Category Archives: breast cancer 3-day

The 2012 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Another 3-Day has ended but the memories of my 5th journey will last a lifetime. It was a beautiful weekend with sunny skies and temps in the mid 70s. After the hot Michigan summer, we could not imagine a more perfect weekend. Sharing this weekend with my family—my mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin Lizzy and most importantly, my 12 year old daughter, Lacey, was an experience I will never forget. Jon joined us for opening ceremonies for the first time standing with me as Lacey carried the “generations” flag into the ceremony.

The event was nothing short of amazing. I walked with friends (both old and new), spent time with family, laughed and enjoyed the crowds cheering us along. My boys came out to cheer on Friday and Saturday. My coworkers cheered us on early in day one, and my grandmother was at a cheer station in downtown Farmington to greet us as we neared the end of the first day.

As I enjoyed the sunny skies and the company of friends and family, my mind drifted to the beautiful women whose lives were tragically cut short by this disease. I mourned for their mothers, sisters and children who will not have the opportunity for the shared experience of a 3-Day weekend. I thought about all the other experiences they will miss. The fight is far from over.

Michigan raised 3.2 million dollars this year—75% of that money will fund life-saving research and the other 25% percent will fund programs in our state. It’s an impressive sum of money but there is so much work to be done. Ta Ta Breast Cancer is signed up for 2013, and I encourage you to join us in this fight. We’ll train together, fundraise together and share the weekend of a lifetime together. I promise you an experience you will never forget.

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.

3-Day World

It always takes a few days to collect my thoughts and reflect on the emotional and overwhelming experience of walking 60 miles over 3 days. This year was my 4th 3-Day, and I loved it just as much as past years. I feel a great sense of purpose, comradarie and love over those 3 days–it’s a different feeling from everyday life. 362 days a year, we live in the real world and 3 days a year, we live in 3-Day world.

In 3-Day world, it’s perfectly acceptable for people to wear bras outside of their shirts, on their heads or anywhere else they’d like. In 3-Day world, words like boobs, jugs and breasts are part of our everyday vocabulary. In 3-Day world, we are happy to see a relatively clean port-a-pottie and not shy about discussing our bathroom experiences. In 3-Day world, we learn more about our fellow walkers than people we’ve known a lifetime. In 3-Day world, thank yous flow freely from everyone’s mouths and we feel like celebrities walking down the street. In 3-Day world, we are all sisters and brothers connected by a common bond to see an end to breast cancer. More than anything, in 3-Day world, we feel powerful and determined that with each step and each passing day, we are getting closer to beating this disease. And that is why we walk and we raise money and we never ever give up.

While I’m back in the real world, I hang on to the emotions, thoughts and feelings I experienced last weekend. I will never stop fighting on behalf of far too many women who’ve lost their battle this year and every year. I will never stop fighting for my daughter, my friends, my extended family and all of our future generations. I am confident we can beat this disease and happy to share this journey with so many others. One year from today, I will once again enter 3-Day world and experience my 5th journey. Join me and experience the life-changing journey of 3 days, 60 miles and one common goal.

With my mom and Aunt Bunny

$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.

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

Reflecting on 2010. Looking forward to 2011.

My blog posts are coming less and less frequently. But as 2010 comes to a close, I thought it would be nice  to do a little recap on the year. 2010 had plenty of highlights:

  • We had our biggest 3-Day team yet and a multitude of great fundraisers.
  • The Cancer thrivers planned a wonderful event to raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in the community, and I got to model some really cute jeans.
  • I was promoted to Managing Partner of Brogan & Partners and I’m loving my new role.
  • We had lots of family vacations including a ski trip, family camp and multiple trips to Northern Michigan.
  • I finished my 3 year clinical trial on Zometa which included quarterly visits to my Oncologist with a quick infusion.
  • The completion of my clinical trial meant I got my chemo port removed and I even got to keep it as a souvenir.
  • Congress passed a National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week–a huge step in educating women about their risks.

While my family and I experienced lots of joy, I was reminded all to often of the true fragility of life.

  • The funeral of a true cancer warrior who’s infectious smile and personality will be missed and always remembered by all who were lucky to know her.
  • A breast cancer recurrence in a remarkable woman who I think and pray for daily.
  • A pancreatic recurrence in another young woman–an old family friend. I can only hope and pray that her chemo treatments are demolishing cancer cells daily.
  • And far too many others to mention in this short blog post.

As I write this, I have high hopes for 2011. I hope that 2011 brings new treatments for all types of cancers. I hope that 2011 brings improved health for too many people suffering with metastatic disease. I hope that those newly diagnosed with cancer in 2011 have an early diagnosis and the strength and support to kick cancer to the curb. Finally, I hope that all of you have good health, prosperity and lots of happiness in 2011.

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

So close to $100,000!

The walk is 2 weeks away.  It’s hard to believe another year has gone by but it has, and we are almost there. We’ve raised nearly $100,000 for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day.  And I am so incredibly proud of my hard-working 3-Day teammates for planning fundraisers, training, buying lots of gear and working so hard to win this battle. 

Ta Ta ladies bartending at Lily's Seafood.

This is a big huge thank you message to my team, my supporters, my blog readers and the ones who I spam with countless emails about my fundraising and other activities.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and helping me reach my goals.  I am touched beyond belief each day at the generosity of all of you.

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