Before being diagnosed with breast cancer I was in the process of making the transition from Mrs. Army wife to Mrs. Retired Army Wife. After almost 19 years as an Army Wife helping and supporting soldiers and their families, I found myself faced with the need to redefine myself. I'm not sure who I'll be when I'm done with the process, but victim will not be one of my descriptive words.
I've always felt that part of God's design for me was for me to help others. I'm a care giver. It's part of my nature to want to do things for others. Since I would no longer be fundraising and volunteering for Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) I had decided to look for other volunteer opportunities. I've discovered that I truly enjoy walking, so I had decided in 2011 I would be participating in as many "Walk For . . ." walks as I could find. This would have the added benefit of helping me to get in shape for hiking up Pikes Peak in August.
Though I plan to walk for other worthy causes (Alzheimer's and Autism for example), after the diagnoses I decided I wanted to concentrate on events supporting cancer research.
In Colorado there are three events that I know of:
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer June 25-26.
Komen Race for the Cure - Colorado Springs - September 2011
I'd like to participate in all three of these. My radiation treatments will have been completed long before June. I should be back in walking shape. What I'm worried about is the fundraising expected for these events. Fundraising is essential. After all it takes money to conduct research and funds are also needed to provide care for patients in financial need.
My fear is that I won't be able to live up to the challenge. The Avon Walk requires walkers to raise a minimum of $1,800. The other two races don't have such high requirements. I've done tons of fundraising for FRG events. I've done more bake sales and hot dog sales than I can remember.
Recently, I spent an entire day at a local book store dressed as a pig to raise funds for books for the library.
I've put together and sold cookbooks. I've made blankets and raffled them off. I helped put together a craft fair. Out of 19 years of experience at this sort of thing, I've only one event that made close to $1,800 - that was the craft fair. And you will notice that all of these fundraising events were ones where people were buying something, not just donating. Asking people for money - for sponsorships - is somewhat out of my comfort zone. I don't like to put people on the spot. But then again, no one every promised life would be easy. If something is important enough (and this is to me) then you have to be willing to sweat a little. Maybe if I start now, I can find 180 people willing to donate $10. Or maybe I can bake 1800 batches of cookies. Or maybe there is a way I can use my photography to raise funds. I'm sure God didn't me bless me with camera skills just so I could scrapbook.
Fundraising is not the only way to support cancer patients. There are many ways to help. Check back frequently as I use my super librarian skills to pull together a list. In the mean time - something as simple as wearing a pink ribbon is a good way to show your support.