Category Archives: Cancer sucks

‘I don’t have to apologize for letting go or choosing things in the name of my peace and healing’

I did something this week that was long overdue: I stepped away from all of my volunteer and extracurricular activities.

I stepped back from volunteering* with an organization I’ve been heavily involved with for more than 25 years.

I officially resigned from a nonprofit board position, stepped back from a few other nonprofits where I’ve offered assistance or volunteered and said no to some recent asks for my help in other activities.

And it feels good.

(Continue reading below the Instagram post.)

Being forced last year to pause so much helped me take a hard look at what I was spending my life doing. Like a lot of you, I said “yes” far too much.

I’ve been going hard at volunteering for nonprofits for way too long. For many years, I tried to keep track of my hours spent volunteering and I easily racked up anywhere from 1,800 to 2,600 hours a year volunteering.

I’ve put so much time in, and I just needed to take a break — something I’ve been trying to do for a few years now. But every time I found myself with extra time, I found some nonprofit group or activity to fill its void. I’ve said “yes” too often just thinking it would be a simple ask, and it usually wasn’t.

The ongoing global pandemic has taught me that I need to slow down and live my life.

The nonprofit groups will continue. The other activities will go on.

When I’m ready, I’ll find my way back into volunteering — either for groups I’ve recently hit pause on or new endeavors.

There’s a song from one of the greatest musicals — “Avenue Q” — that I often am reminded of: “For Now.” The lyrics go: “Nothing lasts. Life goes on, full of surprises. … Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now.” This pause is only for now.

What led me to this decision that, from the outside, seems drastic? As I said earlier, it’s been a long time coming. When doing any kind of volunteering, I think of another “Avenue Q” song that goes: “When you help others, you’re really helping yourself.” Helping nonprofit groups began to feel like tasks mounting with no end in sight — and I started to feel as though I wasn’t helping myself.

A friend suggested that nonprofit work should still — at the core — be fun and fulfilling.

The other day, I ran across a post on Facebook with the quote posted above. I found Yasmine Cheyenne’s Instagram account to give her proper credit. But that quote (“I don’t have to apologize for letting go or choosing things in the name of my peace and healing”) really resonated with me. It’s OK to let go.

* Besides, did you really think I could completely step away? I’m still going to raise some money for the American Cancer Society because I signed up as a team captain and don’t want to have a zero-dollar team. But I’m going to do it with as little effort this year. And I still plan to help with a journalism group.

Of course, with an ongoing pandemic, there is little to fill this large chunk of time with. And maybe that’s for the best for now.

More than pink!

I’ve joined WTAE’s team for Susan G. Komen’s Pittsburgh virtual event — because breast cancer doesn’t stop when the world slows down.

Patient services, advocacy and research are so important right now. Help support those needs by donating.

Tap/click this link to donate.

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of so many us.

The virus has also impacted the health and safety of breast cancer patients, their families and people who have delayed or put off chemotherapy, mammograms and other important medical care.

Patient services, advocacy and research are so important right now — as we navigate our way through life with the coronavirus.

Now, more than ever, organizations such as Susan G. Komen need our support to continue researching better treatments, researching more advanced early detection and supporting patient programs. (tap “read more”)

Komen funds programs such as Komen’s Breast Care Helpline, Clinical Trial Information Helpline, Treatment Assistance Program and other direct patient support services — all of which need our support.

I want to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer. Together, with your support, we can fuel the best science, the boldest community and the biggest impact in the fight against breast cancer.

Research is key to fighting cancer

Research is the most important aspect of the American Cancer Society. Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has helped to make nearly every major cancer research breakthrough.

Right now in Pittsburgh, the American Cancer Society has provided more than $4.5 million in research grants. So the next cancer breakthrough could happen in the City of Champions!

Help fund research and programs for cancer patients and families by making a donation to my Cherry Pickers team at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Cranberry Township.

Learn more about the American Cancer Society research program.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Cranberry Township is planned for July 22 at North Boundary Park in Cranberry. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. Listed below are highlights for when you might want to stop by!

The event is a fundraiser to raise money to support programs and research, including supporting cancer researchers right here in Pittsburgh.

Here are the highlights of the day’s events:

  • Survivor lap and lunch: 12:30 p.m.
  • Eugene and the Nightcrawlers performance: 2:15 p.m.
  • Miss Freddye performance: 4 p.m.
  • Performance painter George Williams: 5 p.m.
  • Food Trucks Dinner Party: 5-8 p.m.
  • Road To Recovery Race: 6 p.m.
  • Survivor and Caregiver Lap: 6:20 p.m.
  • Fight Back ceremony: 7 p.m.
  • Luminaria ceremony: 9 p.m.

See the full schedule of events here.

In addition, I’ll be having fun at the mission tent with games, prizes and so much more through much of the day.

Why am I very passionate about the American Cancer Society? Read my story here.

Thank you for reading this and helping to create a world with less cancer.

Giving hope a home with your support

Please join the fight against cancer by making a donation to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Cranberry Township.

Money raised supports American Cancer Society efforts such as Hope Lodge, where cancer patients and caregivers can find comfort during medical treatments.

“American Cancer Society having this Hope Lodge for a family that has to go through something as traumatic as we are — I can’t describe it… They’ve saved us so much money and so much stress.” — Eileen Fauteux & Her Mother

In addition, you may consider purchasing a luminaria in honor or memory of a loved one who has faced cancer.

I’d like to invite you to a great community celebration to help support programs and research in our effort to fight cancer.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Cranberry Township is planned for July 22 at North Boundary Park in Cranberry. Kickoff is at 10 a.m., but listed below are highlights for when you might want to stop by!

The event is a fundraiser to raise money to support programs and research, including supporting cancer researchers right here in Pittsburgh.

Here are the highlights of the day’s events:

  • Survivor lap and lunch: 12:30 p.m.
  • Eugene and the Nightcrawlers performance: 2:15 p.m.
  • Miss Freddye performance: 4 p.m.
  • Performance painter George Williams: 5 p.m.
  • Food Trucks Dinner Party: 5-8 p.m.
  • Road To Recovery Race: 6 p.m.
  • Survivor and Caregiver Lap: 6:20 p.m.
  • Fight Back ceremony: 7 p.m.
  • Luminaria ceremony: 9 p.m.

See the full schedule of events here.

In addition, I’ll be having fun at the mission tent with games, prizes and so much more through much of the day.

Why am I very passionate about the American Cancer Society? Read my story here.

Thank you for reading this and helping to create a world with less cancer.

Letters from Santa!

As Christmas nears, Santa’s got a lot on his plate (besides cookies!) — from getting the elves in order, making sure the sleigh is ready and making his list and checking it twice.

This year, Santa has asked if I would help him gather and send letters to children!

For a $5 donation per letter to support team Cherry Pickers (of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Cranberry Township), we will make sure your children get a special letter from Santa!

Fill out the form on this link (http://bit.ly/lettersfromsanta2016), we’ll confirm your information and your children will receive a letter in December signed by Santa!

Deadline for submission is Nov. 30. The elves will confirm information within a few days of Nov. 30. All letters will be mailed by mid-December!