Category Archives: fundraising

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.

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Five years as a breast cancer survivor!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since one phone call changed my life in such a profound way. It was 9:30 on Thursday night, August 2, 2007 when I got the call. The tiny lump that had been removed 3 days earlier was breast cancer.

Five years later, I look back on that moment. I had no idea what the next day or the next year would bring. I just knew I had a fight in front of me, and I was going to do whatever it took to win.  Exactly nine months later, the crazy whirlwind of regular trips to the hospital and the Rose Cancer Center was behind me. I was done with five surgeries and six chemo treatments. My hair started growing back and life returned to normal. But life was different. My outlook was brighter.  I’d emerged triumphantly from cancer but I knew there were far too many women who didn’t. My focus shifted from my own fight to theirs. I decided I had to continue to fight on their behalf—to honor their memories. I had to continue to fight so that no other woman had to experience the pain and suffering of saying goodbye to their families. Our fight is far from over.

I don’t ever regret my experience with cancer. It’s a rotten disease—the surgeries were painful, the treatments were tiring. At times, I had to let go of my primary role as a mother because I just wanted to sleep. Losing that sense of control was hard, but it taught me so much. It shaped me as a person, as a mother, as a managing partner at my agency, as a cancer fundraiser, as a mentor to newly diagnosed women. It changed the way I view life, the way I view my family, the way I manage my team and my priorities. It made me realize that there is nothing more important than smiling, laughing and having fun. It made me realize the value of making other people smile, of making other people happy, of lending a helping hand. Yes, I’m different than I was five years ago. My experience with breast cancer shaped me into the person I am today, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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.

Another successful Ta Ta Breast Cancer fundraiser!

Last week we had our 4th annual family rooftop party at 24 Seconds. The weather was iffy making the rooftop party an indoor party.  Nevertheless, it was was a huge success–our biggest yet with $1,400 raised for our 3-Day team. A big huge shout out to many businesses that helped with great raffle prizes:

Shirtbox

24 Seconds

Dr. Paul Darmon

Bordines

The Pink Fund

Ecology

Ace Hardware

The Tiger Foundation

Jazzercise Royal Oak

Priss Salon

Hagopian

Accupuncture Healthcare Associates of Michigan

Jeans Gone Green

Mark Cohen Photography

The Zap Zone

And another big shout out to the members of Ta Ta Breast Cancer (and the kids) who helped sell raffle tickets, collect great raffle items and helped promote this event.

We are quickly approaching $95,000. $15,000 to go to reach our big giant goal of $400,000 in 4 years. Please help us get there for all the women still fighting, the women we’ve lost, our daughters, our mothers and our friends. We need your help to say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

Moving into Susan G. Komen 3-Day mode

I always loved the saying “Starting a blog is a lot like adopting a dog, you have to figure out how to feed it for the next 13 years”, which is probably why I don’t have a dog. I’m seriously guilty of neglect but life, work and kids get in the way of blogging. It always feels good to find my way back to my blog for a quick little post.

So, here’s an update. Outside of work, kids and lots of sporting events, I’m quickly shifting into 3-Day mode. We are 46 members strong including our 4 members of the crew. We’re moving into a very busy fundraising season, beginning to think about shirts, hats and visors and most importantly starting some long training walks. I am proud of our fantastic fundraising–we’ve raised neary $75,000 prompting me to increase our goal for 2011 to $110,000. If we reach $110,000, our team will have raised $400,000 during our 4th year walking just after I celebrate 4 years as a survivor.

Outside of making a donation, there are many great ways to support our team. If you can join us at an event, purchase from our vendors or help us in any other way, we would be extremely grateful. If it’s easier for you to make a donation, we love those too.

Bowling June 4th 8pm Kingswood Lanes in Clinton Township
$20 includes 3 games, shoes, pizza
Basket raffles, 50/50 raffle and strike ball, call Kristin at 586-770-2449 to reserve a spot

On June 4th and 5th, stop by 306 Normandy in Royal Oak for a massive garage sale. All proceeds benefit our team.

Fun Night at 24 Seconds in Berkley
June 20 6pm-9pm
Great food, drinks and raffle items. Bring the whole family for lots of fun. Got any great raffle items to contribute, let me know.

Ongoing Fundraisers
Get rid of those creepy crawlers and help fight breast cancer. Pest Arrest can help with all your pest control needs including bees, wasps and mosquitoes. Call them today and mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 10% will come back to our team. Call 248-246-1850 to schedule your appointment.

Window and Carpet Cleaning
In Home Window Cleaning, call 248-599-8000, mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 10% will go to our team

Cutest Sandals in town for a great cause. You save 10% and 20% will support our team when you mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer.

Do you need any Mary Kay products? Trisha, a Mary Kay representative has agreed to donate 10% of all sales to Ta Ta Breast Cancer Team. If you would like to order any products, you can contact her at harper.marykay@gmail.com. Or shop 24/7 at her personal website. Just mention Ta Ta Breastcancer.

Find great note cards, birthday labels and address labels at Note Card Farm. Select Ta Ta Breast Cancer when you check out and 10% will be donated back to our team.

From June 1st-June 15th, we’ll be doing an online party at Thirty One Gifts. Look for the Ta Ta Breast Cancer event and 15% of all sales will go into our fundraising accounts.

Thinking ahead, I’m hoping to plan two theater fundraisers for the 2012 walk–Wicked and Shrek are both coming to town so be sure to stay tuned for more information on these great shows.

And finally, there’s still time to join in this life-changing experience. If you’ve ever had an interest in walking, just do it. Join us today and find out how great it feels to become a part of something so big, to truly make a difference, to help crush cancer one step at a time.

Thank you always for your tremendous support of Ta Ta Breast Cancer and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Together we can say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vote for FORCE in the Chase Community Giving Challenge

If you regularly read my blog, you know that I am very passionate about a lot of organizations, but there are two in particular that are nearest and dearest to my heart.  One is Susan G. Komen–the organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. 

The other organization is quite a bit smaller and in the shadow of the biggies but no less important.  It’s called FORCE and their mission is to improve the lives of people affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  It was started by a wonderful woman who cares deeply about this cause and who works tirelessly to make a difference in our community.  FORCE has helped me, but more importantly I’ve seen the masses of women who have come to challenging crossroads in their lives and have persevered with the support of FORCE.  I’ve sat in local meetings and watched women tearfully talk about how alone they felt before they discovered the support of FORCE. 

FORCE has some important roles in our community.  First and foremost, FORCE has the ability, through local outreach coordinators all over the country, to provide support on an individual and group level to women who are navigating the complex world of hereditary cancer.  In addition to the local support groups, the message boards provide a safe-haven for women to come together.  And the toll-free 1-800 number is a place for people to turn when they don’t know where else to go.

Second, FORCE advocates for the hereditary cancer community–taking on issues such as GINA to make sure our rights are protected and we cannot be discrimated against for our genetic make-up.

And last, FORCE helps raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer so that women can learn of a cancer causing genetic mutation, take preventative measures and avoid a cancer diagnosis. 

Have I convinced you enough how much I care about and love this organization?  If I have, please take a few seconds to vote for FORCE in the Chase Community Giving Challenge.  If you have another few seconds to spare, post it on your Facebook page, tweet it and share it with your friends. We have the opportunity to win a grand prize of $250,000, one of 4 runner up prizes of $100,000 or one of 195 $20,000 prizes.  With your help, we can make this a reality.

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