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Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

You can read this post at my new and improved blog at http://www.letlifehappen.com/2009/07/25/so-you-think-you-can-dance-and-the-breast-cancer-connection.

Best,
Barbara

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Today Kirk and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary.  It would have also been my parents’ 68th anniversary if they were still alive.  As I told Kirk at the time, I wanted to get married on that date because if our marriage was half as successful as theirs was, I would really be very happy.  Well, all I can say is that our marriage is so much more than I could ever have imagined and I can’t help but reflect on some major events.

Kirk and I originally met at a restaurant called “Romeo & Juliet’s”.  It was on April 8, 1989 which was my father’s birthday.  My father had died on January 2, 1989 and I do remember that as I put the key into the door of my apartment when I got home, in my mind I thanked my dad for the presents that he had sent to me on his birthday (also met another special person on that day).  Although in my wildest imagination I never thought that Kirk and I would end up being married, I do know to this day that my dad was responsible for sending him to me and for that I am eternally grateful.

Music was the original connection for Kirk and me.  I loved to see his performances and could never tell you how much joy they brought to me.  A couple of years after we were married, I started waking up on Sunday mornings with song lyrics running through my mind.  Now I had never even thought about being a lyricist but I started writing down the words and in most cases, I had a completed song within about 20 minutes.  I decided to share them with Kirk who had never composed music in the past and he was inspired to write the music for them.  I don’t believe that anything happens by accident.  And from those songs, we decided to have Kirk record a CD which ended up being titled “Let Life Happen” which is also the title of one of the songs on that CD.  I also want to share that one of the songs on that CD, “Don’t Change”, was written by Kirk for me on Valentine’s Day.  What a treasure that was to me.

As Kirk built the website for our music and we endeavored to share that music in the hope of helping and inspiring others, we did receive a lot of feedback from people letting us know what the songs meant to them.  I had a very dear friend who was a two-time breast cancer survivor that was actively involved with helping others by preparing gift baskets for the women in their area in which she lived.  We provided her with CD’s to include in the baskets until she again had a return of her cancer and she past away.

Shortly after I had my first cancer surgery, two additional cancers were found and I elected to have a double mastectomy.  At that time, Kirk suggested and prodded and nudged me about writing a blog.  It took him two weeks to succeed and he chose to convert our music site into my current Let Life Happen site although you can still check out our music there.  Because of his support and love and caring and sharing in all arenas, I have finally been able to address issues that were buried so deeply that I would never have thought they would ever resurface.  The care that he has taken with me through 3 surgeries encompassing 4 procedures with one more surgery to go that will include 2 separate procedures has been phenomenal.  I can’t even begin to imagine what we will accomplish together as we are starting another new year together.  All that I can say is that I truly know that I am blessed and I thank God each day for allowing him to be in my life.

I would love your comments.

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I had an entirely different subject picked out for my musings today but having just completed a number of interactions with some of MySpace “friends”, I have decided to go in a different direction.  I have made a connection with so many wonderful, strong, caring and sharing new people there that I just have to share. 

The last place that I ever expected to meet such a group of people was through a social networking site.  Most of them are survivors or caregivers to survivors.  Their stories are absolutely amazing and the depths to which they have had to go in order to survive is nothing short of miraculous.  And for all that they have endured; the one theme that I see constantly repeated is that they care about other people to a degree not normally seen and that they are willing to share themselves and their experiences with others so that others don’t feel so alone.

For those who are here in support of me as a cancer survivor, I have received tons of wonderful prayers and blessings and offers of help if there is anything that I need.  I have received the stories of so many who are going through radiation and chemotherapy for anywhere from the first to the fourth time.  And yet, there they are, reaching out to me with their prayers and apologizing for not being able to write sooner because they have been too sick or preparing for surgery or recovering.  I have received so many notes of thanks from those who are out there fighting their own battles for the fact that I am willing to share my own story, something to which they can relate and appreciate and understand.  They are letting me know how much they feel supported in their own struggles when others take the time to listen and share and pray for them as well.  And to all of those caregivers, I must keep telling you that you have the harder part and that you will never know how much you are appreciated.

There are those who have come to me in support of my being a survivor of domestic abuse.  They have shared the awful atrocities that they have endured, the ends to which they have been driven in their own retaliations and lives that have been full of nothing but pain for as long as they can remember.  And they have come here to share their stories so that others can know that there is no shame in these lives, that there are many others who know the same experiences and to thank others who are willing to speak out and tell the world that this is not right and is not acceptable and they are not to blame.

So, to every single one of you who has taken the time to write to me, who has posted words of kindness and understanding, who has shared your own story to help others and who has let me know that by my sharing my experiences that I have helped you, I thank you.  Each one of you is a very special person because you are reaching out to others with your love and caring.  You are strong and courageous in your own survival.  You couldn’t be a better “friend” if you knew me intimately in person for what you have given to me.  And as I am sure that each of you knows about me by now that if there is ever anything that I can do to help you, I will do so.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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Although the final count is not tallied, the Crespi Carmelite High School male lacrosse team raised more than $44,000.00 by the start of their premiere event that was held yesterday at the school. What an awesome result in only two months!

The guys will be sponsoring a variety of other events in their effort to raise $140,000.00 by the end of the year. They are also looking forward to meeting up with three other lacrosse teams in New York City on April 9th and walking the last 6.98 miles of their total goal of 5,500 miles which is the distance from the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge to Time Square where they want to present a check to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America”.

For those who missed it, the team had a very special last minute walker join their them.

Now despite all of his hard work, Guy was not successful in raising so much as a single dollar for his efforts. So he has decided to keep on walking and walking and walking until such time as he sees some positive results and can collect some funds in his name in support of this cause.

As soon as he is rested and can begin the next step on this journey, we will post more videos on his behalf so that you can see the progress that he is making.

If you care to donate some funds on behalf of Guy, please let me know by writing to letlifehappen@gmail.com and we will make the necessary arrangements for acceptance of your contribution. And if you would like to follow the progress of the team and their continued fund raising efforts, please log on to the website at www.crespi.dojiggy.com. This is only the beginning of the Coach’s Challenge where high school athletic teams throughout the country are being enlisted to join in this cause.

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Walk Like A man

Walk Like A man

Last week I wrote an open letter to the Crespi Carmelite High School lacrosse team members. I asked the girl who had involved me in this project whether she would provide a copy of the letter for each of the team members and have the team coaches hand them out to the guys. She agreed to do so and I was so happy that they would know how much all of their hard work and efforts meant to me and to the women who would benefit from all of their hard work.

I received an e-mail from my friend to whom I had made the initial request. She informed me that the coach read my letter to his players at practice. They were so moved by what I had to say that they upped the ante and although they have already raised $35,000.00 in less than two months, they challenged themselves to reach $50,000.00 by the time the event takes place next Saturday on February 14th.

Can you believe that? Most high school guys would have responded by resting on their laurels and thinking about how great they were. These men understood the message and stepped up to the plate to push themselves that much harder to set a tough goal for themselves.

Okay, that is why I am begging all of you to please help out in any way that you can. Please make a contribution to the cause if you can. Purchase some merchandise if you are able to do so. But if you are unable to do anything financially, I would really appreciate it if you would log on to the coach’s e-mail at joswaks@crespi.org and let them know how awesome they are for taking on this challenge and giving back to their community in such a big way.

This coach and his coaching staff and every member of the committee that put together this event and every member of the team that is raising money for the cause are our special angels. They have all literally been giving themselves to this cause to make it an unbridled success and are truly the angels in our community.

I have been checking the weather reports and there is nothing but rain in the forecast for next weekend. I know that everyone will still show up and do their part regardless but please, please help them and support them. I will be there myself come rain or shine so please feel free to send a message to me for them if you wish and I will be sure to pass it to them.

I can be reached at letlifehappen@gmail.com and would appreciate it if you would help all of us. And if you can make a contribution to the cause, please log on to the website at http://www.crespi.dojiggy.com and help in any way that you can. Your contributions will be appreciated more than you will ever know. I will update you on the results from this event in my blog next Sunday. Please, we need your support.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
CRESPI HIGH SCHOOL MALE LACROSSE TEAM

You don’t know me but you are my heroes. And if you are wondering why, I will tell you. I know about your great efforts to walk and to raise money for the “Walk Like A Man” Walk-a-thon for Breast Cancer Testing and Research. I know what it is like to have to devote so much of your time and effort to meet the challenges that have been given to you by your coaches for this project. And you have to do all of this in addition to your regular school work, your lacrosse practices and all of the responsibilities that you have at home and in other aspects of your personal life!

Well, that is what makes you special. That is what makes you heroes to those that you don’t know but who will be the recipients of the results of your special efforts. For the funds that you raise will be used to continue research and provide testing for those who otherwise would not be able to afford those tests.

I am a breast cancer survivor who was fortunate enough to have medical insurance that provided the testing that I needed. But I want you to know that it is not the surgeries that were the hard part of my experience. It was the not knowing what to do that was the hardest. As a result of being able to have the necessary testing, cancer patients, in conjunction with their medical doctors, have the information that they need in order to make educated choices about the best courses of treatment.

So when the going gets tough out there and it gets harder and harder to reach your goals, please remember that there are lots of us out here in your community who need you. Please remember that it is your efforts that will help to save our lives and many more lives in the future. And when you go to bed at night, you will know that there are people who look to you as heroes because you helped to save their lives. I think that you will be able to rest assured that although it may have been tough to do what was expected of you for this walk, it was all worthwhile knowing that you made such a huge difference. Your efforts are appreciated more than you will ever know.

I will be at your walk on February 14th and it is my goal to meet each one of you personally. I want to shake your hand and thank you and let you know what a privilege it is to meet such awesome guys who are such a positive representation of the hope for the future of this country.

For those of you who may be reading this letter who are not members of this team and are willing to help with this cause, please let me know at letlifehappen@gmail.com or go to the school’s website at http://www.crespi.dojiggy.com. Please help me to acknowledge the wonderful work that is being done by these young people by letting them know how much it is appreciated.

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“Walk Like A Man” Walk-a-thon for Breast Cancer Testing and Research

Part 2

After I finished last week’s blog, I realized that it was number 52. What better way to complete a year of weekly postings than to launch such a wonderful project on this site.

I have decided that the best way to provide more information about this special walk is to provide the press release that I have been given. I really would appreciate it if you would read it and please help in any way that you can (see suggestions in last week’s blog). I would love for everyone to support these kids in this huge undertaking. It would be greatly appreciated.

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Lacrosse team at CRESPI Carmelite High School announces 1st Annual Breast Cancer Gene Test Fundraising Walk-A-Thon. Crespi raises $20,000 in one month.

January 16, 2009

Los Angeles, CA: CRESPI Carmelite All Boys High School Boys Lacrosse Team has launched a nationwide fundraiser for breast cancer gene testing (BRCA1 and BRCA2) entitled “Walk Like A Man”. Over the last month, the lacrosse team has raised $20,000 and brought an army of supporters.

This Valentine’s Day, the lacrosse team at CRESPI Carmelite High School will walk the round-trip distance from Los Angeles to New York to raise money for breast cancer gene testing. Crespi Lacrosse will complete the final leg of the Los Angeles-to-New York 5,500 mile distance on foot from the Brooklyn Bridge to Times Square in New York City. It is the hope of the team to present a check live on Good Morning America along with local schools Sewanhaka High School, Hewlett High School, and H. Frank Carey High School.

This nationwide campaign has attracted attention and support from National Football League teams including the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and Atlanta Falcons. As well, artist Peter Max, best known for his iconic 60s cosmic art, donated a piece of his original art for the silent auction and may design a one-of-a-kind art design for the cause, used on t-shirts to be sold online nationwide.

Supporting breast cancer gene testing, the walk-a-thon is the only fundraising event of its kind in the Los Angeles area.

Walk-a-thon “Walk Like A Man”—as well as a silent auction and sock-hop—will bring funding to breast cancer research and testing. Los Angeles’s Cedar Sinai Hospital will be on site at “Walk Like a Man” on February 14th including a booth from their Genetic Risk department. There will be on-site mobile scanning units for early detection as well as a blood mobile and various vendors in the vendor village.

The event, part of a larger “Walk Like A Man” fundraising campaign launched last month by head Crespi Lacrosse Coach Jon Oswaks, aims to raise $140,000 by years end. The CRESPI Lacrosse Team is collecting funds for “Walk Like A Man” through http://crespi.dojiggy.com, spotlight auctions, door-to-door campaigns, apparel sales, corporate donations, and more.

Each player on the CRESPI Lacrosse team is required to walk at least 27.5 miles, raise a minimum of $500.00, and bring 2 friends to each raise $500.00 as well. The total mileage goal for the Walk-A-Thon will be 6.87 miles short of the round-trip distance from Long Island to Los Angeles [5500 miles], leading up to their lacrosse tournament in New York in the spring of 2009. The team will complete the final 6.87 miles on foot from the Brooklyn Bridge, with the hopes of a stop to ABC’s Good Morning America studio in Times Square to present the check live. CRESPI Lacrosse is thrilled that their three competing teams will join them in the walk to present the check.

“Walk Like A Man” will be held on the Crespi Carmelite High School track at 5031 Alonzo Ave Encino, CA 91316 on February 14, 2009. Pre/late registration ($7) and check-in will be from 6:45am – 7:45am on February 14. The walk begins at 8am, with barbeques, entertainment, silent auction, and vendor village to roll out through the day. The online early registration rate of $5 will end on February 11, 2009.

For more information or to register visit http://crespi.dojiggy.com “Walk Like A Man” Walk-A-Thon. Receive a personal webpage and help fundraise.

CONTACT INFO:
Jonathan Oswaks
Head Coach CRESPI Carmelite Lacrosse
805-444-1937
jonathan@gruppee.com

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