Friday, October 31, 2008

LIVESTRONG Army: San Diego & Race for the Cure

The San Diego LIVESTRONG Army is hosting it's official first outing in the local community...and our official "launch" in our community. On Sunday, the Susan G. Komen "Race for a Cure" officials have graciously offered us the ability to host a booth for our LIVESTRONG Army. We are extremely excited joining in the fight to kick cancer to the curb! We will use the booth to talk to attendees about the various tools of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (e.g., survivor notebooks, young adult alliance), and we'll also be signing people up to join our LIVESTRONG San Diego Army! Our goal is to have anywhere from 300-500 people join our local army of volunteers willing to unite and join the fight against cancer.

We also have a "LIVESTRONG Army San Diego" Facebook Group now, so please join, if you are a member of Facebook. Our web site will also be launching this weekend (once I finish the content), so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Livestrong Army San Diego - Working the LAF Booth!

While most of the LIVESTRONG fans are out riding their bikes today at the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge (leavin' cancer quakin' in its boots) --- the newly-founded LIVESTRONG Army San Diego is at their first volunteer activity with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Suzanne and myself (Co-Leaders of the San Diego Army) are working the Lance Armstrong Foundation's booth with the LAF staff at the American Public Health Association conference being held at the San Diego Convention Center this week. There are so many materials to help health professionals support their cancer patients and families. For more information, go to: http://www.livestrong.org/

Monday, October 20, 2008

Perspective

It is so easy to get caught up in how "big" all our problems seem at times. A little perspective always seems to do me good. Today, I visited with my best friend (of 28 years!) and her little son, Tommy, who is still in the hospital's N-ICU after being born 2 months early. He was such a cutie, and it reminded me that no matter how big our problem seems --- or how tough we have it -- there is always someone out there having a tougher day that we can reach out to with a helping hand. While I can't really "do" anything to help him, it was great to at least visit and see him squirm around in his incubator (made my problems seem much smaller). Heck, if such a little dude can be a warrior, battling to grow big and strong, then I can certainly deal with my little problems. Little Tommy may only weight 3lbs and a couple ounces, but he stole my heart. LIVESTRONG, little dude. "Be Fri", if you're reading this blog, thank you for a very special day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Costly Cancer

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I was devasted by a recent survey printed in USA Today this week. The survey presented information that 1 in 8 folks with advanced cancer turned down recommended care because of the COST. Among lower-income patients 1 in 4 refused treatment. Seriously? We live in the greatest country on earth in my opinion, and yet we're in a place with our healthcare system where people have to decline life-saving treatments due to the price-tag.

I mean, it's one thing if you're shopping at South Coast Plaza in "The O.C."...you know...strolling along, drooling on the windows of Hermes, Chanel, Armani, Versace, etc. And then you think, "Wow, as much as I love these adorable Prada shoes, they are just too expensive, and I can do without." It is a WHOLE other story to be presented with medical treatments that could SAVE YOUR LIFE, and yet you think, " I can't afford this at all, so I have no choice but to decline and live out the rest of my life with dignity" --- or -- "These costs will devastate my family, and I want to make sure that when I die, they have something to sustain themselves, so I choose not to have treatment."

Yes, I am usually peppy and upbeat on this blog because I personally feel that feeding the warrior and fighting this disease is the only way to win -- but --- surveys and articles like these just show how much farther we have to go, folks. We are an awesome nation, but I implore you now as you go to vote in a few weeks, and I desperately will implore whoever is the new President, to start making changes in how we BATTLE this disease. This is war, ya'll. It is not just a war against a deadly disease impacting people around the world, but it's a war to fight for a better healthcare system, to fight for funds that will help with cancer prevention and early detection, etc., etc.

Please, join in the fight. If you are in the local Southern California area, please contact me to join our LIVESTRONG Army and be proactive in this war. If you're not in the local area, please still email me, and I will connect you with a local LIVESTRONG Army in your area. Or, click here to sign up for your local LIVESTRONG Army online.

Nobody in this amazing country should ever go to bed hungry and without a roof over their head...and nobody should have to go to bed with the burden of choosing between their cancer care costs and their lives. There is no price for human life, we should all be able to live out the end of our days the way we choose and with dignity. Let's unite and make change happen. CURES ROCK.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Cancer Charity Fundraiser a Success! (TNT)

Sunday night was the YBSNGL (a.k.a. Why Be Single?) Singles Party Fundraiser to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Single or non-single (we had "taken" stickers for couples), everyone came out to enjoy a great night of fun at the La Jolla Brew House in La Jolla, California. The event was hosted to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to create awareness about young adults with cancer. I would like to write a HUGE thank you to all of those that came, donated, and bought food/drinks to support this fundraising party. I would also like to extend a HUGE thank you to the La Jolla Brew House for helping us host this event and donated a percentage of the profits towards LLS. It is awesome to see the local community involved in raising awareness about blood cancers AND uniting to fight against this stupid (really stupid) disease.

What's next on the horizon? Oh yeah…get ready….a "Pick a Fight with Cancer" Dodgeball Tournament will be officially announced shortly for November (we're finalizing the date/location now). The funds will go to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society AND The Lance Armstrong Foundation in support of the local LIVESTRONG Army of San Diego. Our goal is to UNITE all cancer organizations to continue to raise the need for early detection, prevention and awareness of cancer. GO TEAM & LIVESTRONG!

P.S. Don't forget to register to vote!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

San Diego Team in Training Run Team... ROCKS!

CURES ROCK...and there is no doubt in my mind after today that the San Diego Team in Training (TNT) Run Team also ROCKS! The coaches had their doubts, but we managed to have the entire team show up in their TNT white shirts. WAHOO! I mean, look at this picture...do we look like a TEAM or what?! Today, the marathoners on our run team ran 10, 11 or 12 miles -- the most many of them had ever run in their lives! They did GREAT!! It was a gorgeous day along the coast, which was perfect for a long beach run (other than the sand in my shoes, but it's a small price to pay for the AWESOMENESS of living in San Diego). Two people had to pay the price for losing this "White T-shirt Contest" with our Team shirts --- the COACHES! Yup, the coaches had their hair painted purple today...and let me say that I had a grand ol' time lending a hand, as you can see me doing in the second picture. The Fundraising Tip of the week from the Fundraising Mentor (me)? Have FUN with your FUN-draising -- and let me tell you -- this week was hilarious, and we raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To date, our little ol' Run Team has raised approximately $68,000 for this season for TNT/L&L Society! AWESOME!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Team in Training - White T-Shirt Contest!

Team in Training: White T-Shirt Contest!!!
(That's "white" not "wet" just to be clear....lol.) So, I'm feeling under-the-weather today with the flu, so what do I do? Make silly TNT videos (of course) for my favorite Winter Season - San Diego TNT Run Team. Don't forget, Team --- our White T-Shirt Contest is on SATURDAY! Watch this video for a little motivation, wear that white shirt on Saturday and get ready to run 10-11-12 miles! Click here or copy/paste this link into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcpe6sa58aM


YBSNGL!!! Also, don't forget that Sunday is our TNT Cancer Charity Singles Party Fundraiser at the La Jolla Brew House! Everyone in town is invited! (Yup - even if you're not single, you can come -- we have "taken" stickers for you!). http://www.lajollabrewhouse.com/ (Click "Events" and you'll see our flyer!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Every second counts.

"The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough."-Unknown

Today was an incredible run with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (San Diego Run Team). The run caused me to look inward (again) at my own journey with cancer....and that moment of hearing the words, "you have cancer" which suddenly forced me as a young adult of 31 yrs to face the prospect of my own death. I suppose that is why I am so proud of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for taking their LIVESTRONG brand global, and I am so proud of my TNT team. It's time to make change happen.
In running and training with our team, we work harder to be stronger, so we can run a faster race and try for our personal record for time. New shoes, new clothes, interval training --- whatever it takes to whittle down the time it takes to run the race. Yet, in facing a battle with cancer, it's all about stretching out the time...and to be grateful for each day we wake up and for each breath we still have left in our lives. I have lost several good friends my age to their battles with cancer over the past two years. While I could be bitter about the little time we had together, instead, I am grateful for the extra moments and time their cutting-edge treatments gave them to be with me and their families. Instead of shaving time off an endurance run, they fought like hell and added those extra precious days, seconds, hours to their lives to let their light shine a bit longer in this world.
The next time you are out there running for charity (or watching someone run by you that's running for charity), remember what it must be like for those that are not trying to shorten their race, but add just even one more breath to fight their disease. The next time you hear one of us involved with the LIVESTRONG Challenges or Team in Training ask for donations, before you say "no," perhaps you'll think about this blog and those that cannot run. Don't tell me a story about how you "almost" gave to a charity because that just might have "almost" have saved a life. "Don't just almost give. GIVE." Please donate to my TNT campaign, as I am still short of my goal. Click on the "Cures Rock!" logo on the right side or click here to donate. If you're still not convinced, please watch this 15 second video by the Ad Council. Things may be tough with the economy, but not as tough as the battle some of these patients are facing. Thank you, all, for being my personal heroes in battling the disease of cancer!!!
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

10/2 - Lance will never forget it.

Today is 10/2. Sounds like an insignificant day of sorts, but back in '96, it was the day that Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, changing his life forever. It's a reminder of those types of days when we face tremendous challenges. It's those days that we choose to fight like hell or stand down, laugh 'til tears stream down our face or cry. And, it's those types of days we look back on, and remember how we are now "obligated to the cure," as Lance often writes. It is because of my own day like this, that I now stand up to advocate for change, for awareness, for prevention...

There is a great note on the LIVESTRONG Blog, so I'll leave it to them to tell the story of the day....and they also posted Lance's press release from 1996. Go here: http://livestrongblog.org/2008/10/02/102-2/
LIVESTRONG!!!

Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

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500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
January 1 - 17, 2010
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