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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.

Our new Ta Ta Breast Cancer shirts

Just walked 15 miles in our brand new, hot off the press, shirts.

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.

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.

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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