Category Archives: breast cancer 3-day

The Breast Cancer Fundraiser was a huge success!

I’ve been so busy in Dallas, I neglected to post a blog about our fundraiser Saturday Night.  Huge success—lots of people, lots of fun and great weather.  And we raised almost $3,000.  Not too much else to say except enjoy the pictures and thank you everyone for your support!  Now on to the walk which by the way starts one month from today (actually yesterday by the time I get this blog posted).

A big huge breast cancer weekend!

I’m coming up on a big huge breast cancer weekend starting bright and early Saturday morning with a team training walk.  We’ve been at it for several weekends meeting at various locations and logging anywhere from 10-15 miles.  It’s been great getting to know our team members.  We’re so busy talking, the miles fly by and the time goes so quickly.

Saturday night is our big huge summer bash to benefit breast cancer.  Team member Leslie Hawring is working so hard to create a fantastic party with great food and great auction items.   Where else can you spend $20 on a Saturday Night for wine, beer and tons of food?  On top of that, we’ll have great auction items including teeth bleaching valued at $500 courtesy of Dr. Paul Darmon and a gym membership from Snap Fitness in Ferndale.  There are lots more just take a look at our totally cool banner for all of our donors.  And all the money is going to fight breast cancer–funding life-saving research.  Now we have to pray for great weather!

final banner

And on Sunday, I’m off to Dallas for my two day Advocate in Science Training for Susan G. Komen.  It starts bright and early Monday morning and I’ll be heading back late Tuesday Night.  I’ll have lots to share when I return next week.

53 days and counting…

We are so close to the 2009 Breast Cancer 3-Day.  Only 53 days left—we’re into some serious long training walks and winding down with tentmates, t-shirt orders and final fundraisers.  Last night was a biggie for us.  We packed 24 Seconds in Berkley, MI with a fun crowd, a great atmosphere on the upstairs deck and a great buffet.  And the owner of 24 Seconds nearly doubled his donation with an $800 dollar donation to the Breast Cancer 3-Day.  It had all the makings of a great night—really good weather, reasonable food cost, easy to plan and even easier to promote.  Best of all, it was totally fun—like having a big outdoor party at my house without the cooking or cleaning.

Our next biggie is approaching quickly in a little under 3 weeks.  It’s going to be a great night with great food, great auction items and great raffle items.  And nearly every item is a donation so almost the entire money brought in for the event will go directly to the Breast Cancer DSC_06173-Day.

With all of our donations and our fundraising, we’ve topped $40,000 to date.  And although, I refuse to change my $85,000 team goal, I’m thinking we may not make that much this year.  I’ve always learned to aim high though and that’s what I’m doing.

And it’s not too late to join in the fun.  If you live in Michigan, come join Ta Ta Breast Cancer.  We’d love to have you walk with us and join in the fun first hand.  If you’re not in Michigan, find a team near you and experience the weekend of a lifetime.

Mystery solved–the case of the missing Camelbak

I just got back from an event for the Adcraft Club of Detroit where I sat on a panel discussion on social media. It was a lot of fun, and I had the opportunity to participate with some really smart people in this area.

So naturally I inserted my breast cancer story because…

1. I typically don’t go anywhere without talking about breast cancer—it’s a big part of who I am and…

2. It essentially launched my career into the world of social media so it’s actually quite relevant.

I got some nice feedback which always feels pretty good too.

As I was getting ready to leave, a woman approached me and told me she had a crazy story for me. I was expecting a breast cancer story—that’s typically the category of stories I hear the most.

Instead she said “I have your Camelbak” Not what I was expecting.


But let me back up for a minute and give you a little background. First, if you don’t know, a Camelbak is a backpack that you fill with water and wear on long hikes, bike rides or 60 mile walks in my case. On Day 1 of the 08 Breast Cancer 3-Day, my top strap broke. I was able to tie it together with a pair of pink shoe laces to get me through the rest of the walk which worked pretty well.

When I got back from the walk, I took the Camelbak back to Moosejaw to get a new piece for the strap. They thought it would be easier to take the whole bag, send it back to Camelbak and have it fixed. I was done with long walks for awhile so that seemed fine. A couple of times throughout the winter, I checked back on my pack and they told me they’d call me when it came back. I didn’t question it until I decided I was ready to start doing some longer walks and really wanted my Camelbak.

After some discussions over a period of a week with Moosejaw, they realized my Camelbak was lost and gave me a brand new one. I really never thought about my old Camelbak that took me through so many training walks and 60 miles . . . until tonight.

Here’s how the story unfolded. My new friend went to Moosejaw and bought a used Camelbak on clearance. As she was hiking through Maui, she reached into one of the pockets and found a sunscreen packet. She was pretty happy to have it and used it since it was a higher SPF than what she brought. She dug through the bag a bit more to see if there was anything else and found my speech from the Breast Cancer 3-Day. The speech told my story—I shared it with the 3-Day walkers on day 2.

As she dug deeper, she found a breast cancer charm, given to me by one of my teammates. I remember wondering where this charm went.  Apparently, she’s been meaning to track me down since she got back so she could send me the charm and now in the most random place, she found me. She’s keeping the charm now—it’s got to bring luck.

So this really was a crazy, small world, wow kind of story. And now the mystery is solved.

P.S. Moosejaw—if you’re reading this, two of the five panel members complimented you on your great use of social media marketing. And if you really do a good job monitoring your brand, you likely found this post pretty quickly.

Another great Breast Cancer 3-Day fundraiser

I am so proud and happy to see how much Ta Ta Breast Cancer is growing.  It’s a rough year to raise money, and I know it’s holding lots of people back from participating in this amazing experience.  But I also know how critical and important this money is in the fight against breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen is the major beneficiary of the money raised through the Breast Cancer 3-Day and every major advance in the fight against breast cancer has been touched by Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  They’ve helped train more than 400 breast cancer researchers and funded more than 1,800 research projects over the past 26 years.

I can pretty confidently say that Susan G. Komen helped make my path easier.  And I can happily say that they are putting lots of effort into hereditary cancer.  So I’m willing to continue to rally the troops even in this tough economy.

So in keeping with the really difficult economy, one of my new teammates decided to take a new fundraising approach.  She’s planning a very large outdoor summer bash and getting almost everything donated.  She’s spent the past week and a half talking to everyone she knows to get food, paper goods, beverages, auction items and raffle items donated.

The admission cost for the party is totally affordable–$20 a person, $35 a couple.  Best yet, nearly the entire cost of admission will go directly into the 3-Day (businesses can’t donate alcohol but they are giving it to her at cost).  Where else can you go on a Saturday Night for dinner and drinks and spend less?  And at the same time know that you are helping so many people.

tata_flyer_benefitdinnerBrogan & Partners created this really cute flier for us too.

I am so energized by her passion and enthusiasm for this party and can’t wait to see the fabulous results.  We’re pretty certain the party will help her meet her minimum and fill in for the rest of the team members.

Got any additional thoughts on how we can raise even more money that evening?  Anything you want to auction or raffle to support the cause?  We’re open to your ideas.

Back In Training For The Breast Cancer 3-Day

I’m officially back in training—sort of.  I must admit I’ve been a little nervous about my 3-Day training this year.  The walk is coming up quickly, and I haven’t really put too much time into long walks (or even short ones for that matter).   But I’m on a short work trip in North Carolina–I finished my work day at 6:00, laced up my shoes, grabbed my cell phone and some cash and headed out.  A whole night to myself.  I really just wandered with no firm plan but I found this beautiful neighborhood in Cary, NC and it was perfect.  I walked for about 95 minutes and made my way over to a little café for some dinner.  This was exactly the jump start I needed to get excited about the actual walk—I’ve been heavily focused on the fundraising and nearly forgot I need to walk 60 miles over the course of 3 days.

So tonight my second journey officially begins.  And I’ll prepare for that magical date when I’ll drive up to the most energetic group of people on the planet.  I’ll smile through the 60 miles feeling lucky and happy that I can walk, enjoying the sea of pink and dreaming of a world without breast cancer.


New friends

I’m heading back from Orlando now with lots of new friends.  Day two of the FORCE conference was great.  We started the day with a panel of researchers telling us about lots of studies going on in the area of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and BRCA specific research.  It was so promising to see all of these brilliant people sitting in front of me telling me about research they are doing to benefit me and the entire hereditary cancer community.  And I know that the studies I learned about were only a fraction of the research going on in this area.

After this panel, I was completely energized and I had the opportunity to sit with a woman from Susan G. Komen and share my thoughts and hopes.  I can’t wait to continue my conversation with her and others from Susan G. Komen.  I was particularly happy to hear about the level of grants they are providing in the area of hereditary breast cancer—knowing that the $87,000 Ta Ta Breast Cancer raised in 08 is contributing to the tremendous research they are funding in the hereditary breast cancer—6.1 million dollars in 2008 alone.

I spent more time in the exhibit hall—bought a fair share of pink from my new friend Courtney from Pink Wings.  And got to meet Lindsay Avner—the founder of Bright Pink—an organization I’ve admired for awhile.

A group of 8 of us had dinner in Downtown Disney.  IMG_1318The number of fingers we’re holding up show whether we are BRCA 1 or 2.  In the group, we had 3 survivors and 5 previvors (women that carry the gene but have never had cancer).  We shared our stories over a fun Cuban dinner with a pitcher of Sangria and some Mojitos  added to the mix.  And most importantly we laughed a lot.

The day was packed with information, networking, meeting and connecting with new people.  I even squeezed in a long walk around Orlando and Disney with my new friend Debbie and ended the evening with a “Pure Romance” girls night in.  What a great day!

Super easy breast cancer fundraising!

Today I was contacted by the Breast Cancer 3-Day to be an online ambassador.  Once again, I have the opportunity to combine social media with breast cancer awareness, advocacy and fundraising.  I’m totally passionate about both and more than willing to do my part.

This month they’ve asked ambassadors to share some fundraising ideas.  My favorite one is approaching quickly.  In 3 days, 125 people will see Annie at the Fisher Theater in Detroit, celebrate mother’s day and help raise money for breast cancer.  I can’t wait.  Annie is my all time favorite musical and I am totally excited to share this with my family.  I’m also super excited because this fundraiser was so easy to plan, no downside risk and netted nearly $3,000.

Here’s how it worked.  My high school friend works for Broadway in Detroit.  After reconnecting with her on Facebook, we met to discuss a possible fundraiser.  From there, I reserved tickets to Annie, sent out emails and created a Facebook event.  As people were interested, they emailed or called with the number of tickets they needed.  I purchased the tickets at the group discount rate and sold them for face.  I collected checks, distributed tickets and called it a day.  Done!  I will absolutely be planning another one next year.

Do you have any super easy fundraising ideas to share?  Share them with me by posting a comment.3DAY_Ambassador_Badge(2)

What is breast cancer?

I was working on my talk for St. John Health this morning while my little guy was playing. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was working on my breast cancer talk. So I asked, “What does breast cancer mean?” and he said “It means you walk and I clap and I get a sucker.” I absolutely love this definition out of his, almost 3-year old, mouth.


So much to share!

Oops.  I’ve been neglecting my blog again.  There’s always so much to share but so little time.  I’ve started training again—pretty short distances at this point but still takes a chunk of time.  It feels good to get back in walking mode and now that the sun is finally shining, I can’t wait to get outside.  Work is keeping me busy too—writing proposals, proposals and more proposals and working on our Brogan & Partner’s blog.  I was extremely flattered to recently be named Breast Cancer Survivor of the Month on the  And I still have my moments when I lose myself in Twitter and can’t find my way out.  If my tweet deck is up, breast cancer tweets pop up every other second and if they include links to articles or videos, I’m in big trouble.

This Saturday, I’m speaking at the St. John Health Breast Cancer Symposium.  Next week, I’ll be talking about Social Media to the Michigan Association of Realtors.  I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge in both areas through other speaking engagements.  I’m also very busy ramping up fundraising efforts for the 3-Day.  While the economy is tough right now, it’s nowhere near as tough as cancer.  If you’ve got a spare $5, please donate. 

I found a site last night that I thought might be helpful to some of my readers.  It’s from a fellow FORCE member.  She chose to have a prophylactic mastectomy and does a wonderful job sharing details of her decision-making process, the surgery and post surgery.  I was too busy going through chemo and didn’t really pay much attention to the surgery and expansion process but I think this would so helpful to people who do have the BRCA mutation and may be considering surgery.  The unknown is always far scarier.  She does include pictures throughout the process and has yet to have her final reconstruction.  Thank you to Lianne for sharing your journey. 

Happy sunshine and spring to those of you living in the State of Michigan.  Hope the rest of the country is sunny today!

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