeks since my 3rd 3-Day experience ended.  This year, I had the honor of carrying a flag into opening and closing ceremonies and standing in the Survivor Circle with 7 other survivors.  This was, without a doubt, the coolest part of any 3-Day walk. 

It started the day before when I had to go to OCC and rehearse.  The stage was set up, the crew was there and the place was buzzing.  If you’ve ever walked before, you will have a deep appreciation for how I felt when I drove into the parking lot and saw the stage.  Kind of like Halloween morning when you were a child or the first day of summer camp.  I look forward to seeing that stage every year and I got a sneak peak on Thursday.  So after we rehearsed and I learned the plan for opening ceremonies, I went over to crew day to join my dad (the official photographer of Michigan’s 3-Day).  I must admit, it was about that time when I started to get a little sad about sharing my personal and team photographer with the 1900 other walkers but on the flip side, he was around the whole weekend.  We even ate lunch and dinner together on Friday and he could easily track us down in his official 3-Day vehicle. 

Friday morning could not come quick enough.  Although I’m pretty sure the Huntington Woods crew thought it came a little too quickly.  Yes we were among the first walkers to show up to opening ceremonies.  I like to be on time, actually early, and I was hoping to get some good pics with the team before I had to sneak back stage. 

Walking out of opening ceremonies

Fast forward 2 hours (told you we were there early), I proudly walked out with my commitment flag (smiling ear to ear–with pictures and videos to prove it).  And I stood in the circle holding hands with the other 7 survivors as Jenne Fromm led us through opening ceremonies.   As soon as opening ceremonies were over, we were off and guess who got to lead the walkers–me.  OK, I was 2nd in line but still it was super cool, and I danced my way out of there as the music blared.  Afterwards, I circled back, met up with my team and started the 60 mile walk. 

And we walked and walked and walked.  And it was the hottest three days ever.  And I loved every minute of it (ok not exactly every minute) but I loved the walk, the feeling of doing something so powerful, the feeling that I am making a difference with each step.  It’s intense and it’s great.  No words can describe the feeling that runs through me throughout the entire weekend.  I walked with old friends, new friends, coworkers, family and countless survivors.  I met new people and shared stories and we encouraged each other along the way. 

60 miles, gallons of Gatorade and many blisters later, I marched into closing ceremonies.  Back to the survivor circle, back to Jenne’s powerful voice and back where I started 3-Days earlier.  And as I left Ford World Headquarters, I looked forward to jumping in the pool, sleeping in my bed and planning for my 2011 journey. 

With my survivor friends - Pam and Missy

boocooing for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

We are 25 days away from the start of the 3-Day.  It’s hard to believe it’s almost here–a year of fund raising, training, picking out shirts and getting ready for the big event with my team of over 45 members.  As of today, Ta Ta Breast Cancer has raised nearly $90,000 and we are shooting for our $125,000 goal.  We’ve had more fundraisers than I can count and nearly 1,200 individual donations to our team.  I’m very impressed with this group and extremely proud to be team captain.

Next week, we have a brand new fund raising opportunity.  It’s one more way for my team members or any other walkers to reach their goals.  My newest client boocoo auctions is conducting 2 hour auctions for 7 days straight starting this Sunday 7/25 at 8pm.  It’s a pretty easy concept.  Bid on some super cool items.  If you are the winning bidder, select your charity and the entire amount you pay for your item will be donated to your charity.    Better yet, see if any of your friends are in the market for an Ipad, a flat screen tv or a new sound system.  Take a look at all the great items available and mark your calendars.

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