Category Archives: social media

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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Two Proud Mommas

My daughter and her good friend have a lot in common. They share their long brown hair, their love of soccer, their energetic spirits, their love of the “The Biggest Loser” TV show and the same birthday month.

The girls have been friends since before they were 2 years old and for the past 3 years, they’ve planned their joint birthday parties together. For their ninth birthday, they decided they didn’t need a lot of gifts but they had a long list of friends they wanted to include in their celebration. Enter Echoage, a relatively new organization that helps parents plan birthday parties that are good for the environment and give back at the same time. The online invite suggest a donation instead of a gift. Guests choose the amount they want to give and the girls get 50% of the total. The other half is donated to a charity that the girls select from the list of charities tied to Echoage. They chose Nourish America, an organization that feeds hungry children and through their selflessness, the organization received over $300.

The girls right after their second birthday

The girls at preschool just after their 2nd birthdays

Planning for their February birthdays typically starts months in advance.  After much discussion, the girls decided on a biggest birthday challenge, adapted from their favorite show “The Biggest Loser“.  As guests arrived at the party, they were randomly assigned a team color and given their team t-shirt (designed by the two girls).  They next learned the rules and were on to the first challenge, a basketball shoot-out.  Following the shoot-out, the girls had an endurance challenge and a relay race.  In the true spirit of “The Biggest Loser”, the girls asked their guests to bring cans of food instead of gifts.  All of the guests had a ton of fun and left with their prizes–a pack of Extra Sugar Free gum–the official gum of “The Biggest Loser.”

Standing with their collection of Food

The girls stand with all the food donations

The whole group

Today, my friend Stacy (the other mom) and I took the girls to Gleaners Food Bank to deliver the food.  We had a short tour of the facility while they weighed our donation.  It was a great moment watching the girls learn they had donated 124 pounds of food–the equivalent of 124 meals.  We can only imagine what they’ll pull out of their sleeves for next year.

At Gleaners delivering 124 pounds of food

Vote for Friendship Circle

Yes I’m usually pretty focused on breast cancer. But there are many other causes that are important to me.  Today, in particular, I’m focused on The Friendship Circle–a remarkable organization that touches the lives of kids with special needs.  Why today? Because beginning in a few short hours, the Friendship Circle has an opportunity to win $1,000,000 in the Chase Community Giving event.  All it takes is your vote.  The effort they’ve put forth in promoting this opportunity is similar to the way they do everything and indicative of the talent and the time put into this organization.  Every year I participate in their annual walk and have an opportunity to visit the building.  I hear the passion in Bassie’s voice as she shares the accomplishments of the year.  I listen to my friends share stories of how this organization impacts their life.  And I am happy to support and share in the wonderful experience.  It just takes a minute to vote and a couple extra minutes to remind your friends to vote.  Let’s watch Friendship Circle continue to do great things.   

Taking Action–Addressing the New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Last week I had the opportunity to join a great group of women on a panel to talk about the new breast cancer screening guidelines put out by the USPTF.  I sat at the table with Senator Gilda Jacobs, Dr. Ruth Lerman—a breast care specialist and 3 time breast cancer survivor—and Dr. Karen Hunt, Breast Imaging Site Director at Henry Ford Hospital.  The event was hosted by the Cancer Thrivers Network  for Jewish Women and moderated by another young breast cancer survivor and member of the Cancer Thrivers Network, Elizabeth Schiff Barash.  We all brought our unique point of views and expertise to the panel and I’m so thankful to the thrivers for putting this panel together so quickly.

The December 21 panel, with moderator Elizabeth Schiff Barash, Thrivers Michelle Passon and Patti Nemer and JFS Community Outreach Officer, Ellen Yashinsky Chute

It’s been 6 weeks since the USPTF released their new guidelines.  I often wonder if they envisioned the uproar and discussion their release would create.  It took the online communities through the blogosphere, news sites and social networks minutes to start posting opposition and opinions on the new guidelines.  There was no need to wait and hear more from them.  Their guidelines, as they released them on that November day, were clear.  If you were under 50 without knowledge of a family history, your best bet was to hope that the big “C” didn’t strike.  Because if it did, you would have no way of knowing until it was staring you in the face and was perhaps too late.  No mammograms, no need for breast self-exams and no clinical breast exams.  Talk about anxiety that unnecessary biopsies create, how about the anxiety of the woman that discovers stage 4 breast cancer when her cancer should have/could have been discovered earlier?  

We’ve spent 25 years educating women on the importance of routine mammograms beginning at age 40 and we’ve spent even longer touting the importance of breast self-exams.  Just recently, Deborah Wasserman Schultz introduced the EARLY Act which is designed to educate even younger women—specifically women under 40 about the importance of early detection.  Early detection of breast cancer saves lives and no one can deny that fact. 

So why do we have these new guidelines?  And what do they mean? Will laws change?  Will insurance companies change coverage? Will women start pushing their mammograms later and later? Will we no longer learn how to do a breast self-exam?  Will doctors continue to do clinical breast exams or will those go away?  I’m sure any of these scenarios are possible but for me, the scariest, is that women will actually listen to these guidelines.  Maybe not at first but when the chatter quiets down, people may start to push their screenings later and later.  They may start to ignore years of advice to check their breasts.  And guess what, more women will die of breast cancer. 

So where does this take me?  Clearly I disagree with the guidelines.  And yes I’m angry, borderline furious, but I see this as an opportunity to start a conversation and make a difference.  We can make sure that the women in our life understand that mammograms, breast self-exams and clinical breast exams are just as important today as they were on November 16.  We can sign petitions put out by FORCE and Susan G. Komen to make our voices heard and make sure all women have access to mammograms beginning at age 40. We can push for better diagnostic tools to detect cancer even earlier, and we can advocate for our own health by doing breast self-exams, getting proper clinical breast exams and continuing on with our yearly screenings.

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.

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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.

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