Monday, July 28, 2008

Summit comes to an awesome finish!

More to come this week, I promise you! I am home from an amazing Summit -- and know that I have a few extraordinary years ahead of me working on my projects. All of your support is very appreciated. And, I must send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my new friends I have met at the Summit. YOU ARE AMAZING! "Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness." Chinese Proverb

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I am exhausted, but truly my smile is not leaving my face. I will write so many more blogs about this summit, as it'll take a bit for it all to adjust. It has been an amazing summit. Stephanie Spielman spoke today with her husband in the audience (hint, hint: NFL Football and OSU) -- she told her story which truly touched my heart. It's amazing how cancer can change your life in three words..."You have cancer." Most of us here have heard them....or cared for someone that has...and we're all here to effect change at the local, state and national level. For me...I'm going's time the world learns to give back and pay it forward. This Summit changed me on so many levels, some in part due to the amazing speakers, some by our informative and inspiring track leaders/speakers and so much to do with all the strong survivors and caregivers I have met. Each day I have found myself choking back tears -- not out of sadness -- but out of sheer joy of the HOPE that is shared and felt everywhere. Even as so many of these people have either fought with their life, or are fighting the battle of their life --- they are also spreading the light of hope that change in prevention and survivorship issues, and development of better therapies and cures is possible. It's like when Pandora's box let out all the evils...greed, vanity, slander, lying, envy, pining --- the one thing remaining in the box was HOPE. On a lighter note, we were at the Columbus Zoo tonight for a Summit BBQ dinner and to play with all the happy animals (yay, kangaroos! yay, komodo dragons!). Fun!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

LIVESTRONG Summit Day 2 - The Constant of Light

Day 2 of our Summit is quickly coming to an end,and I have met some extraordinary survivors. We had an awesome speech and meeting with Dr. Carmona (17th Surgeon General). So inspiring! We also broke up into our individual tracks (mine is Grassroots & Fundraising), which also had some great speakers. The fun part is that we've been broken into teams because as they know, most fundraisers are fiercely, we're all in competition against each other now. Hilarious. Anyways, all teams (GO, BLUE SCOUTS! ...don't ask, we were given the team names) was given Flip digital video cameras and we had 40 minutes to go and film our own Public Service Announcement to raise funds to make cancer a national priority. It was crazy fast, but so awesome, as the team I'm on is totally creative. Of course, we had speakers and other tasks...but the commercials were awesome.
The evening closed with Dr. Freeman who spoke on cancer treatment for the poor...or how it eventually can make a person bankrupt...and how this just isn't acceptable. He urged us to hold onto the one constant in the constant of the speed of Light...which was a beautiful analogy. If there is one thing that's clear at this summit...cancer doesn't discriminate by age/race/gender/social status. We're all affected by this disease, and it's time we make it a national priority.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Presidential Townhall on Cancer

Interesting and amazing day to say the least. Our registration and later reception was held inside the gorgeous Ohio Statehouse. (That's me in front of it, as I finished my awesome run up this afternoon -- go TNT!)We spent the evening at the Presidential Townhall on Cancer which was held at The Ohio State University. :) We were all there dressed in our "vote yellow" shirts to send a message. And, it was fun, because people on the streets kept asking us what that the message is out in the town of Columbus, OH tonight!

Columbus News:

The Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto (played again at the summit tonight):
The coolest thing was seeing all the partnering organizations listed in HUGE letters on the screens -- we're all one voice -- L&L Society and LAF -- together to fight the war on cancer.


We're off and running, folks! Please stay tuned to this blog, and better yet, the LIVESTRONG Blog ( They will be posting the links to the live webcasts of the Keynote speakers. REMINDER: Tonight is the Presidential Forum on Cancer with Senator McCain. You can catch it on MSNBC/ABC, or see the live web link. It starts at 7:00pm EASTERN time.
Registration and our opening reception is at the Ohio Statehouse...GORGEOUS! It is a beautiful architecture model of a Greek temple (my hotel overlooks it), and I hope to take a tour if I can squeeze one in this afternoon between summit activities. And, of course, runners will unite (!) this summit -- we have runs planned each day, starting this afternoon before our reception at the statehouse. And it's HOT/HUMID here so that'll be fun for me. :) We can't wait to take the city by storm in our yellow Livestrong outfits (ok, I may wear purple so that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training is represented on the streets, too!). And, rumor has it that there is a 5K race this Friday as a kick-off for the Ribs & Blues festival in town, so a bunch of us might storm that, too, since it's our one night "off" from activities.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

LIVESTRONG Summit this week

IT IS FINALLY HERE!!! After all the anticipation, I am finally off to the Lance Armstrong Foundation's LIVESTRONG Summit 2008!!! Ok, so I don't leave until Wednesday, but I'm super-excited. The Presidential Forum on Cancer will be cast live over the internet (Senator John McCain will be speaking), and I also believe MSNBC will be covering it. You can follow the summit live each day at: . (Don't forget to check my own blog!!!) . For more information on the Summit, go to There is something completely AWESOME about hundreds of cancer survivors living life on their own terms and banding together to make a real difference. "There is no charge for awesomeness." ~Po (Kung Fu Panda, the movie)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Abbott Vascular Launched Xience V!!

Ok, I realize that none of you have any clue what I do for a day job. I start to talk about my day, and I see the glaze come over your eyes. So, I thought I'd briefly share that our new cardiovascular medical device, Xience V, was approved by the FDA on July 2nd...and we've launched! Yay! This has been a huge part of my life since I came to Abbott (and legacy Guidant) 5 years ago...truly awesome to have reached this major milestone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Memory of Rico...

Many of you know and love little Rico, the Scottie-warrior of a dog. Sadly, his body passed on yesterday, and I already miss him.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." -Unknown

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Memory of Michele

"The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long..." (Bladerunner, the movie)

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and 'Team in Training' lost a friend, honored teammate and fellow survivor-warrior this week. Her funeral services were this weekend. Michele was one of our TNT honored teammates. She was my age and also had a form of acute leukemia---in the end fighting 3 different cancer battles. Her story has always hit home on so many levels with me --- it was the one that touched my heart in my first informational meeting for TNT I ever attended. The news reminds me all too well that we are not done yet; We still need to keep raising money to find cures and focus on better detection of cancer in young adults. The TNT Nike Marathon team held a moment of silence for her before our run, and then we ran together in her memory down in Coronado. My deepest sympathy goes to her family and her TNT friends. There is nothing I can write that will do such an amazing being justice, so I leave you with this quote:

"The man I am writing about is not famous. It may be that he never will be. It may be that when his life at last comes to an end he will leave no more trace of his sojourn on earth than a stone thrown into a river leaves on the surface of the water. But it may be that the way of life that he has chosen for himself and the peculiar strength and sweetness of his character may have an ever-growing influence over his fellow men so that, long after his death perhaps, it may be realized that there lived in this age a very remarkable creature."
~W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

Friday, July 11, 2008

Runner's World!

If you haven't picked up the August Runner's World Magazine, pick it up. There is a great article on a survivor who runs triathalons now with TNT with his whole family. Awesome. And, if you happen to scroll to the very back (page 102), you'll see a TNT page for their 20th anniversary called "The Rundown --- Inside the Runner's World." And, if you read the little print of the column, you'll see me quoted there. And, I seriously meant every word. I could truly have not finished this marathon without all my supporters and Team in Training. (Or, click here to read on Google Books.)

I have signed up for the Winter Season (and will be a Mentor) and plan to run another marathon in January 2009. I've raised over $10,000 this year with your support, so perhaps it's time to raise another $10K, so that I can have a total of $2o,000 raised for TNT as a 20th Anniversary celebration fundraising attempt in 2008. Hmmm...will have to ponder that over the next few weeks.

It's been quite a week. To be honest, Michele's passing on from this life (see earlier post), is a big reminder that we are not done yet. We need to keep raising money for a cure!

USS John Paul Jones - Day at Sea!

I had a very unique opportunity this week to spend a day at sea aboard the USS John Paul Jones DDG-53, Missile-Guided Destroyer. Many thanks to Tim for inviting the TNT Nike Walk Team to tag along. It was an amazing experience, and it gave me an even deeper respect for those individuals that serve in the military to protect our country.
The "friends and family" day was impeccably arranged...the day flew by so fast! The agenda was packed: speed drills, man overboard drill, search and seizure drill, letting us shoot all the HUGE guns on the ship, re-enlistment ceremonies, DCC/fire drill, etc. I even had a chance to learn how to navigate, chart our location...and got to DRIVE the DESTROYER! (ok, now how cool is that?!) The job these men do is incredibly challenging, and I have the utmost respect for what they sacrifice to protect our country. Seriously, thank you to Tim & his wife, Theresa, for their invite and wonderful hosting!!!
I met other cancer survivors on the ship, and it reminded me of my own battles I've fought...and the battles so many others fight.
So, my deepest respect to those that stand "In Harm's Way" for our country's freedom.....and my sincerest prayers to those cancer warriors that are battling the fight of their life. In the words of John Paul Jones when asked if he was ready to surrender --- "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!"

USS John Paul Jones DDG-53 Official Naval Site:


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Naming My Own Star: Petri

If ya'll remember my earlier post, I was given a present of naming my own star by the TNT Nike Walk Team as part of me being their Honored Teammate this season. They had no idea how very special that was to me. As of today, I officially named my own star, and it's registered with the International Star Registry.

I've taken some time to think about this, but decided to name my star after my loyal shih tzu dog, PETRI, who saw me through some very tough times with my path of cancer. She passed away last year while I was in treatments at the age of 14 yrs, but was the light of my life. Since we all called her a "100 year old alien, who was here to observe life on Earth, "I thought it fitting to name a star after her. She had the spirit of a dragon, so I chose to name a star, Petri, in the Draco constellation (Dragon in Latin). The celebration date I chose was: June 20, 2008, the official Summer Solstice for 2008 (the earliest it's been in 100 years, which was when the first modern Olympics took place, including the modern marathon, also a leap year). Also, when the Egyptian Pyramids were built, one of the shafts aimed toward the star that was then closest to the north celestial pole. Although this is now Polaris, at the time the pyramids were built, the star closest to the pole was Thuban, in Draco, the dragon. The stars close to the pole never set. The Egyptians described these stars as "imperishable" or "undying."

Star: Petri
In Constellation: Draco

(Yes, I realize naming a star isn't recognized by all those scientists out there, but I don't care.) :)

Friday, July 4, 2008


May we all take the day to celebrate our country's birthday, and our freedom.

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

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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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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