Category Archives: Susan G. Komen

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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