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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.

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood–my response

As a major supporter and fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, many people are looking to me for my thoughts and opinions on yesterdays’ announcement  regarding funding to Planned Parenthood.

Let me start by saying I am not in favor of Komen’s decision. As a person deeply concerned about women’s health, I understand the immense value of Planned Parenthood. 

To further complicate a very politically charged issue, Komen did not handle this announcement effectively.   

Where did they go wrong?

  • Komen decided to pull its Planned Parenthood funding just six months after the hiring of Karen Handel–who adamantly opposes abortion–as vice president of public policy. In my opinion, the politics of abortion has no place in a breast cancer research foundation and I think it’s a huge shame that Komen has let this issue affect its mission.
  • Komen took nearly 24 hours to issue its own statement with regards to this funding. This gave the press and social media time to explode. Susan G. Komen was not part of this conversation, and it should have been. When they did issue their statement, it was too little too late. They’re now mired in a public relations nightmare and it’s going to be hard for them to recover. Even though Komen still contributes money to many other healthcare organizations that provide breast cancer screening (as well as mammograms), they’ve done damage by cutting off the well-known and much beloved Planned Parenthood.

I’m certain, the team at Komen is locked in a room desperately trying to find a way to recover. At least I hope they are.

So why do I, a passionate supporter of Planned Parenthood, also continue to stand so firmly behind Susan G. Komen? Because you see, I’m not convinced I would have the opportunity to write this blog had Komen not contributed what they have to breast cancer research over the past 30 years. Would I be alive? Would I be living the life I always dreamt I’d live? Who’s to say? The drugs, the treatments, the awareness, the advancements–so many of them come down to what Susan G. Komen has done for us. I’m terrified at the numbers of people that are professing to never give them another dime. What will this mean to breast cancer research? How will it affect our daughters, sisters and friends? This really scares me.

I know there are other organizations raising funds for breast cancer research. One of them, FORCE, is near and dear to my heart. I believe these other organizations can contribute and I will support them. But today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the strongest force out there. They are making a real difference in breast cancer  treatment. They are saving lives. We need them.
 
So, to the team at Susan G. Komen, please find a way to make this right. Do what you need to do to get your supporters back on board. I wish the answer was easy but we all know it’s not.
 
To my friends, supporters and fellow teammates–please don’t let this change your commitment. If you’re outraged by Komen’s decision, show it by making a donation to Planned Parenthood. But please don’t pull your support from Komen.

We need this research. We need this funding. We need to find cures and we need to save lives.

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.

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.

Brogan shines pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Yesterday marked day one of my 4th breast cancer awareness month as a breast cancer survivor. There’s a pink cast to the world, facebook profile pictures turn to pink ribbons and businesses everywhere are stepping up their support of breast cancer.

Brogan & Partners, my long time employer, has supported my journey every step of the way–participating in fundraisers, walking with me, creating my award winning Ta Ta Breast Cancer logo and just being there for me. I am honored and thrilled everyday to work for this company–the place I’ve called my home away from home for nearly 17 years. 

But Marcie Brogan, once again, you’ve outdone yourself. For the next month, our building in downtown Birmingham will shine pink to honor survivors and remember those who’ve lost their life to this disease. If you’re in the area at night, drive by the historic peabody mansion and see for yourself.  And thanks dad for capturing this great photo.  Yes, I’m one lucky survivor.

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.

One more little request

With Representative Wasserman Schultz

This is my second post in one week.  Pretty certain you’re reading this and running in the other direction wondering what I want you to do now.  I know, every time I post, I’m asking for you to do something but this one is really important (OK they are all really important).   But this one is really really important and can seriously impact lives.  Representative Deborah Wasserman Schultz introduced #HR1522 legislation into Congress which will establish Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer awareness week and make Wednesday of that week National Previvor Day.  We need 100 co-sponsors in the house by August 2 and right now we have 20. 

Please take action quickly for my good friend Sue Friedman–who left a career as a vet to start FORCE over a decade ago.  Take action for so many of my friends who’ve learned they have a BRCA mutation and have taken preventative measures before they’ve gotten a cancer diagnosis.   Take action for way too many women who are battling metastatic disease because they found their cancer too late or had a recurrence.  Take action for all the young women diagnosed with cancer because BRCA strikes younger women and is much more aggressive.  Take action for the young girls in our lives who need to know about hereditary cancer so they can live long, healthy cancer-free lives.  Take action now because August 2nd is quickly approaching.

Ta Ta Breast Cancer in action

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is still 4 months away but we are in heavy planning and fundraising mode. Very soon we’ll be entering training mode.

So much exciting news to report. We now have 48 team members–nearly double the size of last years team and we are shooting for $125,000. We’re still growing too and until Midnight CT on 4/23, you can save $25 off the registration when you use GOTEAM in the promotion code. So come on…Join us…We promise you an experience to remember.

In other news, we have tons of great ways for you (if you don’t want to walk) to help our team.

Getitpersonalized is offering a great Mother’s Day promotion. Stop by Sunday April 25 from 12-4 or Tuesday April 27 from 12-5, get your photo taken or bring in an existing photo, pick out your gift and they’ll have your personalized photo gift ready for you before Mother’s Day. Gifts start at $15. Be sure to mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 20% will come back to our team.

Shop for a cause at AISH in Oak Park on May 6 from 6pm-9pm. Great shirts for kids and adults, jewelry and personalized notecards.

Join us for drinks, dessert and singing with Lisa Soble Siegmann on May 16 from 7pm-10pm at the JCC Teen Center–a little bit of camp in the heart of West Bloomfield. The cost is $36 per person and $50 per couple and every dollar gets donated back to the 3-Day.

Join us for our annual fundraiser at 24 Seconds in Berkley, Michigan Monday June 21 5:00-9:30 for all you can eat pizza, salad, turkey roll ups, veggie roll ups, chips and salsa plus mac and cheese, chicken tenders and french fries for the kids. $13 for adults, $7 for kids.

We hope to see you at our 2nd annual 3-Day 4th fest July 2 from 6:30-11:30 for great food, raffles, auction and fun.

As spring approaches, In home Window and Carpet Cleaning will donate a percentage to Ta Ta Breast Cancer (and they do a great job). Be sure to mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer when you book your appointment.

For some great pampering, visit TD Nails in Berkley on Mondays or Tuesdays and mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and a portion of your service will come back to our team.

If you can’t make it to any of our great fundraisers and still want to support our team, visit our team page and choose any one of our 48 team members to make a donation. We all have to make $2,300 and we appreciate every penny you can donate.

Thank you for helping Ta Ta Breast Cancer say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

Ta Ta Breast Cancer is working it…

The sun is shining and even though we are still at the beginning of February, my mind keeps wandering to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. My team is kicking it into high gear with some great fundraising, and I’m so proud of all of their ideas and energy. I’m feeling confident that we’ll end this year with a nice round $125,000 and thinking how much good this money can do in this fight. I now, sadly, know 5 women who are battling stage 4 breast cancer and all I can think about is how desperately I want them to live, long, full, enjoyable lives. Our only hope is research and the way to get there is by raising money. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m raising bucks, and I’m not stopping. Why? Because one friend in her 30s is seeing tremendous results on a Parp Inhibitor trial. And another friend in her 20s is starting a clinical trial shortly in hopes of seeing major disease reduction. All of these women need newer and better drugs to continue to fight this disease and that’s exactly what the money we raise helps fund.

My biggest fundraiser of the year is quickly approaching, and if you live in Michigan, I’d love to see you join us. We are seeing Spring Awakening at the Fisher Theater on Thursday April 29 at 8:00. For each ticket sold, $24 goes directly to Susan G. Komen and helps one of my teammates closer to their $2,300 goal.  And you pay the face value of the ticket.  It’s a win-win for all. If you are interested in joining us, you can RSVP on my event page or get in contact with me directly. If you can’t make the show but wish to donate or even walk, you can visit our team page.   And stay tuned for lots more exciting fundraisers before August. 

Help us save lives. Help us fight this disease. Help us end breast cancer.

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.   

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