Little did I know that this would open the floodgates - I soon became a blogging ambassador for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer and Blood Diseases center. And shortly thereafter I was referring my friend Jennae to their services when her four year old Ja’Naya was diagnosed with leukemia. And now of course, I’ve successfully raised over $4000 for the Leukemia and Lymphomia Society with team in training and will be running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in honor of Ja’Naya and in memory of my Aunt Helen and cousin George.
When I was in New York I visited the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge which provides free housing for patients undergoing treatment. What a remarkable place and meeting volunteers and residents furthered my resolve to raise awareness about cancer. I was also inspired when I visited the set of the Today Show and while awaiting my interview for Today’s Moms, I met a woman visiting NY currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. We talked about her trip, dealing with her illness and her children’s desire to protect her. We bonded - I as the child of a person with a chronic disease and she as a mom.
With all of these touchpoints in my life, it is clear that the message needs to get out. There are things that we can do to reduce our risk of getting cancer and also get an early diagnosis. Diet and exercise, self-breast exam, mammography at 40 are all things that we can do. This evening Mom It Forward’s Girl’s Night Out #GNO is all about cancer. I hope that you can join the discussion - we have members of the ACS Bloggers Council, a staff member from ACS and one of our members currently undergoing treatment.