Relay for Life


How ironic.  A little over a year ago, I didn’t know if my speaking voice would ever be the same after my thyroidectomy.  Now I got asked to be one of the honorary speakers at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at JHU!  I’m blown away by it.  It is crazy in a very good way.  I keep going back and forth in my mind, thinking about when I was first diagnosed with cancer and how I was consumed with fear. I couldn’t really talk about it because there were not words to describe how I felt. But today, I’m a cancer SURVIVOR! I’m going to use my cancer-free vocal chords to let everyone know during my speech to never lose hope.  Fight the fight. Never give up because we never know what the future will bring.  

During my cancer treatment, I was in isolation and not allowed to have anyone within three feet of me during my radioactive iodine therapy.  I felt so alone.  There were days where I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed.  I didn’t know how I was going to face the world.  I was emotionally and physically tired.  I had to fake it until I made it.  I put one foot in front of the other and got better.  As I’m writing this, I’m overwhelming with gratitude thinking about standing in front of over a thousand people, as a cancer SURVIVOR, giving a speech about my journey.  It is an amazing feeling.  One I wish for everyone touched by cancer in some way.

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Wings of Hope Week 15 Update  3/8/10 – 3/15/10

Our progress as of March 15, 2010.
 
With only 32 days left until the relay, the heat is on! Team Baseball & Friends has come out of nowhere and is close to unseating us in first place. We are $1,039 away from our goal of $5,000 and I’m confident that we can exceed this marker if we just keep our momentum going!

As of March 15, 2010
 
We are pleased to welcome a new team member to Wings of Hope: Bob Bruce. He is relaying with us because his mother was an oncology nurse who passed away from cancer in 2004.

We would like to thank the following people for their generous donations to our cause: Irv Hamet, Diane Hamet, Ian Baumel, Ivan Hurwitz and Jody Clelland Richards.

 
Our team members as of March 10, 2010.
With the relay right around the corner, every day counts for our team in preparation for the event and in our fundraising efforts.

I am very pleased to announce that Darren Johnson has volunteered to head up our bake sale the day of the relay and he will be coordinating the donated baked goods. Please note: we are requiring each team member to donate a minimum of one item for the bake sale. So please contact Darren at daj1973@gmail.com.

Next, I would like to thank Jennifer Rudd Monath for volunteering to be in charge of campsite decorations. Her email address is jennimonath@gmail.com.

We still need one person to be in charge of coordinating food and beverages and another person to be in charge of coordinating campsite equipments (tents, sleeping bags, etc). Please contact me a chrisp730@yahoo.com if you want to learn more or volunteer for these opportunities.

And don’t forget to participate in our online discussion board on facebook. We’re currently asking every team member to give us in one sentence why you relay (and “Chris guilted me into it” is not a legitimate answer).

As always, thanks to our supporters and our team members for their tireless fundraising efforts.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

 
Team Captains Chris & Jenn

 

                                            as of 2.28.10
With only 47 days left until the relay, Wings of Hope has raised over $3,000.00! Thank you to those of you who have contributed to our success and have ultimately put us one step closer to a world without cancer!

This week is crunch time for our team and we need all the support we can get.

Thursday, March 4 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What’s going on…
Wings of Hope is holding a bake sale at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, 601 N Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD. Angel is furiously baking away in preparation for Thursday.

What we need…
1. We need volunteers to help us run the event any time from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2. We need more baked good donations.

Please contact Angel at angelmcmellin@live.com or myself at chrisp730@yahoo.com if you can help.

Also, please update your attendance status by Tuesday at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=305306920993&index=1

Thank you to…
– Kim Thompson who is donating her famously yummy red velvet cupcakes.
– Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center for allowing us to host our bake sale in their facility.

Friday, March 5 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

What’s going on…
RFL JHU Committee is hosting a Birthday Bash to raise money for the American Cancer Society at the Homewood Campus Beach. Wings of Hope will be distributing thyroid cancer awareness materials at the event.

 
                                         as of 2.28.10
What we need…
Volunteers to help us distribute pamphlets. Please update your attendance here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=298322843386&index=1

Thank you to…
ThyCa for donating our awareness literature.

Saturday, March 6 at 11:30 a.m.

What’s going on…
Wings of Hope is having our first (and only) team meeting prior to the April 16th relay at M&S Grill on Pratt Street in Baltimore, MD.

What we will be discussing…
– Introductions
– Our bake sale
– Fundraising efforts
– Logistics for April 16

What we need…
A final headcount by Thursday, March 4th. Please update your response on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=457912620132&index=1

Important Information For Team Members…
In order to get an official Relay for Life participant shirt, you MUST raise $100 by March 10, 2010!

Again, if you haven’t all ready, I encourage our team members to log in to their participant centers on the ACS website and start updating their personal pages for donations. There is also an application on facebook that will help you with meeting your $100 personal goals. Both of these tools will provide donators with official receipts from the American Cancer Society.

Online Fundraisers Update…

As of 2.28.10
 
Our first fundraiser for the $25 Macy’s Gift Card ends today. Unfortunately, no one on our team raised $500 in the month of February to win the contest.

Our second fundraiser is going strong thanks to our wonderful ladies at Dear Thyroid. We are encouraging the Dear Thyroid community to form fundraising teams to help us in our goal for the American Cancer Society. The first team to raise $3,000 wins TEN free “Invisible No More” bracelets; the first team to raise $1,500.00 wins FIVE free bracelets; the first team to raise $750.00 wins THREE free bracelets; and the first team to raise $500.00 wins TWO free bracelets. For more information, contact me or visit us at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010. The contest ends March 16th!

April 16th Update…
We at Wings of Hope are very excited to announce that our newest team member, Rona Taylor, will be providing our team with some amazing food the night of the relay. Thank you, Rona!

Thank you to every one for supporting us, our fundraising efforts, and our goal of living in a world free of cancer.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

*This update was written by our team captain Chris Kidwell
Wings of Hope Week 12 Update
2/15/10 – 2/21/10
*This update was written by our team Captain Chris Kidwell

 

The heat is on! There are only 54 days left until the Relay for Life at Johns Hopkins

 
As of February 20, 2010
 
University. We are 60% of the way to our goal with a total of $2,991.00. Who is going to be the person to break the $3,000.00 mark? Will it be you?

Again, if you haven’t all ready, I encourage our team members to log in to their participant centers on the ACS website and start updating their personal pages for donations. There is also an application on facebook that will help you with meeting your $100 personal goals. Both of these tools will provide donators with official receipts from the American Cancer Society.

We have a lot of exciting things happening the first week of March!

Thursday, March 4th from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., we are holding our own bake sale at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, 601 N Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD. We need food donations and volunteers to help us run our booth. You do not have to be a team member to help us, our supporters are just as important as our relayers. Please contact Angel (angelmcmellin@live.com) or myself (chrisp730@yahoo.com) if you want to help.

Friday, March 5th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., there is a relay wide fundraiser at Johns Hopkins University. We need volunteers and fundraising ideas. If you are interested or want more information, please contact me at chrisp730@yahoo.com.

Saturday, March 6th at 11:30 a.m. we have a team meeting at M&S Grill, 201 E Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD. This is an open meeting, so if you have joined team Wings of Hope yet please join us.

We are currently holding two online fundraisers: The first contest is all thanks to our wonderful friends and supporters at Dear Thyroid. We are encouraging the Dear Thyroid community to form fundraising teams to help us in our goal for the American Cancer Society. The first team to raise $3,000 wins TEN free “Invisible No More” bracelets; the first team to raise $1,500.00 wins FIVE free bracelets; the first team to raise $750.00 wins THREE free bracelets; and the first team to raise $500.00 wins TWO free bracelets. For more information, contact me or visit us at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010. The contest ends March 16th!

As of February 20, 2010
Our second online fundraiser is to reward one lucky team member. The first team member to raise $500 between February 7th and February 28th wins a $25 Macy’s Gift Card. Will it be Jennifer Bridge, Rachel Markus or Samantha Kidwell? Go to http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010 and donate in honor of your favorite team member today!

We would like to welcome our newest team member: Melissa Lorenzo. Welcome to the team!

As of February 20, 2010
 
As always, we would like to thank the generous souls who donated to Wings of Hope this week: Danielle Collins, Elena Primost, Robyn Goode, Karen Welsh-Mulachy, and Lisa Hensley.
It is crunch time. We need the support of everyone: our team members, our supporters, and our communities to ensure our success. As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to support Wings of Hope, so send us an email today!

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope – Week 10      1/31/10 – 2/6/10

*Written by our Wings of Hope Team Captain Chris Kidwell

There are only 69 days left until the Relay for Life at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland! We are still number one with a total of $2,296.00 raised, but Team SASH is quickly approaching us with a total of $2,229.43 raised. We need to ramp up our fundraising efforts quickly if we’re going to make our goal of $5,000.00
Our beautiful banner created by the very talented Angel.

Again, if you haven’t all ready, I encourage our team members to log in to their participant centers on the ACS website and start updating their personal pages for donations. There is also an application on facebook that will help you with meeting your $100 personal goals. Both of these tools will provide donators with official receipts from the American Cancer Society.
Angel McMellin is still working with Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center to secure a date for our bake sale. If you have an alternative location or want to help out, please email her at angelmcmellin@live.com.
We would like to welcome our newest team member: Samantha Kidwell.

We would like to congratulate Co-Captain Jennifer Bridge on her excellent test results. Jennifer is in remission from thyroid cancer and we couldn’t be prouder of her. She also bought her first home last week, so she has numerous reasons to celebrate her battle against cancer. We’d also like to applaud the very talented Angel McMellin for her beautiful banner that she created for the April1 16th relay.

So get out there, spread the word and help us with our fundraising goals. If you’ve all ready donated, please tell your friends and family about Wings of Hope and pass the word along. Don’t forget to visit our website at: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010 .

 
Until next week,

Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope Week 8 Update   1/17/10 – 1/24/10

*Written by our team captain, Chris Kidwell

Can you believe it’s been two months since we started Wings of Hope? I certainly can’t. What’s even more unbelievable to me is how well we are doing. After eight weeks, we are still the number one team out of 72 with $2,226.00 raised for the American Cancer Society. We have reached 45% of our goal and are responsible for 5.5% of all the money raised for the April 16th event.

We would like to thank Joyce Cole, an employee at Johns Hopkins Hospital for her generous donation last week. Joyce and I have never actually met, but she was the person responsible for my out-of-state patient scheduling when we first found my tumor in August 2008. She took amazing care of me via the telephone and e-mail during my treatment program.

I’d like to recap our amazing team members for our relay event: Co-Captain Jennifer Bridge, Lynne & Larry Bridge, Christina Colley, Mary DiMaggio, Jennifer Engesser, Brian Ferrina, Darren Johnson, Rachel Markus, and Angel McMellin.

Angel is still looking for a location to host our bake sale, so if you have any suggestions, please contact her.

We will be having a team meeting on Saturday, March 6th at 11:30 a.m. with the restaurant to be determined. It’s not too late to join our team or to help us in reaching our goals. So if you are interested in finding out more about what you can do for Wings of Hope and the American Cancer Society, please contact myself or Jennifer Bridge.

And as always, thanks to our thylicious sisters at Dear Thyroid for their continued support promoting our team.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

Our Wings of Hope team captain Chris has made the first sign for the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in April.  We are going to raise lots of money for it while having an awesome time with other cancer survivors and supporters.  Yay!

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