Inspired – Elly Mayday

I recently had an article shared with me about a Canadian model named Elly Mayday and her battle with Ovarian Cancer. The article talked about how one of the companies she is working with handled it (which I give them a HUGE kudos for) as well as about Elly and how she is facing everything herself. That article can be featured HERE.

I know I sometimes take my time between posts on here, but when something like this comes up, something truly inspirational, I have to drop everything and share it with the rest of you! I know when I was going through treatment and decided to keep working people couldn’t wrap their head around it. It was hard to explain that to me it was a matter of not letting Cancer win, not letting it change my life or my day to day routine. At the time I hadn’t heard much about Ovarian Cancer at all, let alone about others fighting the disease.

Reading this article brought me back to that stage, to those thoughts and to figuring out what was going to work for me through treatment. Elly is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL person inside and out, and I am so happy to see that she’s not letting Cancer hold her back or steal any of that from her! Following along on her Facebook page (HERE) I have had a chance to not only see her beautiful photos, but to see her her smile throughout everything.

She asked on her Facebook page for her fans to write her snailmail if they want to reach out to her right now, and I am going to do that for sure, but I also wanted to put a little shout out on here. Elly Mayday you are an inspriation to many. Thank you for standing up, sharing your story and helping to get the word out on a disease that is WAY too often forgotten about, swept under the rug and ignored!

I should also add before finishing this blog up that I want to give a huge shoutout as well to the company mentioned in the above link, Forever Yours Lingerie who not only has stood by Elly Mayday through this battle, but is doing their own part to put this disease out there to remind everyone that it IS a concern and we SHOULD be aware!

Getting the Word Out!

Although the attention is still somewhat weird to me, I still haven’t been able to get used to it, I am so excited to see yet another example of publicity coming to the cause! This month Best Health Magazine has featured a handful of the climbers from our expedition! 

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The focus of this article is on the preparations that each of us made to physically get ready for the climb. Each of the women interviewed talks about the challenge that we took in doing this, and how we got ourselves into shape to do it. It discusses how much each of us raised as well as a mention of the cause itself. 

I am SO happy to see that months after our expedition we are still seeing attention brought to the cause from this! For every person I see mention the climb and the cause it makes the whole preparation and the climb all worth it all over again! 

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If you can get your hands on the magazine check it out! Its on shelves now – We just saw it out at our local Shoppers Drug Mart! 

Christmas Update!

Well the Christmas season certainly seems to have an effect on my blogging… it keeps me away from the computer so much that you’d think I vanished off the face of the earth! With making homemade gifts, shopping, wrapping, Christmas parties, Christmas movies, getting together with friends/family…. We’re definitely super busy this time of year! All for great reasons!

I know I have referenced on here that I belong to an online group of women I met during wedding planning. The ‘September 2012 Wives’ (we all got married Sept 2012 which is how we came together) are still a community growing strong, supporting each other through the ups and downs of married life, and I am SO thankful for them! Well this year for Christmas we opted to do an ornament exchange and I got some GORGEOUS ornaments back. There was one set though that I wanted to draw attention to on here considering the main focus of this blog…

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Are they not gorgeous? What a beautiful way to commemorate the year we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for Ovarian Cancer Canada! We have been talking about getting a real tree next year (I always had one growing up) and these ornaments sparked the idea of what I’m going to do with our little 4 1/2 foot tree… I think I am going to watch the sales after Christmas and decorate myself a teal and silver tree! It will be SO perfect for our house!

To continue on the update, my work Christmas party was last weekend. We got quite the storm here Friday night into Saturday and Saturday was the party…. Stories all over the news made it clear that the roads weren’t pretty, with accidents everywhere. The ride in that normally would have been 1/2 an hour tops took over an hour, and we even had sections of the drive where we weren’t positive we were even on the road (it was just a big blanket of white before us) but a ton of people still made it there for a great evening of music, food, and good company.

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Besides that it has been a busy, busy time getting all our gifts together. The UPS man showed up last night with a special gift we had ordered for our God Daughter which then prompted a trip to finish shopping for all the kids in the family – a big feat in itself! I still have some homemade gifts to finish, and a couple more gifts to buy for some of the adults, but we’re SO close now… Which is good because we’re quickly running out of time!

Let the race against time begin….

A Heart of Gold – Meet Gabby!

I haven’t had a chance to post much as of late, life has been super busy! Between doing various awareness booths and outreach opportunities, and trying to get ourselves back into the daily grind after the climb, it seems like there is always something exciting going on! 

One opportunity we had to get the word out was at a large Ladies Expo that is held here in our hometown of Windsor every year. This is a large event full of vendors catering towards women – jewelry, handbags, makeup, etc. We set up an Ovarian Cancer Canada booth and used this as an opportunity to reach out to women and share information regarding Ovarian Cancer and our annual walk. 

Here’s our booth: 

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While we were at this event we had a chance to meet a beautiful young lady with one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen – Gabby. Gabby’s booth (Gabby’s Gifts) was set up across from us where she was selling her homemade bracelets. She started making her bracelets as a way to help her with her math, but this became a labor of love as she started selling them at various events raising money for different charities in the area such as various Cancer charities, Alzheimers, and more. 

Gabby had come to talk to us a couple times at our booth, and it didn’t take long for one of us to scoop up the only teal cancer bracelet that she had for sale! As the day went on Gabby came over with some news that moved us nearly to tears. She had decided that she wanted to donate the money she had made at the Expo to our cause, and was looking forward to making more teal bracelets to partner with us at future events! 

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Follow Gabby by liking her Facebook page Gabby’s Gifts HERE

What a beautiful example of the next generation of volunteers and supporters that are now coming up and getting active! We could learn A LOT from the generous heart of this young woman! 

A Few Pictures…

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few pictures as I had promised! We will be holding a fundraising event here including a slideshow so we aren’t releasing a ton of pictures online until after that, but wanted to share a few for now! We will share many more in the future (took over 300)!

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This is the full group of us all ready to go to the Expedition, including our guide Macon!

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Climbing together, making our way up the mountain.

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Almost there, and we can see the top as we climb. So blessed to have the chance to face yet another challenge in life with my best friend by my side! (He was by my side right through my treatment too)

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Reached the summit! Standing at the Uhuru Peak sign with the banner signed by all our supporters. Thank you SO much to everyone that has has supported us financially, mentally, emotionally, etc as we spent nearly a year preparing for this moment! The group is ALMOST at our fundraising goal and with final celebration events being planned I know we’re going to reach it!

We Did It!!!

It’s been a long and short week all in one…  Yesterday we returned to our hotel to let it all sink in.  We,  a group of Ovarian Cancer Survivors,  family and friends,  climbed Mount Kilimanjaro this week. Not only that,  all climbers in our group reached the summit!

We laughed together and cried together.  We shouted from the summit that we will beat this disease! 

When I return home in a couple days I will do some detailed posts including photos to update everyone! 

Today I am sore,  tired and out of this world happy!!

Walk of Hope 2013

Alright, I know my blogging has died of quite a bit recently. That’s largely due to the number of things we’ve had going on! On top of getting ourselves organized for the Expedition of Hope and working on fundraising for that, my husband and I are also both on the Walk of Hope committee for our local walk! 

This morning I watched an amazing group of people young and old gather at Malden Park in Windsor for our walk. I watched tears and laughter, hugging and crying, Zumba and memorial photos…. What a rollercoaster of emotions and what an amazing day! Thank you SO much to my fellow committee members, as well as to AM800, especially Lisa Williams for joining me as an emcee this morning. 

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few photos of what today was to me: 

Up at 0’Dark thirty to gather with the rest of our committee and volunteers to get everything set up (Tim Hortons in hand lol)

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Some of the fun we had set up around including decorations, teal photobooth props and our banner which made an appearance for more signatures today: 

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My husband and I during the set up: 

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Emceeing with Lisa Williams from AM800: 

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Also I had brought a little something special of my own. Last Friday was Wear Teal Day. I belong to a group of women that first met while planning our weddings on The Knot with one thing in common, weddings in September 2012. We have since become amazingly close despite living across Canada and the US (and one person even in Greece). For Wear Teal Day these amazing ladies showed their support to me in DROVES posting photos of themselves, their husbands, their children… all wearing Teal! I took these pictures and created a collage to bring with me so that I could bring some of my greatest supporters to walk with me today: 

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What a day to be reminded of just how blessed we are! 

 

September Already…

Wow, its hard to believe that its already September! This month marks so much for me and is going to be SUPER busy but also SUPER exciting! 

The month of September means: 

– My first wedding anniversary (we made it a year already, wow how time flies)

– My second Walk for Hope, first as a member of the planning committee

– The expedition itself (Less than 3 weeks until we’re in Tanzania!)

So many great things going on and yet we’re not quite there yet…. There is still the last week of rushing around for the Walk next weekend, there is still over 2 weeks to fundraise of the expedition and I am still 20 days from my Anniversary. 

This marks the beginning of the final stretch, and I am going to appeal to all of you out there to help me make this final stretch epic… 

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Lets start by just sharing with a couple people and break the silence that is this disease. I checked our Facebook page for the climb, we have over 100 people on there. So if each person told just 5 people about this disease that would be 500 people we could reach! The best way to do this is to do it together…. 

Also if there is anyone still interested in sponsoring the Expedition the donation page is http://tinyurl.com/expofhope

Thank you!