Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon

Being the astronomy geek that I am, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that we'll be seeing a "blue moon" on New Year's Eve this year. The last blue moon in 2007 was the week Mike Sheehy ran the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and raised funds on my behalf with LLS' Team in Training while I was battling cancer. Even with chemo-brain at that time, I remember it well. (You can hear his TNT "Mission Moment" here on YouTube: Ultra Runner's Mission to Find a Cure.) So, I am taking it as some sort of sign that on the Eve of the Cures Rock! Tour we'll be seeing another one. Ok, sure, I'm attaching meaning to a celestial event, but hey, why not inject a little magical thinking for our Tour, right?

There is something that is *not* a "once in a blue moon" event: the passion of Cures Rock! and the Cures Rock! Tour Relay Support Team. One mile at a time, we will fight cancer until we find a cure. Please consider supporting us through a donation or by coming out to cheer us on at the kick-off or race day. You can even run a mile or two with us at the start of the Tour each day.

Kick-off - Jan 1
San Diego, CA at 7:30 a.m. at Cancer Survivor's Park / Spanish Landing
(finishing the day at Cannon Park in Carlsbad, CA)

Race Day - P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Half or Full Marathon
(Join us! Use code: CRT2010 for $10 off your race entry fee!)

Alas, since I'll be ushering in the New Year slumbering away in prep of the 17-day, 500 mile ultra-run extravaganza that begins on the early morning on Jan 1st --- I will have to miss waving at the moon's 2nd magic show of the month and leave the howling up to all of you.

Pictured (L to R): Joe Pavlicko, Julie Westcott, Mike Sheehy, Mike's son & Judy Spowart at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - San Diego (June 3, 2007)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cures Rock! Tour to Complete A Record 17-Day Run from San Diego to Phoenix


One man and relay supporters will run over 500 miles of ultramarathons to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raise awareness about cancer.

San Diego, Calif.; On January 1st, 2010, veteran marathoner Mike Sheehy and his Relay Support Team will run from San Diego to Phoenix, covering an ultra-marathon distance of 31 miles each day for 17 consecutive days to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The Cures Rock! Tour will push out from Cancer Survivors Park in downtown San Diego to do an extraordinary feat, all in the name of curing blood cancers. Sheehy and the Relay Run Team supporters will finish the 500-mile trek by running in the 2010 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Dean Karnazes Rock ‘n’ Roll Ultra on January 17th.

”The Cures Rock! Tour is a mission – and not just a one time mission – to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on educating others about new treatments and patient care for cancer survivorship,” says Greg Dowell, tour spokesperson. “We’re hoping that by running through 44 cities and two states in 17 days, we’ll raise a few supporters.”

Nearly 140,000 cases of blood cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually, accounting for 9.5% of all cancer deaths. The Tour is aiming to raise $100,000 to support cancer research and health management resources for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) while raising awareness of blood disorders.

“I began this journey in 2006 when my co-worker Julie Westcott was diagnosed with Leukemia. I set out to raise a few bucks for the LLS with ‘Team in Training’ for Julie. She got well, then relapsed, and my passion to help find a cure is now 100 percent stronger,” says Mike Sheehy, the runner that will complete the journey. “As grueling as 17 ultra-marathons will be, it’s not close to the challenge cancer patients, like Julie, face in chemotherapy.”

Team members will work with LLS to visit patient families and cancer care hospitals along the route to Phoenix to provide support for those impacted by blood cancer, and the staff of doctors and nurses fighting the disease. Team members are either survivors of cancer themselves or personally connected to the cause through family members and friends.

The Tour will cover 31-mile (50K) segments from San Diego through Carlsbad, Temecula, Beaumont, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley and through Twenty Nine Palms. Crossing the desert along California Route 62, the Cures Rock! Tour will enter the Grand Canyon State at Parker, Arizona, then head east through Salome, Buckeye, Avondale and into the Valley of the Sun for the final three days in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Cures Rock! Tour will champion the Cures Rock! mission, an organization founded by Julie Westcott to break down global silos and inspire those impacted by cancer around the world. In response to why the team is beginning the Tour on New Year's Day, Westcott says, "By 2010, cancer will be the #1 global cause of death. The Cures Rock! Ultra Run Tour is starting on the #1 day of 2010, going toe-to-toe fighting cancer, one mile at a time."

Pic #1: Cures Rock! Tour - Relay Support Team (from L to R): Colin Eckleman, Jennifer Reardon, Suzanne Ellard, Mike Sheehy, Julie Westcott, Angie VanderBurgh, Greg Dowell and Bill Martin
Pic #2: Mike Sheehy (Ultramarathoner of Cures Rock! Tour) with Julie Westcott (Founder, Cures Rock!)

About Cures Rock!
Cures Rock! is a growing, grassroots organization that advocates and fund raises for cancer charities to fight to find a cure for cancer. The group works to break down global silos and stigmas around cancer, creates awareness about the disease in young adults, and inspires those impacted by the cancer through extreme/endurance sports, music and online social media.

The Cures Rock! Tour is an awareness and fundraising event, encouraging donations to LLS through their web site: Current sponsors include ProFlowers, Smart and Final, Running Center, DJO and Holiday Inn Resort: Palm Springs.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

Yes, it's true. Winter brings shorter days for our running and cycling addictions...err...I mean "habits." I know we often cringe at the dark, cold mornings when we get up for training runs or rides. --- However, I have to admit that these winter days also leave me happily expectant for the Joy this season brings to the planet.

Happy Solstice! May your day be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Memory: One Voice Makes a Difference

Today, I'm honoring the memory of my graddad, a famous World War II combat cameraman. He died from cancer 4 years ago today at 96 years old, but his spirit lives on. He always believed that everyone had a story to tell. Everyone's story, even if "unknown" or "un-famous" or "behind the lens" was equally important.

My crusade may be a different in subject matter, but I know that if my grandfather had survived his cancer, he would probably be at my side with my advocacy in the fight against cancer. He would have appreciated "young lads" like Lance Armstrong and Doug Ulman for their "obligation to the cure" and advocacy work. (And...Lance & Doug -- he probably would have thought he could teach ya'll a thing or two, at over twice your ages) :)

His crusade? To tell the stories and share his work filming the aftermath of the atomic bomb detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To ensure that combat cameramen world-wide were recognized for their work (where possible) and their heroic actions were documented. He was co-founder of the International Combat Camerman Association.

I remember him telling me, "Everyone has a story -- what's yours going to be?"

How was I going to make my life count? Being Irish, we thrive on our stories. But, even more, he thrived on making a difference in the world and in speaking out for those that didn't have as large of a voice. I learned many lessons from him, but one of the largest is that one voice CAN make a difference.

Share your story and help change the stigma of cancer. Contact your local government and fight for change. I realize my fight may just be a drop in the ocean, and that our Cures Rock! Tour is one of so many events, but perhaps it'll start a ripple among many that'll help find the cure for cancer. While I know my granddad would have never wanted to see his grandkids fight cancer (and he didn't have to as I wasn't diagnosed until 2006), I will continue to fight for a world where his nieces & nephew...say, "What's Cancer?

(For more information on joining forces in the fight against cancer, go to:

Daniel McGovern surveys ground zero in Nagasaki, Japan. (Posted on

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nominate a Cures Rock! Star

Some people are stars -- folks we love that rock in their attitude and efforts in the fight against cancer, and we want to recognize it!

Mike and a relay support team (including me) will run over 500 miles to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raise awareness about cancer.

Team members will visit hospitals and families along the route from San Diego to Phoenix to provide support for families impacted by cancer and thank the doctors and nurses fighting the disease. The Cures Rock! Team members are either survivors of cancer themselves or personally connected to the cause through family members and friends. We're all too familiar with how it feels to be standing in your shoes.

We'd love nothing more than to visit patients affected by blood cancer. If you'd love for our Cures Rock! Tour team to visit a patient or medical professional "Cures Rock! Star" in your life that's located along our route, please contact me as soon as possible! (I promise we'll bring some goodies, and more importantly, some smiles, gratitude and humor!)

The Cures Rock! Tour will cover 31-mile segments from San Diego through Carlsbad, Temecula, Beaumont, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley and through Twenty Nine Palms. Crossing the desert along California Route 62, Cures Rock! will enter the Grand Canyon State at Parker, Arizona, then head east through Salome, Buckeye, Avondale and into the Valley of the Sun for the final three days. On the final day, we'll be running the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon! (If you donate to LLS on our Tour site, email us & we'll send you a $10 off coupon to register, courtesy of Competitor Group!)

After the running each morning, we'll be visiting patient homes, outpatient facilities and hospitals --- thanking the "Cures Rock! Stars" in our lives!

To nominate a Cures Rock! Star in your life:

Send an email to: julie<>curesrock<>org and include your name and email address. (Yes, you can self-nominate!) In addition, let us know what city the patient or medical team member is located in and include a few details about how they ROCK in their fight against cancer. (Note: Please do not include any personal medical details about the patient, as we need their consent first.)

What's the Cures Rock! Tour (CRT)?

On January 1st, our team will head out on this cancer awareness adventure. Veteran marathoner Mike Sheehy and the CRT Relay Team will run from San Diego to Phoenix, covering an ultra-marathon distance of 31 miles each day - 50K a day - for 17 consecutive days to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The Cures Rock! Tour will push out from Cancer Survivors Park in downtown San Diego on an outrageous journey, all in the name of curing blood cancers. Sheehy and the Tour Relay Team will finish the 500-mile trek by running in the 2010 PF Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon on January 17th.

PLEASE forward this blog post, tweet, podcast, Facebook, etc. Help us get the word out about nominating the Cures Rock! Stars in your life!


Cures Rock! is a growing, grassroots organization that advocates and fund raises for cancer charities to fight to find a cure for cancer. The group works to break down global silos and stigmas around cancer, creates awareness about the disease in young adults, and inspires those impacted by the cancer through endurance sports, music and online social media.

The Cures Rock! Tour is an awareness and fundraising event, encouraging donations to LLS through their web site: Current sponsors include ProFlowers, and Smart and Final.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cancer and the Holidays

For survivors, the holidays can be a difficult time. If you are in treatment you may worry about seeing family members for the first time since diagnosis. You may also wonder how to deal with people asking questions about your cancer. If you have a loved one just diagnosed it can be difficult to know how to address their cancer or offer support. You may have just lost a loved one to the disease and are unsure if the holidays will be “the same” as they were in years past.

We at LIVESTRONG want you to know that we can help. LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare offers free, professional, one-on-one support. You can call before the holidays to get guidance on dealing with cancer at the holidays or at any time to receive support. During the holidays we will open all but the following days: December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. We hope to hear from you.

Best to you and your family this holiday season!

LIVESTRONG SurvivorCareEmail through our website: us on the phone: 1-866-673-7205

(Blog posted on by Brooke McMillian)

Friday, December 4, 2009


It's great to see Ben Stiller raising funds for charity while generating some great humor in jest with Lance Armstrong. See the latest "StillerSTRONG" video: STILLERSTRONG :)

In the spirit of humor (and on the Eve of an 18-miler long run with my Team in Training marathon team tomorrow at 6 a.m.) --- I'll leave you with one of my favorite movie quotes of all time from the movie, "Dodgeball":

Lance Armstrong: Hey, aren't you Peter La Fleur?

Peter La Fleur: Lance Armstrong!

Lance Armstrong: Ya, that's me. But I'm a big fan of yours.

Peter La Fleur: Really?

Lance Armstrong: Ya, I've been watching the dodgeball tournament on the Ocho. ESPN 8. I just can't get enough of it. Good luck in the tournament. I'm really pulling for you against those jerks from Globo Gym. I think you better hurry up or you're gonna be late.

Peter La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Lance.

Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying of that's keeping you from the finals?

Peter La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.

Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't anything to regret for the rest of their life. Well good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cures Rock! Tour: Adventure Ahead!

In 2006, I heard three words that nobody should have to hear in their lifetime: “You have cancer.” At the time, I was 31 years old, had a great career and was training for my first marathon. Cancer? What!?!

Months later, I was still battling treatments, but my friend, Mike Sheehy, ran my marathon for me while raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as part of the Team in Training organization. (Probably the only sub-3 hour marathon I’ll ever be able to claim…) Part of the deal was that I’d kick my leukemia to the curb and run the marathon with him the following year in 2008. And I did.

I can verify from my own experience how inspiring it was to know that someone was out there running for me, while I was running my own endurance race with chemotherapy. Over time, I’ve learned there are teams of folks out there doing just that --- racing to save lives and
to raise funds to find a cure for blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Since then, I’ve fought cancer three times, and I am very happy to say that I’m cancer-free.
(That’s right -- it’s three strikes, and you’re outta here, Cancer!) Along the way, I’ve met some incredible people with amazing stories to tell, and we all have something in common: Cancer.

To be honest, I’ve had enough, and it’s the reason I founded the “Cures Rock!” campaign to raise funds and awareness about cancer in young adults (ages 18- 39). Cures Rock! has become a growing grassroots organization of survivors and cancer warriors with passion to change the world and end the stigma of cancer.

Recently, a group of my friends and I were sitting around trying to find ways to do four things: create awareness of blood cancers, cheer on families and patients in their own battles, say “thank you” to medical teams, and raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Let’s face it. Today, we YouTube, Podcast, Blog, Wiki, Facebook and Tweet. We wanted to create awareness of blood cancers by harnessing that energy and “taking it to the streets” with an extreme challenge, break down global silos, and inspire those impacted by cancer around the world through our love of online social media, endurance sports and music.

Keeping all these things in mind, we created the Cures Rock! Tour (CRT). The CRT is an ultra-run from San Diego, CA to Phoenix, AZ (over 500 miles) that will raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My friend, Mike Sheehy, will run an ultramarathon – more than 31 miles or 50km – each day for 17 days straight. He’ll be accompanied by a Relay Support Team (I’ll be on that team!) and anyone who is interested in running with him. The run will begin on January 1, 2010 at Cancer Survivor's Park and finish at the 2010 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon on January 17th. Along the route, we are going to visit hospitals and patient families impacted by cancer.

Here’s how you can be involved in the Cures Rock! movement to kick cancer to the curb:

DONATE to this amazing cause. I realize these are challenging economic times for us all and charitable contributions are harder than ever to raise. I also know that most of you share a connection to cancer in some way and have a desire to make a difference in the lives of those that are living with it today or that may face it in the future. 100% of your donation will go to LLS and is tax deductible. (We're covering our own expenses for the Tour.) Please make a secure online donation by visiting this link: Cures Rock! Tour Donation Page.

• PASS IT ON. Tell EVERYONE you know. Please pass on this e-mail or the tour website to anyone you think will also be willing to support the tour (either financially or through in-kind gift donations). Facebook it. My Space it. Email it. Text it. Talk about it. Please help our grassroots campaign. Even if someone cannot donate, we’d love for them to be aware of the LLS Mission and Cures Rock! campaign. If your company wants to be a sponsor, please email me.

• Follow my Cures Rock! Blog at:

• Follow us on Twitter: CuresRock. (Hashtags: #CuresRock & #CRT2010)

• Join the Facebook "Fan" Page:

Thank you for being involved in an amazing cause. We all know that cancer doesn’t discriminate and can impact any of our lives at any moment. In the 5 minutes you’ve taken to read this blog post, someone new was diagnosed with blood cancer. I am committed to this challenge because my ultimate hope is that in my lifetime we will see a cure for cancer --- and that one day, my nieces and nephew will say, “What’s cancer?” The only way to keep that hope alive is to pass that expectation on to as many people as possible, which is what the Cures Rock! Tour is going to do. Together, we CAN make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Thank you for joining our small group with an extreme challenge. I know together, we can make this a reality. Your support of the Cures Rock! Tour and our incredible journey is greatly appreciated. CURES ROCK!!!
1. Colin, Mike & Julie (CRT Teammates) at Cancer Survivor's Park, the location of the 1st day of the Cures Rock! Tour.
2. Sisters kicking cancer's bootie at the LIVESTRONG Challenge - Austin.
3. Cures Rock! Tour logo

Sunday, November 15, 2009


“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

- Buddha

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Thank You" to Cures Rock! Tour Team Veterans

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -J.F. Kennedy

Thank you to all Veterans, Active Duty and Reserve men and women that stand and fight in honor for our country. We are grateful, and we thank you. (I encourage everyone to take the time today to thank those that stand in harm's way for our country.)

I would also like to thank the military members of our Cures Rock! Tour Team today. Thank you for your service in the past, present and future. These gentlemen continue to serve our communities in inspiring ways outside of their military service, too. In our case, we are fortunate to have them involved in the upcoming Cures Rock! Tour to raise funds and awareness about blood cancers. Mike Sheehy (the ultramarathoner running the 500mi course between San Diego and Phoenix), along with his brothers (who are members of the Relay Support Team), have all served our country. You can read their Bios on the "Our Team" page of our web site.

As humble and humorous as these guys may be when it comes to their rock star ways, the entire Cures Rock! Team would still like to say, "THANK YOU."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - ABC News

After being diagnosed last December, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is speaking out about his CML leukemia, treatments and advocating for the Cause! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Diagnosed With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - ABC News

You can also connect to his new Facebook page he created about his leukemia:

CURES ROCK! (Cancer does not.) Join the campaign to kick cancer to the curb (and while you're at it, join our Fan Page on Facebook).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cures Rock! the Night

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” - Chinese Proverb

Many of you have heard me chatter on and on (and on!) about the upcoming Cures Rock! Tour. We know that not all of us can run 500 miles, so we're excited to remind you all that Cures Rock! has formed a walk team in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Light The Night" Walk event! We'd love to have you join our team for this magical fundraising walk that brings hope to many in their fight against cancer.

This year's Light the Night will take place on the evening of Friday, November 20th at Qualcomm Stadium. This special date is the Nation's night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of people battling blood cancers and to commemorate loved ones lost.

A fellow marathon runner and blogger, Art, mentioned in his Racn 4 a Cure blog,"One of the really great things about Light the Night is seeing all of the white balloons, because every one of those balloons is carried by a cancer survivor. 40 years ago, surviving cancer was a rare thing. Now it is common, but not common enough, which is why so many people are out there raising money to defeat these terrible diseases."

We are asking that everyone who can, try and raise $100 as a member of our Cures Rock! team. For that $100, you will receive a Light the Night t-shirt and an illuminated balloon to walk with that evening. The balloons are a significant part of the event. You will see participants walking with red, white and gold balloons. Red balloons signify support for the mission. White balloons are carried by survivors of a blood-related cancer. Gold balloons are carried by those that are walking in memory of somebody that lost their battle. I'll be walking with a White Balloon, but many of us will be walking with a gold balloon in honor of loved ones lost from these deadly diseases. Dream of the possibilities....thousands of people, raising $100 each, equals thousands of dollars for LLS in one evening!

To be a part of this magical, illuminated night is both inspirational, as well as very important to the fight against cancer.

You can join our "Cures Rock!" Light the Night team with your fellow coaches, runners, family members of all ages, Mentors and Captains by clicking the "Join" link at our team homepage: Please be sure to come to our Cures Rock! booth that evening and join up with the team for the walk (we'll be sending more details soon).

Or if you can’t come out that night but want to donate you can just click the “Donate” button on the website or click here to donate to my fundraising page:

For more information, see our LTN web site by clicking here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Mo-vember!

That's is November 1st, and the beginning of Movember...a charity movement intent of changing the face of men's health. Men, all over the world, will be clean shaved today...and then grow their best moustaches throughout the month to raise funds and awareness for prostrate and testicular cancer. These funds will benefit the Prostrate Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation! Funds for LIVESTRONG will go towards the Young Adult Alliance, aimed at improving research and the quality of life for young adults (18-39yrs) with cancer.

We kicked it off with a "Stash Dash" pre-party yesterday with our whole marathon team wearing the best 'stash of their choice during our long run practice. Today, "mo' bros" are getting ready for a month of spreading the word that it's not just about the tatas, but also men's health.

Thanks to our Aussie friends who started this movement, we are happy to join together in the fight against cancer, supporting two great cancer charities. So, mo' bros and mo' sistas... check out for more info or click here for a short video!
(Are you a mo' bro or mo' sista? Feel free to comment and leave a link to your page!)

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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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LIVESTRONG Day: Cures Rock! 5K Sunset Stroll

Join us for an informal Cures Rock! 5K Sunset Stroll to celebrate LIVESTRONG Day in San Diego, CA this Friday, 10/2!


Run or walk for 5K (~3.1miles, not-timed). It's an informal, FREE run/walk, all for fun & creating cancer awareness in our local community! We ask that all participants wear yellow shirts in honor of LIVESTRONG Day.

Bring your family, kids and dogs -- and INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! We will be asking for donations for yellow wrist bands & glow-in-the-dark bands with all donation proceeds benefiting LAF.

We'll be starting at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach (~110 Sierra Ave., Solana Beach). We'll meet in the parking lot ACROSS from the beach lot. Look for lots of yellow and our LIVESTRONG banner!

AFTER the run/walk, we'll be heading over to grab some pizza and beer at Pizza Port, so bring some cash for dinner!

Connect to us on Facebook at:

San Diego LIVESTRONG Army Group:

Cures Rock! Fan Page:

Or connect on Twitter:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cures Rock! Tour: Adventure Ahead!


$100K. 500 Miles. 17 Days. 2 States. 1 Man.

I'd like to introduce the next adventure of our advocacy campaign to fight against cancer:


The Cures Rock! Tour is more than an endurance event. This extreme challenge intends to make a significance impact on the lives of over 913,000 Americans living with blood cancers through the use of inspiration, public awareness, encouragement, and campaigning efforts.

For the main event, one of my close friends, Mike Sheehy, will run 500 miles, from Coast (San Diego, CA) to Canyon (Phoenix, AZ). He will run an ultramarathon – more than 30 miles – each day for 17 days. In the process, he will attempt to break a record – and along with our team, help raise $100,000 dollars for cancer research, too. A small team of marathoners will fundraise and run along with Sheehy—making up a support relay team—with all involved finishing the run at the 2010 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon on January 17, 2010.

The Cures Rock! Team has accepted this ultramarathon challenge with these objectives in mind:

* To raise public awareness about blood cancers by harnessing the energy of marathon running and “taking it to the streets” via traditional and contemporary campaigning efforts.

* To encourage and inspire those directly affected by cancer in a personal way so they will see beyond their illnesses and realize that anything is possible. As marathoners, we too will overcome many physical and mental challenges.

As the Team treks along the 500 mile course, it will stop in several cities along the route. Team members will visit numerous families impacted by blood cancer, in addition to hospitals and clinics to personally say “Thank You” to the many doctors and nurses who share our passion for finding cures, and to encourage them in their work.
It’s time to end the stigma of cancer, which is why those on the relay team are survivors of blood cancers, or personally connected to the cause through family members and friends that have battled cancer.

This is your chance to get in the race. Become a part of this extraordinary endeavor! Please visit our new web site at: for more information on the latest news (blog) and how to donate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adventure Ahead

CURES [kyoor] noun, verb: successful remedial treatment; restoration to health.

ROCK [rok] noun, verb:
to affect deeply; stun; move or sway powerfully, as with excitement or emotion.

This is one of our final reminders that this Cures Rock! Facebook Group will be closing down soon because we have a NEW Cures Rock! FAN page! Wahoo!

So...switch over to our new Facebook Fan page by going here ( and clicking "become a fan." This will allow you to upload your photos of "Cures Rock!" hitting the streets, comment, etc.

PLUS, we're announcing exciting news tomorrow about our next big adventure (!!!) Here are the hints as they've been handed out today on Facebook & Twitter. Feel free to comment on your best guesses for the adventure activities!

$100K. 500 Miles. 17 Days. 2 States.

(Announcement coming tomorrow!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze’s Passing & Pancreatic Cancer

R.I.P., Patrick Swayze.

"I keep dreaming of a future, a future with a long and healthy life, a life not lived in the shadow of cancer, but in the light. ... I dream that the word 'cure' will n...o longer be followed by the words 'is impossible.'" - P. Swayze

Read the LIVESTRONG Blog post at:

LIVESTRONG Blog » Blog Archive » Patrick Swayze’s Passing and Pancreatic Cancer

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflection on 9/11

Today, I would like to give my heartfelt sympathy to the families that lost someone during the 9/11 attacks years ago. May we all take a moment of silence today to reflect on our own lives and remember to not take it for granted.

I would also like to give my heartfelt thanks to the officers and military that stand in harm's way every day for us. You are our heroes.

Some of those heroes are still fighting illnesses from that day. There have been a few small questions raised as to twin tower toxins potentially causing blood cancer in the officer first responders, and their search and rescue dogs. Click here to read one such article. We are not done. We have so much to learn, but will will find a cure for our heroes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."

- R. Tagore

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy 09-09-09

Bust out those cupcakes and twinkies because we have something to celebrate! (Not that being "alive" isn't something to celebrate, but I'll use any excuse for extra chocolate frosting in my life!) I received my test results back from my oncologist today, and he informed me that I'm "unremarkable." That's right --- my momma always told me I was special, but in this case, thank god, I'm not.

Cancer free. Sans cancer. My deadbeat roommate and scumbag of a disease has been evicted. Did we doubt it? It's three strikes, and you're outta here, Cancer! I mean, we're on the HOME team, baby!! OF COURSE, we were going to beat it!

And, with that one "unremarkable" word, 09-09-09 just became a very "remarkable" day.

So, I'm asking all of you to do something "remarkable" in honor of the ~900,000 individuals that are living with blood cancer today:

  • Take 9 mins to read through my Cures Rock! blog and check out
  • Donate $9 in support of my LIVESTRONG Challenge fundraising efforts, as I race for a cure and leave cancer quakin' in its boots in Austin.
  • Pass my fundraising link onto 9 of your friends, and encourage them to learn about, donate to, or even participate in events for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
CURES ROCK! (CANCER DOES NOT.) Campaign to kick cancer to the curb!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Light the Night!

“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” - Chinese Proverb

Cures Rock! has formed a walk team in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Light The Night" Walk even on November 20, 2009! We'd love to have you join our team for this memorable, casual fundraising walk.

For more information, see our LTN web site by clicking here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8//30. We Are Not Done.

One year ago today, 8/30, I celebrated being cancer-free.

Cancer survivors celebrate important milestones in their treatments. For example, Lance Armstrong celebrates 10//2 (the day he found out he had cancer) as LIVESTRONG Day around the world.

For me, I celebrated being cancer-free. With cupcakes. Which I proceeded to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day.

Cancer came back.

In fact, I forgot about this 8/30 date because it seemed irrelevant to me now -- until my sister reminded me of it. At first, it's easy to inwardly groan and be angry -- and then we quickly set our sights on the fact that soon, we'll be celebrating a new remission "birthday," and many more to follow. I'm honestly looking forward to the day that I can hit my Sweet 16 "Remission" Re-Birthday, like my friend Colin celebrated during our LIVESTRONG Boston Marathon trip.

And, someday, we'll all look back at this journey after we find a cure for cancer and say, "Remember when?"

Maybe it'll be folklore to my nieces & nephew:
Me: "I had cancer."
Them: "What's that?"

THAT is my dream.
THAT is why we lace up our shoes everyday to run or ride.
THAT is why we work so hard to fundraise for a cure.
THAT is why the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Lance Armstrong Foundation work so hard to help patients and fund research.

We are all a part of something BIGGER than ourselves.

Thank you for all of your support through my battles, and for the support you give to the loved ones in your lives that are also fighting or that may have lost their battle. This day may not signify a cancer-free day for me this year, but it WILL serve as a day that reminds me that...


If you're a fan of cures and addicted to running/cycling/music, then join the Cures Rock! Fan Page on Facebook. We've got some exciting events planned in the next few months, and I know ya'll want to be a part of it!

Also, there are 2 ways you can support me and the fight against cancer:

1. Sign up for the Cures Rock! "Light The Night" Team (a casual, evening, 2mi fundraising walk for LLS), and join our team on Friday, Nov 20th.

2. Support the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge in October (benefitting LAF), by either joining the event or donating to my fundraising.

CURES ROCK! (Cancer does not.) Campaign to kick cancer to the curb!
Pic 1: Cures Rock! hits the street of the Amgen Tour of CA
Pic 2: LIVESTRONG Army Leaders from San Jose & San Diego show solidarity in the fight against cancer
Pic 3: Cures Rock! hits the LIVESTRONG Mission Wall at the Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Join Cures Rock! Fan Page on Facebook!

CURES [kyoor] noun, verb: successful remedial treatment; restoration to health.

ROCK [rok] noun, verb: to affect deeply; stun; move or sway powerfully, as with excitement or emotion.

Become a fan of cures through your music, running and cycling! Cures Rock! now has a Facebook "Fan" page. (Please, share it with your Facebook friends,and pass it on! )

We are CURES ROCK! -- a growing, grassroots organization and crusade of friends and advocates with a solidarity pact to fundraise, fight for and find a cure for cancer in our lifetime. Cancer may have rocked our world, but cures will rock the planet!tm

Monday, August 24, 2009

Take Part in the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit LIVE!

(Re-Posting the LIVESTRONG Blog article by Brooke McMillan on how to take part LIVE in the Global Cancer Summit, Click here to see the article on their site.)

The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit will be one of the defining moments in our foundation’s history. Delegates representing over 60 countries will commit to make cancer a priority in their home countries. For the 500 attendees this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and for our staff, the culmination of several years very hard work. We are very excited.

For survivors all over the world, their family, friends, supporters of the foundation and interested public, we have decided to make this experience as interactive as possible. There will be opportunities each day to learn about what is going on at the summit, opportunity to view live streaming video, get daily recaps, ask you questions of the participants, hear stories from attendees and more.

Below are ways that you can take part in the Summit online:

UStream: We have created a channel for the LIVESTRONG Summit on UStream is a way to broadcast live and to archive past live events. Please go to every day at 11am CST (5-6pm Dublin time) to view recaps from the days events brought to you by staffers Chris Brewer and Brooke McMillan.

Twitter, hashtags and polls: Follow @LIVESTRONG, @LIVESTRONGCEO (Doug Ulman), @LIVESTRONGCB (Chris Brewer) and @LanceArmstrong for behind the scenes tweets from the event. There are also several staff and attendees that will be tweeting. We will all be “tagging” our tweets #LIVESTRONG. Go to our blog to follow tweets from the Summit. Each day we will be asking for your thoughts on various topics, so look our for twtpolls. We want your input!

Facebook Updates: If Facebook is your cup of tea, make sure to become a fan of LIVESTRONG. We will be constantly updating our status throughout the event.
YouTube postings:When we are not live streaming, we will be videoing parts of the summit, giving you walk through “tours” of the historic buildings and more. Check in daily

Flickr photos: Daily uploads of photos from the event will be added to LIVESTRONG’s Flickr photostream. The LIVESTRONG Blog will serve as a hub for all communications around the Summit. There will be multiple blog postings each day highlighting attendees, panel discussions and more. If you remember one thing, remember to tune into

In short, there will be MANY ways to “attend” the Summit. We hope that you will take part and stay up to date. We will begin updating starting as soon as we get to the Emerald Isle. We are looking forward to sharing this historic event with the world!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Comic Creators for Captain Cure

What began as a week long LIVESTRONG Summit in 2008, springloaded some friendships between folks that may never have met otherwise, but that shared an intense desire to change the world when it comes to the cancer epidemic. In my case, it was working with some incredible individuals, as part of my Summit Delegates Fundraising Track team's projects.

One of those individuals that truly "gets" the spirit of the Cures Rock! Campaign to smash cancer is Ty Wakefield. He's got a heart of a lion and a super-power of tremendous passion to raise awareness about sarcoma cancer. You've heard about Captain Cure Comics before...and now, the comic book #2 is almost ready to be released!

** For Immediate Press Release ** CC 4 CC!

PUYALLUP, Washington (August 15, 2009) -

Cancer, it effects almost everyone in one way or another, and creators of different worlds are no different. Comic book creators from around the US will be joining together for one of their own at Comic Evolution, 206 South Meridian Road, in Puyallup, starting at noon. Special Guests include Kurt Busiek, Mike Grell, Brandon Jerwa, Mark Rahner, and Rick Hoberg. All proceeds from the event going to Ty Wakefield, cancer fighter and creator of Captain Cure Comics.

Captain Cure Comics were born in a hospital room, while Ty was undergoing chemotherapy. Ty has been fighting Osteosarcoma for a little over 2 and half years. "When I researched my type of cancer, I found that maybe 1% of adult cancers are sarcoma, but 15%-20% of childhood cancers are sarcomas, I thought I need to reachout and help, but how?" and then it happened, with just a cheap pen, a napkin, and an idea Captain Cure was born. Captain Cure starts with our heros Jack and Diane, two kids diagnosed with cancer who find unexpected side-effects of the chemo...Superpowers. Their alter-egos: Captain Cure and Metrex fight Cancer and his goons, Sick and Tired for control of the body. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the books going to different charities helping both children and adults fighting cancer. "The comic serves an addional purpose in that it made the stigma of cancer an easy concept for younger readers" Chuck Messinger, Comic Evolution.

The event itself was the brainchild of Chuck and some of Ty's friends in the comic book industry, Alan Burnett of Blackbox Comics and Adam Watson of Darkslinger Comics. "Adam and Alan asked if they could help me out, being that I've help so many others, and at which I blushed and said "Sure if you want" I'm just not used to something like that." Ty Wakefield, and so together the 3 of them started CC4CC. Chuck was able to bring some of the best in the indusry to the even, Mike Grell, artist and writer of such titles as "Batman", "Superboy", and most recently "Warlord. Kurt Busiek, award winning writer of such titles as "Superman", "Conan", and "Astrocity". Brandon Jerwa, writer for "G.I Joe", "Battlestar Galactica" and "Highlander" comics. Seattle Times pop culter critic, Mark Rahner, who just publishe "Rotten" and new comic debuting in 2009, and Rick Hoberg, a comic book artist for "Batman: Brave and the Bold", "Green Arrow", and the "Justice League" he was also an animator for Hanna Barbara.

"We will be hosting an entourage of comic industry leaders for a night to be remembered. Starting at Noon we will have a book signing/Q&A with the artists in attendance. To add to that we will have live music, a huge raffle, and art exclusive to the show on display for sale. The real treat begins at 6pm, when we will have a price per head “Night with the Stars”, where fans of the industry can just hang out with their favorite artists and writers." Chuck Messinger of Comic Evolution. If you would like to get tickets for tonights dinner talk to Chuck or call the store. "I'm so excited, I never thought I would ever meet any of these artists and writers. Thank You so much."

Chuck Messinger, owner Comic Evolution
Phone: (253)-770-6464

#1: Julie Westcott & Ty Wakefield
#2: Ty Wakefield autographing Captain Cure Comics

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

We *Heart* Our Fans

Cures Rock! on Facebook

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
All Content and Images (unless specified otherwise), Copyright Cures Rock! 2007-2012.