Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What a difference a week makes!

The last time I posted, we were ranked number 7 for the Boston 3Day for the Cure. Since then a lot has changed. Drum roll please..........Tough Warrior Princesses are NUMBER 1!!! Thanks to all of you, we have raised over $10,500! AMAZING! There are many teams that are larger than us, but we will work hard to remain in the top 10. Keep those donations coming! You can click on the link to right of this page to be part of finding a cure for breast cancer.

This jump did not happen overnight, but close to it. Things all began to change shortly after Gretchen and Theresa joined our team. They immediately started bringing in money! They have both raised half of their fundraising minimum already! Unbelievable! On the same day that they joined, Patty sent out her donation letters. It was a very special day for Patty...her one year anniversary. If you followed my blog last year, you have an understanding of what these anniversaries mean to survivors. We no longer worry about getting older, we relish it! Please read Patty's blog to hear more about her special day. With Patty's letters out, the money continued to flow in.

Wednesday night was an exciting night for all of us Princesses. It was spent with numerous status updates on Facebook, and emails going back and forth. Little by little we watched our thermometer climb, and our name go up the ladder. By the end of the night we had moved up to 5th place.

Thursday night was spent at another Get Started Meeting. I met some amazing survivors who were volunteering as well. I once again shared my story and was touched by 2 other stories. One woman found a lump when she was just 20 years old and pregnant with her daughter. After a biopsy she found that she was lucky, her mass was benign. The experience affected her so much that she felt she had to do this walk. She knew she was one of the fortunate ones who will be able to see her daughter grow up. The other woman, a little bit younger than me, had found a large lump, and upon a biopsy was told that it was benign as well. Unfortunately, she has had to have 5 reconstructive surgeries to remedy the situation. She says it was just like having cancer without the chemo and radiation. She said it was great to be in a room of women who truly understood what she was feeling. When she said that I had such a feeling of purpose knowing that I was personally making a difference in the lives of others. I can't imagine what it would be like for my daughters to never have to worry about breast cancer. It is my lifelong wish.

Friday was pretty uneventful, but we started school vacation! Yay! This past weekend we traveled to Connecticut to visit Andy's brother and his wife. We were given tickets to see the Lion King in Hartford. What an unbelievable show! We all loved it. Thanks John, Jen, Mark and Gary!

While in Connecticut I did not check my email as often as usual. If you are as addicted to your computer as I am, once you are registered for the 3Day it becomes another website that you check frequently, looking for that mercury to rise. By the time we left CT, the Tough Warrior Princesses were at number 2! We were about $500 away from the top spot. On the way home, I got a phone call from my mom saying that we had made it (thanks to a very generous $500 donation to Gretchen!). So here we are are at number 1. Who knows how long we will be here, but boy does it feel good!

So that seems like it would be a good place to end uplifting blog, but there is more.

Fifteen years ago I took a job at Waltham High School. I kind of fell into the position just days before school started. I was going to be teaching a small group of students in a language based classroom. It was there that I met Kaitlyn. She was a freshman in my class. Each teacher has "one of those students"--someone who sticks with you forever. Kaitlyn is mine. She was one of those kids who worked so hard to overcome her disability. She would commit to something, and with sheer determination she would achieve it. It was more difficult for her, but she never gave up. I was lucky enough to teach Kaitlyn for four years. Our relationship grew and once she graduated and attended college, we kept in touch. She used to babysit Zach when he was little. She was even the one who watched him the day that the girls were born. Once we moved to the North Shore, we didn't see Kaitlyn as much. When I was diagnosed, it really affected her. In college she had an advisor who was also diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle. Through Facebook we got back in touch. When she found out that the walk was going through Waltham last year, she surprised me by showing up at a cheering station. When I listened to my voice mail last night and there was a message to call her, I immediately thought she was engaged. There was another message following that said, "No, I'm not engaged." She sure knows me well. I couldn't imagine what she wanted. When I got her on the phone, she asked if it would be possible for her and her friend Korinne to join our team. I was honored. "Of course!" was my reply. When I didn't think that the week could get any better for the Tough Warrior Princesses, it did. Two more people means $4,600 more for breast cancer research. This has been a good vacation so far!

Royally yours,

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