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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.

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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

Celebrating 4 years!

4 years ago today, my life changed in ways I could never imagine at the time.  It was a Thursday evening at 9:00 when the phone rang and my doctor shared those 3 little words. Today I celebrate 4 years of surviving breast cancer—a milestone I cherish each day. With each passing year, I feel thankful to be alive and feeling great. I appreciate good health like never before. My year of treatment and surgeries is a distant memory but my comittment to ending this disease continues. Losing beautiful women reminds me that while my fight is over, the big fight is not. So while I celebrate, I also think about all the brave women who battled this disease to the end, and in their memory, I will continue on my mission to say goodbye to breast cancer forever.

The weekend of my diagnosis--4 years ago.

11 reasons WHY $11.11 donations are NEEDED

Mike and his mom

I love this campaign developed by my teammate and very devoted fundraiser, Mike Hull.

11 reasons why $11.11 donations are NEEDED.

1.Approximately 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer globally each year.

2.Approximately 456,000 people worldwide die from the disease each year.

3.Somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer every 69 seconds.

4.In the past 25 years, incidence rates have risen approximately 30 percent in westernized countries.

5.Why let another mother, sister, father, friend or even a stranger die from breast cancer…when we can fight back?

6.$11.11 is the amount a typical person spends on lunch in one day…can you eat in one day and a make a small but VERY worthwhile donation?

7. Susan G. Komen for the Cure paid for more than 600,000 breast screenings in 2009!

8.Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised more than $1.5 billion to fund research, advocacy and community programs since Komen was founded in 1982.

9.Your donation can and will save safe a life.

10.Cancer sucks….please help stop it!

11.Why not donation….really….why not? All donations benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Mike Hull is walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-day event hosted in mid-August and has a goal to raise $11,111.11. Mike walks because his mother currently has stage 4 cancer and he needs a cure (her birthday this year was 1/11/11)! You may not know Mike, but what you need to know is the mission of Eleven-11 and Susan G. Komen, which is to find the cure for breast cancer! Please help! Please pass this on. Donations accepted on the Susan G. Komen website, http://www.the3day.org and search for participant Mike Hull or the direct link is http://www.the3day.org/goto/InHonorOfJean.

$400,000 in 4 years

We did it. In a little over two weeks, Ta Ta Breast Cancer will walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure for the 4th year. 30 minutes ago, we reached an enormous milestone–$400,000 raised in the past 4 years. $400,000 funding life-saving research in the fight against breast cancer. Thank you to every walker, donor, crew member and fundraiser who’ve helped us reach this goal over the past 4 years. Together we WILL 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.

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

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.

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