Monday, October 26, 2009

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - Part 2

October 18, 2009

"Breast Cancer is rain on a winter's night; closing in and freezing hope.As Race Day approached the chill of defeat could be felt in the steady rain.Would the dark and cold extinguish the flame that is the heart of our cause?Never! Because of you!Thirty-thousand people turned dark to light, cold to warm, and rain to tears of joy.You were the miracle of the morning.We will find a cure!" -from the Susan G. Komen website.
The Survivor Parade and walk...
We woke up at 5:00 am on Sunday October 17, 2009. After taking a shower and getting ready I woke up my best friend Daniella and my two girls (who were doing just fine sleeping in their beds). I put on my pink wig and went down stairs.

Me and Daniella (Dani)

I met up with some of the girls down stairs, three Baby Mommas came with me.
Meg and Mackenzie

Diana and Delaney and Heather A. and Grant
As we (my girls, Daniella, Baby Mommas and I) were getting ready to go outside we noticed not only was it rainy, but it had snowed as well. Yes honest to goodness friggin' SNOW!!! So the 10 of us started out 5 block journey to the walk.
We got there about 6:30am and found my Mother and Father in-law (Nickie and Joe) and two family friends (Kay and her daughter Kim). I was so touched that there were so many that braved the weather to come be with me for the survivor parade. We finally got out of the rain and into the survivor tent when it was time for the survivor parade.

I got in line with my double stroller (Aubrey and Natalie were bundled up and ready to do some waving). The parade of pink (and multi-colored coats) started and my family and friends were lining down the row to see me and witness my successful journey through cancer. As I saw my family and friends cheering for me, my girls waved and smiled. For me I think I was so worried about my girls, whether they were warm enough and not hitting anyone with my stroller that I really didn't think about my past year. But I also think that it is still a little to close to the surface to open that up.

After the short parade around race village, we all got together to take a survivor picture. At this point Nickie took the stroller so I could be in the picture and I could breathe. That was when I started to cry...

After the parade, we still had about an hour before the walk started so we (my group of 10) walked back to the hotel to have some warm breakfast, warm up and meet up with my other baby mommas before started our mile family walk.

Breakfast was great and I was so glad that my family had a chance to spend some time with my Baby Mommas. Then we all bundled back up and walked back to race village to start our walk. One of my friends came earlier and actually waited an hour for us to get our butts back down to the walk so she could walk with us
(thank you so much Heather for waiting).

It was a great (and long) walk and we even got a shout out for Team LJ from the announcer while we were walking.

Natalie all tuckered out after the walk...

Through the wind, rain, and snow we walked for a cure. We walked for friendship and we walked for me, my girls and for anyone else that will get breast cancer.

Team LJ's goal was to have 10 team members and raise $1000.00, with every one's help I had 22 members on my team and we raised $2045.00.

Thank you everyone who had donated to Team LJ, and /or walked with us that wonderfully emotional, cold Sunday morning!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - Part 1

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I don’t really know how to start off my walk story…

Should I separate it between walk and play date?

Should I talk about my Baby Mommas then my family?

I guess I will start at the beginning and see where it takes me…

I registered a few months back for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley, MD. I decided to put my own team together, “Team LJ”. My goal was to have 10 team members and $1000.00 in donations. That was my goal… My team took on a life of its own and was one of the most inspirational experiences in my entire life. I cannot think of it right now with out my heart expanding out of my chest and tearing up.

I had invited all my Baby Momma’s to join me in my walk. I made into a play date for all of our almost-two year olds. To my great surprise, there was 8 that were going me make the trip (2 from Texas, 2 from New York, 1 from Chicago, 1 from Michigan, 1 from Minnesota and 1 from Virginia). I was so excited. 4 of these women I had met before (Bridget, Sharon, Heather A. and Meg had met up the year before for a play date). But Diana, Tammy, Ari, and Leanne I was going to meet for the first time (although we had been online talking for over 2 ½ years).

We were all going to meet up at the Embassy Suites in Hunt Valley on Saturday. Meg picked up Tammy and her daughter Lauren at Dulles airport and came to my house and had lunch before we left for the hotel. My oldest, Elizabeth ended up sick that morning so Chris (my husband) stayed home with her and I took my 4 year old and 1 year old the hour trip to the hotel. As I unpacked, my best friend Daniella came in (she was staying the night in my room so we could leave early the next day for the walk). Then I received a text from Meg that they were all coming down into my room. I opened the door to meet these wonderful women that gave me the support and strength during this battle. I smiled as I saw the women walk up to me with their children. I had seen pictures of all of them before and beautiful pictures of their children so it was really like meeting an old friend.

As I turned around to close the door, a little boy walked into my room. I got worried cause I didn’t want him to lose his mommy, but then another child walked in, and another. I recognized these children; these were the children of my other Baby Mommas. I looked up and saw 12 out of our 17 mommies standing out side my hotel room!!! Unbeknownst to me, they had all gotten together and decided that they wanted to be with me when we walked, be with me while we played and they took, cars, plains, trains from all over the United States to support me this weekend. I cried…

These were the women that had set up a support group for me; they had all taken a week during my chemo treatments to send me gifts, cards, their love and support. And these women were going to be walking beside me during the walk. To me there could be nothing more fitting than that.

But their surprise had not ended there…
Mary Carole (from Kentucky) came over to me and said that she had wished that she gotten my present finished while I was going to go through chemo, but now she was so happy that she could give it to me herself.

It was a beautiful Pink Ribbon quilt, and along the edge had handprints from our 17 babies. Natalie’s were in the center of the quilt and the pink ribbon. Each child had their name embroidered under their handprints. At first I thought they were all the same, but as I looked at them, they were all different sizes and Mary Carole told me that she had messaged my husband and he had gotten Natalie’s handprints traced and sent them to, like all the other mommies. So they were the real handprints of the babies. I accepted the quilt with the deepest gratitude and the snottiest nose.

Then Tammy stood up and said that they had all wanted to get “Team LJ” shirts and instead of buying them, they were all made and she had made Me, Natalie and Aubrey all shirts. The front said “Team LJ” with a pink ribbon and on the back was our name (mine said “LJ”) and our babies birth number (Natalie was #11). Everyone had a shirt, it was great!!

These women had worked none stop for me since I thought up the play date. We all went downstairs to enjoy the bar and the kids the hotel, and then headed up for some sleep before our early morning for the survivor parade the next morning.

It think I will stop here for this post and do the walk on the next post!!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Ready for the Walk!!

This weekend, on Sunday (October 18, 2009) I am going to be joined by some very close family and friends to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for a cure in Baltimore, MD. I am so excited! I am the captain of Team LJ, so if any of you are there... Look for us, or if you would like to come join us you can register the morning of!

I am so excited cause not only are my family and friends from the area coming, but some HUGE supporters of me and my family are coming as well... You know them as the Baby Mommas!! Yes, there will be 9 Baby Mommas joining me in my walk! They are from all over the US and I cannot believe so many are flying/driving/training in for the walk! I am so touched that so many people (so far 22 in all) will be walking with me (on Team LJ) or have donated to support Breast Cancer awareness.

I will definitely have more to talk about once the weekend is over, but I just wanted to let everyone know how truly blessed I feel for having friends like you!!

Love to all, safe trip and will see some of you this weekend!!