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.
We seem to be kicking into high gear in the fundraising area pretty quickly which is great news since we’ve got a team of 30 members so far for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the cure—all with a $2,300 goal.
Here’s what we’ve got planned:
We’ll be wrapping gifts at Borders at 13 mile and Southfield Rd. on December 4, 5 and 11th from 10a-2p. Stop by and say hello, grab some gifts and let the lovely ladies (and one man) of Ta Ta Breast Cancer wrap them for you. Hope to see you there.
Also, on December 5th, print out a flyer and drop into Catching Fireflies for some great holiday shopping. 12% of whatever you purchase will benefit our team.
As always, you can visit TD nails on Mondays or Tuesdays, mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and our team will benefit with 10% of your purchase.
Needs your carpets, tile or grout professionally cleaned; call In-home Window Cleaning at 248-623-5858. Schedule a free estimate. If you hire them, make sure to mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 15% will come back to our team.
And you can always do your holiday shopping online by registering as a member of our shopping portal. The great news is you get cash back and Ta Ta Breast Cancer benefits too.
Stay tuned for announcements about some other great fundraisers in the spring including a mother/daughter event at Salon Pavlina in Farmington Hills and our big theater fundraiser-Spring Awakening winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical in 2007. We’re hoping to raise $125,000 this year.
Got any other thoughts or ideas for us or want to join our team, leave a comment or get in touch.
It’s been a long interesting week, and I finally have a moment to share. After my diagnosis, I was connected to an acquaintance that had just finished her journey. She became a mentor of sorts—supplying me with cute hats, sending thoughtful cards and calling or emailing to check in on me. She was honest and inspirational all at the same time. We’ve kept in touch over the past two years—because breast cancer and the BRCA gene that we both share create somewhat of an unbreakable bond.
Just days before the Breast Cancer 3-Day, I learned her cancer had spread. The words our mutual friend shared with me twisted my heart, took my breath away and made me feel like I had the biggest kick in the stomach. Two days later, I walked and prayed and kept her in my continuous thoughts. The walk this year had a whole new meaning for me personally. I guess before this news, I lived in my blissful and optimistic world of thinking that those of us diagnosed with early stage breast cancer these days simply needed to do our time, have our surgeries, chemo, etc. and go on to live long healthy lives. While this news shattered that for me, I also felt incredible sadness for her and her family. I know her journey will be a tough one—I also know her incredible strength. On Monday Night, I got an email from her. She was back in the chemo chair as part of a PARP Inhibitor clinical trial. More hopefulness as these are the drugs that are showing the most promising results. She remains part of my daily thoughts and prayers.
About a year ago, I found a blog through my friend Pam. The blog was written by a young woman in Minneapolis raising three young children and battling late stage breast cancer 1 year after her early stage breast cancer diagnosis. I read her blog for several months following her journey. Just minutes after I read my friend’s email on Monday Night, I ventured over to Pam’s blog to learn that Cari had lost her fight. More heartache, sadness and the reality of this dreadful disease came crashing through me.
At the same time, breast cancer awareness month is kicking into high gear. I know there are many questions and potentially even criticisms about the amount of effort and money put into this disease. But we can’t stop. Not even for a minute. Not when stories like this continue every day. Breast Cancer is real and it’s cruel and we have to find a way to stop it in its tracks. It can’t continue to rob children of their mothers, to steal wives from their husbands, to make parents feel the pain from the loss of a far too young daughter. It must go away and until it does, I’ll keep fighting and I hope you’ll keep joining me.
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).
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 3-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.
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. The 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!
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.
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.
In the 2008 Breast Cancer 3-Day, my team of 25 walkers raised nearly $87,000. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment and even happier to know that our efforts are helping everyday in the fight against breast cancer. But I do understand things have changed since September 2008. Many people watched their retirement dollars sink; others lost their jobs and still others took significant pay cuts. So raising money is no easy task these days. I have friends who confidently signed up last year knowing that raising the money would be no problem. These people are hesitant this year to even try and I completely understand that. My hope is that my fundraising effort will collectively subsidize the Ta Ta Breast Cancer walker’s minimum donations and more importantly continue to help in the fight. I can’t help but think about how much funding will decrease this year in the area of breast cancer and I can’t help but continue to do my part. So, yes, I’m still asking for monetary donations even if they are significantly smaller. Every dollar helps. But my goal is to find other fundraising opportunities that don’t require people to spend additional dollars outside of their normal budget. With that, I’ve created a list of current efforts:
· I just came across the cutest website–Note Card Farm–for personalized note cards, address labels and gift stickers. They make great gifts and I ordered a bunch for my kids and my family. Best yet, I’ve worked out a Ta Ta Breast Cancer promotion where 10% of your purchase goes to my team. So order some cute note cards or address labels and help support our team.
· I’ve written often about www.shoptoearn.net/breastcancer. Please don’t forget to use this site. It’s the best way to turn your everyday purchases into donations to breast cancer. Once you are in the portal, check out 1-800-contacts, priceline.com, Meijer or hundreds of other great retailers. For a huge selection of every imaginable organic product, click on shop to earth.
· If you live in Southeast Michigan, the hottest new salon in town is helping us. Salon Pavlina is a full service hair salon catering to both men and women. They also do manicures/pedicures, facials, waxing and make-up. They are located on Northwestern Highway and opened up this past October. If you’ve never been there before, call and make an appointment–let them know you heard about them through Ta Ta Breast Cancer and they’ll donate 30% of your first visit back to our team. Pavlina, Christina and the rest of the team are all great. Check out their website for more information http://salonpavlina.com/ or call 248-539-3500.
· There is still two more weeks to purchase Annie Tickets for May 10 at 6:30. I have main floor seats for $64 and balcony for $44 and a large portion of the ticket price comes back to our team.
· If you need your carpets, windows or gutters cleaned, call In-home Window Cleaning at 248-623-5858. Schedule a free estimate. If you hire them, make sure to mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 10% will come back to our team.
· Visit TD Nails in Berkley, MI for manicures, pedicures, waxing or facials on Mondays and Tuesdays and mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer, 10% will come back to our team.
· If you would like your very own Ta Ta Breast Cancer long-sleeved thermal, tank or short-sleeved shirt, go to Sprout in Royal Oak on Washington or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am thankful for any support you can give in this fight. Whether it’s supporting any one of our ongoing fundraisers or making a donation, your support is saving lives. I know that first-hand and I’m tremendously thankful every day.