I have to go up to school in awhile, and I'm thinking I might ought to wear a jacket over this one? Maybe??
Today is kinda a "Big Day." I shared with Team Tiara just this morning something that had been building in my heart for awhile. I think the seeds were planted long ago when I met Stephanie in L.A. -- and while she spoke of hope for a CURE, we all knew it wouldn't happen in time for her.
And then we lost Sonja -- so young and with two little girls just like mine.
And then Lora. And then Andrea.
And Susan is fighting so hard for her life. And Bridget. And there have been so many more along the way. And Team Tiara simply needs to "do more."
As God has done often in the past, He has recently shown me that Team Tiara is need of a little "tweaking." You see, awareness and pink and ribbons and mammograms only get us so far. The fact is, women do not die of cancer in the breast. They die when that cancer metastasizes, or spreads, to their liver, lungs, intestines, bones, brain and other areas. When that cancer wreaks havoc and causes those organs and systems to shut down.
Mets are not a warm, fuzzy subject. The pink ribbons of hope just don't really fit metastasized breast cancer. This is often seen as a death sentence, and that doesn't make for hopeful soundbites on the evening news.
In women who have breast cancer, some 30% will face mets. However, only 3% of the research dollars go to this.
This is where we can come in and make a difference. I have spent the last few weeks learning about metastasized breast cancer and which researchers are focusing on this directly. I've been helped by my dear friend and 8-time cancer survivor Lois.
Lois has helped me find three or four key researchers we could work with. We've also found a group called Metavivor.org.
This is all ground-floor stuff. We don't have all the details filled in yet -- and I'm hoping maybe the four of you can help me with some of that.
Here are a few key things I'm asking you to be thinking about.
1. With Aaron's help, we have acquired www.Pinktober365.com. We will launch that website on January 1 with the key message that breast cancer doesn't just happen in October. That it happens 365 days a year.
The idea is to profile 365 different people involved in this fight -- survivors, Tiaras, researchers, doctors, etc. It's a catchy name and it should get attention if we play our cards right. Do you know of someone who would be a good fit for one of our profiles???
2. Our goal is to raise at least $100,000 to offer in grants directly to researchers who are working with metastatic breast cancer. This will be in addition to other projects we have ongoing, i.e. The 3-Day, Survivor Support, etc.
3. We will continue our support of the 3-Day. Some of our team members will step into stronger leadership roles there. I had a talk with God, and He still won't give me more than 24 hours in a day. Man.
4. It's going to take a bit of a juggling act. To do this, we are really going to need to get corporate support wherever we can. MANY of you have networks we can tap into. It's time to utilize those! Do you know somebody who knows somebody? Do you have a college roommate we need to meet?
5. Some of our team members are going to need to come up for air after the Walk, and that's okay. But as a TEAM, we can't take three months off after the 3-Day this year. MANY companies make their giving decisions in January, and we need to be on their radar screens.
6. We also need to focus on upping the number of Team fundraisers both in Houston and Dallas -- and Austin if that growing group is ready to roll! Possibly adding a golf tourney in Dallas and maybe a few poker tourneys along the way. We can't let our 3-Day fundraising slide.
7. We would LOVE to partner with other 3-Day teams or other groups in this effort. Anyone want to come play in our sandbox with us???
8. We need Tiaras (past, present and future) to be thinking about your role.
You may be like me -- all in, let's whip this thing. GREAT! We need you! We need your help with corporate outreach and golf tourneys and helping us find new, creative ways to raise funds.
You may be all about the 3-Day, but that's all you have time for. That's GREAT! We need you! If that's you, please get registered soon for 2012. Among other things, we desperately need a training walk leader in Houston. Could that be you???
For some people, the 3-Day is a bucket list kind of thing. You're "one and done," and that's perfectly okay. BUT if that does suit you please consider supporting this new initiative -- even if you're not walking.
And you may not even be a 3-Day team member -- but instead someone who just has a heart for this and wants to help.
So that's the scoop. Please be thinking and praying about your role in all of this. If you would like to step into a leadership role, please let me know. Let me know where you see yourself in all of this.
If you are planning to walk or crew in 2012, please register ASAP. www.the3day.org/goto/teamtiara2012. The discount code CURE2012 will knock $35 off your registration. You will be able to register in camp as well.
I know that's been a lot to share, but I know too many of us have seen the heartbreak of metastasized cancers -- breast cancer and other varieties. We've seen the toll that they take. I continue to stand by my belief that if we can whip breast cancer all the rest will fall like dominos. As soon as I know more about the research we will be supporting, I'll let you know!
Please let me know what you're thinking!!!