One of my goals the past few months has been to write a “Dear Thyroid” letter and submit it to the Dear Thyroid site.  I finally wrote the letter!! Yay!! I’m so excited for you to read it.  I found it quite therapeutic to write.

I posted my Dear Thyroid letter called “RIP my Thyroid, August 1973 – January 2009” on my blog this week, but I had to take it down. Why? Well after posting it on my blog,  I found out that Dear Thyroid will only publish original content.  (Ok, I get it. Rules are rules!)  I do admit, I did not read all the requirements set by Dear Thyroid before submitting my letter. So I have learned my lesson 🙂

I will post the link to my letter on the Dear Thyroid site as soon as they post it. Stay tuned for details…

3/10/10 UPDATE :  Dear Thyroid still has not posted my Dear Thyroid post so I might post the letter on my blog after all. Stay tuned!

3/22/10 UPDATE TO UPDATE: Dear Thyroid posted my Dear Thyroid letter today!!! WooHoo!! Please take a looksy at http://dearthyroid.org/rip-my-thyroid/and share your comments.  Thank you in advance 🙂


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
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

One of the awesome things that I have found about this blog is that it has drawn in some amazing readers. So if you are reading this right now, then you are one of them!!! I have been very touched by how so many of you have found inner strength and moved forward after your cancer diagnosis.  Let’s keep the motivation going by commenting here about how you have moved forward after being diagnosed with having cancer.  How did having cancer give you that push to take a chance at something new? There is such a huge list out there and this is your place to comment about it.  Are you moving forward? Well, what are you waiting for?  Start commenting!


Dear Thyroid posted my letter to my thyroid on their site at http://dearthyroid.org/rip-my-thyroid/ and I encourage you to take a visit over to see it.  Below is the beginning of my Dear Thyroid letter…

Dear Thyroid,

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by without you regulating my metabolism, hormones, body temperature and energy level.  You were a good gland and did the best that you could do with the hand you were dealt.  We spent over 35 years together, yet I never knew you until …(To read the rest, go to http://dearthyroid.org/rip-my-thyroid/)

One year ago, I was preparing for my upcoming thyroidectomy.  There were “To Do” lists to get done, lots of doctors appointments and all kind of things to get finished at work before I was out for two weeks recovering.  I was scared to have the surgery, but even more scared not to have it.  I wanted to be free of thyroid cancer.

What a difference a year makes.  Today, I’m a thyroid cancer survivor and finalizing the paperwork and arrangements for closing on my very own condo!  I’m going to be a home owner!!!  I would have never imagined that in almost a year from the date of my thyroidectomy surgery, I would be signing the papers to home ownership.  I’m moving forward.  Life is so good!

Wings of Hope Week 9 Update
1/25/10 – 1/31/10

*Written by our Wings of Hope team captain Chris Kidwell 

There are only 76 days left until the Relay for Life at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland! After nine weeks, we are still the number one team with $2,276.00 raised. However, Team SASH is quickly closing in on us with $2,029.43 raised.

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 some exciting news this week: Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center has agreed to give us the space required to host a bake sale for our team and the event! The date is still to be determined, but we are hoping for early March. Angel McMellin has been absolutely amazing in getting this event organized and we couldn’t be prouder of her efforts. She will need help with running the event and also with producing baked goods. So dust off your mixing bowls, break out your recipe books, and email her at angelmcmellin@live.com to volunteer.

Be on the lookout for a special update once we have finalized the date and time for our bake sale.

Please keep Jennifer Bridge in your prayers and thoughts this week. On Tuesday, February 2nd, she will be receiving her latest test results from her endocrinologist. We are confident that she is still in remission and has successfully kicked cancer’s @$$, but waiting for that appointment is still nerve wracking. Good luck, Jennifer!

We shouldn’t have to live like this. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you live blood test to blood test, ultrasound to ultrasound. And even after the cancer is gone, and you’re told you’re in remission, you still live with the fear of reoccurrence every round of testing. Life is hard and stressful enough without living with constant fear of the cancer reoccurring or forming a secondary cancer.

So please, help us find a cure for cancer and put a stop to our fears.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope