Friday, January 16, 2015

Knott's for the Cure 2015 - An Amazing Experience!

This past weekend I had one of the most amazing days of my life.
I was asked to speak at the kickoff breakfast for Knott's for the Cure,
to raise money for breast cancer research and prevention.

This opportunity was so important to me, as I had been at this event last year...
two weeks before I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
This year was infinitely more meaningful to me, 
as I knew exactly what cancer meant to the survivors in the audience.

The ballroom was decorated all in pink, with the most delicious food!
Knott's always puts on a great party.

Before I knew it, I was on the stage, looking out over a huge audience.
Family, friends, cancer survivors and supporters from Knott's and Komen.
I was practically jumping up and down, I was so excited!
I love this amazing village I have!

I have received a few requests to read my speech, so here it is!

One year ago I sat in this room listening to the stories 
of brave, amazing women who had overcome breast cancer. 
I was in awe of what they had accomplished, and felt far removed from their experience. 
Who gets cancer anyway?

Two weeks later I felt the lumps in my own breast and I knew. 
Multiple tests and weeks later I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer metastatic to the liver. 
It was quite a shock to everyone, as I was under 40, with no family history, and a healthy lifestyle.
 But as we know, cancer can affect anyone. One in 8 women will have breast cancer.

The treatment was hard. Much harder than I had imagined. 
I began to understand why people cried when they heard my diagnosis. 
But I was so blessed to have an amazingly supportive husband and family by my side, 
as well as my church community, my neighborhood, and the sisterhood of bloggers here today. 
Gifts poured in along with support in the way of rides 
to and from school for my children, meals, and housecleaning.

Whether I was full of joy or feeling down, I was never alone. 
I know that God was with me, sending me help from angels above and here on earth. 
I know that He expects me to travel my path with joy 
and find the blessings every day that He has given me. 
When I choose to be positive and acknowlege each blessing, 
I become more aware of just how lucky I am.

Stage 4 cancer is never cured, only controlled. 
Each day is a gift, and a chance to choose to do good. 
I am so thankful for the time I have been given with my family. 
I am thankful that the treatments I receive to control my cancer have minimal side effects, 
so I can be a normal mom. 
I am thankful for amazing medical care. 
I am thankful to live in a part of the country where beautiful days abound and heal my soul. 
I am thankful for amazing support from friends like you,
 without which I would find it difficult to smile every day.

Thank you.

After the breakfast we were invited to take a photo all together.
What a blessing it was to meet all those amazing women,
truly one of my favorite parts of the whole day!
Strong women, brave women, women who had overcome something as big as cancer.
For the first time since my wedding day, people were lined up to hug me!
And hugging is my favorite!

We all got on Jaguar and rode it together with our arms up,
excited to conquer it and celebrate!

I remember watching the survivors riding together last year.
It was an honor to ride with them this year.

I loved coming off the ride and being greeted by my family 
who have been my greatest support and inspiration!

I am so thankful to Knott's for this day of love, laughter, and inspiration.
I smiled so much my cheeks hurt!
Truly one of the best days of my life!!

You can read more about it and see some great pictures from the OC Register!

Bring your families to Knott's and celebrate with them too!
Celebrate life and love and all the precious gifts we have been given!

When you visit Knott's Berry Farm from now until March 27, 2015,
and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Komen Orange County
for local breast cancer prevention services and treatment.
No woman should ever have to go without cancer treatment 
because they can't afford it or don't know where to go to get well.
I feel so fortunate to be receiving such great medical care,
and want that for all my breast cancer sisters!

In addition to the "Pink Ticket," you can also purchase memorabilia at Knott's
to benefit Komen Orange County and honor the remarkable women battling breast cancer.
Knott's raised $100,000 last year and I think we can double it in 2015!

The park is beautiful all dressed up in pink and you will love all the special touches
and seeing Knott's all lit up PINK as the sun goes down!

Hope to see you soon at Knott's Berry Farm!


1 comment:

DanaS said...

What a beautiful, inspiring post. So well-written and heartfelt. I wish you blessings on your journey.


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