Sunday, October 18, 2009

Run, run, run! LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin is here!

Click below for the LIVESTRONG Blog post about the LIVESTRONG Challenge next weekend in Austin, TX. There are still spots for the 5K run or walk. I'll be there for both the 5K Run and Ride for the Roses! Come out, and let's pound some pavement together to leave Cancer quakin' in its boots!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


That's what I saw today on the side of the road today. FREE HUGS.

In a world of very little human touch and connection today (I mean, hellloooo...I'm writing a blog, twittering and facebooking all at the same time at the moment), the "free hug" concept is an interesting one. I drove by a group of girls with signs that read "free hugs" and watched as passerbyers either moved away or stopped to give them a hug. How can one refuse a group of folks in black with great hair donating free hugs?

Turns out, it's part of a national "Free Hug Day" by the Paul Mitchell Schools as part of the Free Hugs Campaign. LOVE IT.

So, you're probably all wondering what hugs, good hair and a cancer blog have to do with each other? Alas, before I lose all three of my dedicated blog readers, I will tell you that it has everything to do with it.

I was diagnosed with cancer at 31 years old. At that moment, my hair was over halfway down my back, close to my waist. I thought that my hair would have the same impetuous nature as myself and hang in there, but alas, in my attempt to fight cancer with chemo, I started losing all of it.

Enter --> the most awesome friends who took me on an escape from the hospital to go find some wigs. Inside, I felt awkward and heart-wrenched --- until I turned around and saw them all trying on wigs. I have truly never laughed so hard in my entire laugh. (Joe probably thought I lost this picture of him in his Tina Turner wig. Nope.)

I then made one tough call. I called Salon David Perez to book James, my stylist extraodinaire, to immediately me shave off my shedding hair. I was devastated and frustrated. I knew after all the years of him helping me with my long locks, there was only one person I wanted to help get rid of 'em: James. Within the hour, I was getting an email from James who had heard about the situation, and he agreed to set up an appointment on his day off the next day.

And there we met: My great friend, Joe, who was there for support. Me, with shedding, long locks and feeling sick. And James...with a bubbly smile, a big HUG and reassurance that it was all going to be ok.

He talked to me about all the great styles I could now have growing my hair back out after the chemo --- styles, I add, that I would normally be too scared to try since I was limited by long hair. While I knew I may have some "bad no hair" days coming up, I at least wouldn't be having a "bad hair" day. "Just think of the beautiful, virgin hair you'll have when it grows out," he said. (Only a hair stylist would see to the perks of "new" hair as it grows in, untouched by styling treatments.) He helped cut and shape the 2 wigs I had bought earlier. (Note: If you ever need a wig for cancer treatment, get a stylist to help shape it and make it look great.)

And then, amidst other customers (that didn't look too sure about what was going on), I told him, "Let's do it." He turned on the clippers, and then surprised me by handing them to me for the first cut. We were going to go "G.I. Julie" style.

It was one of the most empowering moments of my life. I took control of my cancer, my treatment, my shedding hair, my attitude, and anything about what "being a girl" meant in society. This was my LIVESTRONG moment.

I rarely share this moment because it means that much to me. Today, I decided to share it with all of you because of the compassion of a young group of hair stylist students wanting to bring some smiles to our community today.

So, you're all wondering -- did I stop my car to say "hi" today? Heck yes. I then proceeded to get bears hugs from an incredibly, talented bunch of folks. Did it make me smile? Yup. Were they smiling? Yup.

Thanks, Paul Mitchell Schools! (Especially the ones in Temecula, CA and San Diego, CA that made my day today!) CURES do hugs, smiles & great hair!

Now, the remaining question the heck will I keep my hair looking fabulous when the Cures Rock! Tour hits the road from San Diego to Phoenix on January 1 to raise funds for cancer research?! ;)


Pic #1: "Free Hugs" from the Temecula Paul Mitchell School
Pic #2: Paul Mitchell logo
Pic #3: Joe & Julie fooling around outside Grenada Wig shop
Pic #4: Joe helping me laugh while I was trying on wigs
Pic #5: James and me at Salon David Perez
Pic #6: Wigs after James styled them for me (We both agreed I HAD to go blonde, at least once!)
Pic #7: My hair started growing back after chemo treatment in 2007

Monday, October 12, 2009

Video: LIVESTRONG Day San Diego

We had a great time on LIVESTRONG Day 10/2 in San Diego, CA! Click here for the earlier blog post AND click here for the YouTube video of the Cures Rock! Sunset Stroll event!

Thank you to all the local San Diego Army members, family, friends, friends-of-friends and "new" friends we met that night...for coming out and creating awareness in our local community.

LIVESTRONG! For more information on how you can get involved in LIVESTRONG, go to


While many of us will be in Austion for the LIVESTRONG Challenge to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a group of ~600 soldiers will also be Iraq. Click the link to read the inspiring story... » LIVESTRONG Challenge Iraq

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rock N Roll Marathon Kick Off & Run w/ Josh Cox!

Little by little...we're inching closer to the January 17th, P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon! It's hard to believe that only a month or two ago, we were plotting the Cures Rock! Tour -- a 500 mile, 17 day, ultra-marathon-tour.

Now, small things are starting to pop up on my calendar, like the kick-off of our Team in Training (TNT) San Diego Chapter in prep of the marathon (last weekend). Today, I heard that the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon AZ Kick-Off Party is happening on Thursday, 10/8. Heellloooo AZ runners!!! Wahoo! It's real! We're heading to AZ with our Tour!

So, for all those that weren't in San Diego for the TNT Kick-off, you can head out to the P.F. Chang's 2010 Training Season kick-off in Phoenix on Thursday, 10/8 powered by the Salt River Project (SRP).
Josh Cox, the American 50K Record Holder and three-time Olympic Trials qualifier, will lead a 3.5-mile training run from G.R. Herberger Park. There will be live music (YAY!), refreshments, prizes and giveaways throughout the evening. Join 'em from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Indian School Road and 56th Street! More info is available here:

So what are you waiting for?!?! Grab your running shoes and start training because the 2010 marathon season is going to rock! CURES ROCK!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LIVESTRONG Day 2009 Was A Success

LIVESTRONG Day was a great success! ~ 40 folks attended the Cures Rock! Sunset Stroll, a 5K awareness walk through the streets of San Diego.

The day started off gloomy and raining, and we were beginning to wonder how successful our local San Diego LIVESTRONG Army event was going to be in the end. However, over 40 individuals and their families turned out for this event, all decked out in bright yellow shirts, decorated cars…and a few superhero costumes, too.

The weather cleared, a few rainbows dotted the sky and the clouds turned a brilliant shade of pink. Truly, one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve seen all year. As we walked through the neighborhoods and along a busy street with our LIVESTRONG signs, we were asked my many neighbors “why” we were out there…and received more than a few shouts of “Livestrong!” from passing cars…even a standing ovation from a group of cyclists that passed us by. Our group consisted of cancer survivors, folks with no connection to the Cause but wanting to learn more, and folks that have a family member that had/has cancer. We were united in the LIVESTRONG Day cause in an effort to create awareness in our community about the global epidemic of cancer.

5K (or 3.1 miles) later --- the full moon rose, ending a wonderful walk. We all headed over to Pizza Port for dinner, and the restaurant was kind enough to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the food towards the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Thank you to everyone for coming out and joining our LIVESTRONG Day San Diego event! As this event reminded me, "no rain, no rainbows!" Together, we WILL kick cancer to the curb -- and we WILL see the end of it! CURES ROCK!

If you'd like to learn more about the other LIVESTRONG Day events around the globe, go to the LIVESTRONG Blog article at: LIVESTRONG Day 2009 Was A Success

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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

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

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Donate & fight to kick cancer to the curb!

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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