Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dusting off the blog for a shameless ask.....

A blog post to do nothing but ask for $$$.  But, I wouldn't ask if I didn't believe. 

I am walking in May in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This 39 mile walk supports many institutions to fund various research initiatives including programs at Mass General, Dana Farber, Beth Israel and Harvard Medical School.  One of the research trials I personally find most interesting is a grant they have given to Tuft's University to study the link between environmental chemicals and breast cells.  They also donate money to community outreach to help those who can't afford treatment and to programs to help survivors. 

Why am I walking and what drives me to swallow my pride and ask for help???  In two letters -- MO!!!  I need to find a way to honor my friend Maurine, who impacted me beyond what I could ever describe.  I also want to do something to remember a beautiful little 9 year old girl named Emma, a 29 year old friend, Bridget, and my mom and Mike's mom and many others that I have witnessed be diagnosed with any type of cancer in the past few years.

But let me try to tell you about Mo, in case you didn't know her.  It was 4 years ago that I met Maurine.  I was just completing my breast cancer treatments at the time and Mo, well, she was dealing with a breast cancer recurrence and losing her hair for the second - but not the last time. It was fate that I met the woman who would change me forever.  The world has since lost, but will NEVER FORGET Maurine.  We walked together in the Komen 3Day to support breast cancer research.  It was magical and we walked again the next year and the year after that.  Many of you supported me then and I am so very thankful for that. There is a video done by New Balance documenting our walk first walk together that I will forever be grateful for. Please watch and get to know my friend Mo.  You won't easily forget her.

Now that you know a bit more about Mo - I can attest to the fact that she was awesome.  First - she was a light.  Her light shined wherever she went.  She was always happy and positive no matter what her circumstance and her circumstance really was never very good from the day I met her.  She always had a way with words and she was one of the funniest woman I have ever met.  No, I'll give the the title of the funniest.  She should have been a comedian.  She was a gift to me and so many - especially my children. They both say she became mom #2 to them and I have watched their pain at her passing.  We talk about her often.   You never really thought of Mo as sick, even though, deep down you knew she was very, very sick.  Her smil0e, one-liners and attitude carried her so far and she touched so many people. There literally is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her in some way. I watched her fight and smile and touch others until the very end.  Her giving is what touched me the most.  She gave 200% of herself to so many causes and so many people.  If we could all be half of what Mo taught the world to be....

I also choose to walk for personal and selfish reasons --  to ensure the future of my two daughters, who now have a line of breast cancer in their family and for my own future.  Because of my work with the Tough Warrior Princesses, I witness on a regular basis, the pain and struggles of those diagnosed with breast and other types of cancer.  It is heart-wrenching when you are surrounded by it on a regular basis.  There is so much need that comes with a diagnosis, all of which could be fulfilled with a cure.

I need to raise $1800 in the next 8 weeks and I find it appropriate that I am saying yes to this journey - even though I am a planner and need to do things MONTHS in advance.  Mo taught me to do things on a dime and not worry about the outcome.   She taught me people first.  When there was a need, she never said "no" or "I can't".  She simply organized the next fundraiser and somehow got the impossible done.  Period.   I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Mo wants us to do this to help contribute to the research that may one day find the cure. 

Therefore, I ask for your help.  If you would like to donate, please go to:  My Avon Walk Page.

On another note:  There is still time to sign up for the Triathlon for the YWCA and Tough Warrior Princesses.  It is being held next weekend on March 23rd at the YWCA in Newburyport.  This is a triathlon for every BODY.  No worries if you aren't an athlete --- heck - I can't even swim.  I plan to dog paddle across the pool.  If you want to sign up or want more information go to our registration page.  It is a good way to practice for other events or just come out and be active for the day.  Teams are welcome too! 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your consideration. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Create a Personal Challenge for yourself

As winter approaches I always seem to struggle.  All of my commitment to diet and exercise has started to wane, as it seems to every year at this time.  I think I'm using this blog to pump myself up and get myself back to 'me.'

Last month, I completed my first half marathon. I felt I needed to do this to continue to challenge myself and because God has given me a body that is able to - so why not?!   Think you can't do this?  I can assure you - you CAN!!!  I simply followed a 3 times per week training plan and started from step #1.  My goal was simply to finish and I did.  It was tough, but doable.  I never plan to run a marathon, but I do plan to do the 13.1 distance again. What I learned through this challenge is that pushing through the barriers in your mind can truly set you free.  Our minds truly can limit what we do and change how we are feeling.  Running, because every step is hard for me, helps me to get inside my mind and challenge my beliefs and what is possible.  It is parallel to challenges you face in life and how you choose to perceive them.  It also reminded me how people in your life make all the difference.  I had an AWESOME cheering section of friends and family that popped up all along the route.  The encouragement and love they shared, especially near the end when it got really tough for me, was phenomenal.  What a difference they made - I can say if they weren't there my perception of that run would have changed 100%.  Just like in life, it is the people you surround yourself with and the love that gets you through.  Remember, just one word or one act of kindness can entirely change someone's journey.

The Tough Warrior Princesses are also trying to promote the lifestyle approach to doing what is in your control to prevent cancer.  We are working to partner with business in fitness and health.  We are currently working with the YWCA of Newburyport to plan a triathlon.  The difference with this triathlon is that it will be doable for all -- you swim in the pool at the YWCA at your pace -- you swim for a time limit - not a distance.  You swim your distance - your way.  Some might make a 1/2 mile or more -- I know I will dog paddle my way across the pool.  Same with the bike - we will use stationary bikes.  Then we will use the Newburyport Rail Trail for the run/walk portion.  Start thinking about challenging yourself to do this.  More details to follow in the coming months.  TRY our TRI!!!

Please, please vote!!!!  The Anna Jacques hospital is opening the Gerrish Breast Center and in promoting the new endeavor, they have entered a national video contest.  If they win the video contest, The Tough Warrior Princesses will be awarded the $25,000 prize to further our mission of helping women with cancer.  Please go to and watch and VOTE Now.  Share with your friends and vote every day until November 8th.

TWP have a lot going on.  If you haven't seen our newsletter with event highlights.  Please click here!  We need you to join the army.  One small act that you take can really help us.  Whether it is hitting share on Facebook, liking our Tough Warrior Princess page, driving a patient to treatment, delivering a meal or sending a card.  We post our needs on our Facebook page, please join us there.  Upcoming events include a craft fair with wine, Dining for Dollars at the Longhorn Steakhouse and Emma's Pen Pal Adventure. The newsletter contains all of the details.

So, now I ask you.  What is your next Personal Challenge?  Is it to spend more time on yourself, take a walk every day, eat better, run a 5k. etc.   I need my next challenge.  Anyone have any ideas?



Friday, August 30, 2013

Honoring our loved ones

HONORING EMMA, Bridget, Mo and Mom forever - Who are you honoring?

I am so blessed!  I am healthy and forging onward.  I wish I could say the same for the four warriors who have shaped my life in ways unimaginable. Emma Journeay, Maurine Turcotte, Bridget Spence and my awesome MOM.  I could write for hours and hours about each of these incredible warriors.  All taken way too early to cancer.  NO words will ever do justice to what each of them experienced and how they each lived through it with courage and taught those around them to live.  For these three, and for my mom, who taught me courage, giving back,  a positive attitude and a belief beyond what we see, are critical to living a happy life and helping those around us who may not be. I am also honoring my friend Peter Devereaux.  See his blog .  Peter is living with metastatic breast cancer.  His story and the cause of his cancer is alarming.  He recently had a setback and I think of him every day.   

Take a moment to think of people in your life past and present and what they have taught you.  Honor them.  Take a moment to comment here on the blog and write about the people you honor.  It is healing and gives us all a way for them to live on.  

An Update on The Tough Warrior Princesses:

On August 17th and 18th, some of our Tough Warrior Princesses participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event.  My favorite part of the event was the remembrance tent that we set up.  Anyone at the event could come to our tent and hang a name or a message for a loved one lost or battling cancer.  We were also taking requests by Facebook.  It was such an honor to be able to write down other's loved ones names and take a moment to honor them.  Listening to all of the names of people lost to cancer being announced at the relay was somber.   I heard so many names of past friends, acquaintances and loved ones.  It was humbling and scary to think how many are lost to this dreaded disease.  

Hopefully, by being at this event, people in the community are more aware of the resources we provide to those fighting.  Thank you to all who supported us and to Cheryl Woodsom, who organized everything.  

Last month, we had 15 princesses take part in the Komen 3-Day / 60 Mile event.  I did not walk this year, as I wanted my fundraising efforts to focus on Tough Warrior Princess non-profit and our local mission.  The team this year had heavy hearts, but they turned that into love and joy.  They walked for so many - but especially Maurine, Emma and Bridget.   They took what they learned from Maurine and treasured and enjoyed every moment of the journey. It was inspiring to watch them.  The young team members Alexa and Dylan were just awesome to watch, each raising over $2,300 for the cause.   Then we had Maddie, Mia and Tyler serving on the Youth Corp. team.  What an absolute inspiration these young kids are.  I got to stand on the sidelines these three days with a great group of cheerleaders for our team.  We followed them everywhere with our "In Memory of Mo" signs.  So many women and men came up to us and told us stories of Maurine and how they had met her on previous walks.  We even had a team member this year from western MA.  Melissa - she joined our team because she had the honor of walking a few miles with Maurine last year and was forever impacted.  When she joined our team, she didn't realize that Mo had passed. She thought she would walk beside her - in spirit, she did.   I got to cheer beside Maurine's husband, Jim. He honored every single walker as the came in to camp and wouldn't leave until the last walker arrived in.  He so sincerely thanked each person for walking and was overwhelmed with Maurine memories and stories from the participants.  I can't imagine the range of emotions that Tyler and Dylan went through these three days.  They certainly know how one person can have a HUGE impact.  They learned from the very best.  

On June 27th, the Tough Warrior Princess organization had the great opportunity to help the Commonwealth Newburyport Cancer Center with their annual Cancer Survivor Celebration.  This event is a beautiful night for cancer survivors and their all-important caregivers.  It was held at the Newburyport Firehouse Theatre.  Interlocks was there offering 'Look Your Best' makeup sessions and a great spread of food was done by 17 State Street Cafe. Survivors had the opportunity to describe what Hope meant to them and the stories were read on stage.  Denise Desimone, a stage 4 cancer survivor and a talented speaker and musician inspired us with her words and astounded us with her beautiful voice, despite the fact that her cancer was throat and neck. She is proof that sometimes what seems impossible can be overcome.  Alexa also had the opportunity to perform her dance solo at the event.  She danced to "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" by Martina McBride.  It is quite an emotional display and it is a dedication to Maurine Turcotte.  Many, many thanks for the Commonwealth Newburyport Cancer Center for funding such an event and including us in it.  

We have a great opportunity with a contest that Anna Jacques Hospital is involved with in the upcoming opening of the Gerrish Breast Care Center.   They are participating in the 2013 Medline Pink Glove Dance competition.  This is a national music video competition where hospitals compete for a chance to win a $25,000 towards the charity of their choice.  AJH has selected The Tough Warrior Princesses to be the recipient of that $25,000 award in the event that they win!!  We are now looking for anyone that wants to represent us in the video's grand finale scene.  It will be a large crowd that will participate in a 30-second dance sequence. Please join us outside at the Main Entrance of the Hospital, wearing a TWP or pink t-shirt and jeans - at 5:30 p.m. on September 12th.  (Rain Date September 16th).  No dance experience required, just enthusiasm.  No RSVP is needed.  

What's next?  We continue to get referrals to those newly diagnosed.  Our survivor baskets are in demand and we are working on ways to fund more in the future.  We are looking for businesses to get involved to donate goods and services to those newly diagnosed.  Our Outreach committee is working on creating a wider list of resources and contacts for survivors.  

There are many of us that are participating in the Dana-Farber Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund walk on September 8th.  We do this to raise funds to honor Emma Journeay and support research on neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the nerve tissues.  Follow this link and join our team!  Make sure you join the team 'Every Step for Emma.'  

Our belief is that we can create an army of volunteers who simply stand ready to help when possible.  Please be sure you are on our newsletter and email list.  If you haven't already liked the Tough Warrior Princess page on FB, please do.  By having everyone interested connected, one post or email stating that we need help to give a ride, prepare a meal, etc. can be met easily.  

Lastly, consider playing in the Roberta Mellon Memorial golf tournament.  This year is our 3rd Annual at the Amesbury Golf and Country Club.  This tournament was founded to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes and funds go to Katie Mellon's walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The tournament also raises a portion of the proceeds for the Amesbury High School golf team.  The event is to be held on Friday, October 11th this year. Please contact me for more information.  


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Change is Hard

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” 
― Eckhart Tolle

Change is Hard

After 3 years of walking in the Komen 3Day, I am hanging up my sneakers.  At least for this year.  It is such a tough, emotional decision.  I have met the MOST INSPIRING and AWESOME group of people participating in the 3 Day.  It is, without doubt, part of who I am.  It  is painful to make the decision not to walk.  However, I am feeling overwhelmed and need to make some choices.

Without doubt, the Susan G. Komen organization has helped in developing drugs and trials that have helped me personally and are literally keeping friends of mine alive through their funding of research.  I feel my efforts in fundraising over the last 3 years have contributed a lot and I am proud.  I will continue to support Komen and volunteer for them in any way I can.  I will be at the 3 Day, whether Crewing for them or cheering for the walkers.  Nothing will keep me away.  The thought of not walking with my team TWP, this year, is heartbreaking.   I so enjoy the walk and the good it brings out in everyone.  But I know in my heart I am focused on the right things for me right now.  

YOU, my friends, my family and business friends have supported me like no other support system and I don't want to wear out my welcome. Thank you all who have supported me financially or in words and encouragement.  I am truly blessed and so thankful!!  

 I now feel the need to focus on a couple of things that are near and dear to my heart - They are the Tough Warrior Princess organization and Juvenile Diabetes Research.

Tough Warrior Princess - This year our Non Profit has helped so many local women and families suffering with cancer.  Small ways and big ways.  I feel so proud of what we have accomplished and need to focus efforts to keep us growing.  It is difficult when it is an all volunteer effort.  So much needs to be done and so little time to accomplish.  I love seeing exactly where the money we have raised goes and how it impacts each person.  We have such a great base of volunteers and supporters and we need to work keep it all together and improve.  I want to focus on that and not be sidetracked.  There are good things ahead for this group and I'm excited to be a part of it.  I feel the need to send out our message, that TWP is not a breast cancer walking group and it is not about only breast cancer - we support women in our local community with any type of cancer.  Cancer sucks and those who have to endure the journey deserve some love and support and TWP is all about showing support.

Juvenile Diabetes Research  -  I can't even begin to tell you how Juvenile Diabetes Sucks!!  It is a life long condition and there is no cure.  Juvenile Diabetes or Type 1, unlike Type 2 Diabetes, is an autoimmune disease caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreas and kills off the cells that produce insulin.  It is not known what causes this to happen.  Insulin is a hormone that enables the body to get energy from food.  Type 1 diabetics need insulin continuously to live.  Type 1 diabetics are constantly monitoring blood sugars to do what their body can no longer do.  If your blood sugar is too high, you can develop ketoacidosis- a life threatening condition.  If you are too low, no sugar is getting to your brain for you to function.  A life threatening condition that can happen very quickly.   Watching my daughter, Katie manage and live with this is hard and stressful.  Long term outcomes are scary.  Short term common illnesses are scary, because they interfere with blood sugars.  I feel like there is a cure within reach and need to make sure I do all I can to be a part of fundraising to support the research and new technologies that are being developed to make a diabetic's life easier.   Money we raise goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is a charity that is doing amazing work and has improved the life of diabetes immensely through their research.   

Lastly, on September 8th I will be walking 26.2 miles in the Jimmy Fund walk in Boston to show support for my friend and inspiration, Tina, who lost her 9 year old daughter, Emma, to neuroblastoma.  I think of Emma every day and so many children who have had to endure cancer.  We need to find a way to a world without cancer.

Stress causes your body's immune system to be weakened.  After cancer, I promised myself to not be the stressed out, crazy person I used to be.  This year I have felt myself slipping back into old habits and this is my way of taking steps to be sure I stay healthy.

Thank you all for your love and support.


“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Fork in the Road

Wow, it's been a crazy summer and I have been neglectful of this blog.  There is so much going on with TWP, I would like to share some bits and pieces. 

First and most importantly I want to send out love to Tina Journeay and her family.  Tina is the Treasurer of TWP and her 9 year old beautiful daughter just lost her fight with Neuroblastoma.  No words can ever express to Tina how much she is loved and how we wish we could take away her pain.  Emma was the youngest Tough Warrior Princess and she was also the strongest.  

To honor Emma, many TWP members are joining a team called EVERY STEP FOR EMMA.  This team will walk for The Dana Farber Jimmy Fund Walk on September 9th.  Please consider joining our team or making a donation to one of the team members.  I have hit my goal, but Alexa and Katie have both signed up and need to reach goal, as many other teammates do.  This link goes to Alexa's fundraising page.  She needs to raise $300. This link goes to Katie's fundraising page, she needs to raise $100. To donate to another member of our team you can go to the TEAM page from either of these links.  We all wonder what we can do and feel HELPLESS.  This is what we know how to do.  We know how to fundraise and we know how to walk.  We need to END CANCER! Every Step for Emma.

At the end of July Alexa and I, along with my wonderful team of TWP's, embarked upon another 60 Mile journey for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.  It was so bittersweet this year, as Tina was unable to be with us except for the opening and closing ceremonies.  The heartache in the air was thick, but so was the magic.  Thank you to every Princess who took the journey. Most especially, thank you to my beautiful daughter Alexa.  I am grateful for the experience I shared with her and so proud of her incredible fundraising efforts and spunk and positivity for the entire 60 mile walk.   Let's put an end to breast cancer.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every person who donated to this cause.  The team was able to raise almost $70,000 this year.

                                        As always, Dad and Tucky are there to support us!

From Left to Right - The TWP Cancer Survivors - Me, Tina Journeay, Sherri Ziomek, Sandy Schneider, Dana Fagerquist, Maurine Turcotte and Allison Jaloszynski
                                                               The 2012 Walk Team 

                                                                My daughter Alexa

Tough Warrior Princess as an organization is growing and changing rapidly and I feel passion for our purpose like never before.  I am starting to see more and more direct impact from our efforts.  

We have been able to help some phenomenal women, men and families lately and it is more than an honor for us to do so.  The appreciation of small things that we can do is amazing.   The needs keep rolling in and the needs keep getting larger.  When a woman is dealing with cancer and can't afford basic essentials for her children it is heart wrenching.  Being forced back to work, while coping with debilitating side effects and trying to hold it all together with all the stress is unimaginable.  If we can lighten anyone's load in any way, we do it.  

Our survivor baskets have been a huge hit, thanks to a grant from the The Institution for SavingsThe first contact with any person we help is the Survivor Basket.  These are filled with helpful items someone might need when faced with surgeries, chemo and radiation.  The baskets are customized to the type of cancer and the individual's family situation and needs. 

Our fundraising efforts for TWP continue.  We had a Flatbread fundraiser night that brought in over $700.  Many, many thanks go out to Flatbread, as they have supported us for 3 years now.  They have also offered to put Flatbread gift cards in our survivor baskets.  Things like this really go a long way.  

There is a sunset river cruise on Sept. 2nd and proceeds will be donated to us.  What an honor - a fundraiser planned for us!  Doesn't get much better.  Sorry all, the boat is already sold out!!  

We are working on a calendar - The Men of Amesbury support Cancer Awareness.  Each month of the calendar will represent a different type of cancer and feature that cancer's associated color.  We have many groups participating including our esteemed Mayor Thatcher Kezer, the Amesbury Police Dept, many local youth sports teams, our Veteran's, etc.  The calendars will be sold in participating shops down town starting in October.  

October brings breast cancer awareness month.  We are planning to light Amesbury Pink.  Pink light bulbs will be available at Amesbury Industrial Supply.  Stay tuned for more details.  Each year, we hope to light the town a different color one month of the year.  

We also have our annual Princess Tea Party in October!  Last year was AMAZING and this year is looking to be bigger and better.  

We have just partnered with a company called Op4G.  This company out of Portsmouth, NH is a market research community benefiting Non-Profits through paid survey activities taken by members.  Please consider becoming a member of Op4G today and choosing The Tough Warrior Princesses as your charity of choice.  When surveys become available to members, you receive an email telling you what the survey is and how much $ it will generate for your charity.  We would be honored if you took this action on our behalf.  Go to today and choose Join Us!

All funds from these fundraisers go directly to Tough Warrior Princesses.  We are 100% volunteer based and have no overhead.  Your money goes directly to LOCAL women and their families impacted by cancer. Not just breast cancer... ANY type of cancer. 

This weekend was our debut with the YWCA!  We have partnered with the YWCA of Newburyport and their Encore program.  The motto between our organizations is "Embracing the Possibilies."   The YWCA Encore program is a free session based program designed specifically for those who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their lives. Incorporating gentle exercises, relaxation techniques, information and peer group support, it is safe, fun and therapeutic. The land exercise program is specially designed to target areas that have been affected by breast cancer surgery and treatment. Gentle, but effective exercises improve strength, mobility and flexibility while the warm water aquatic program relieves affected muscles. The peer group support sessions provide an opportunity for people to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment.  Participation is free and no membership is required.  The families of the TWP joined together with women participating in the Encore program and had a pool and garden party celebrating the partnership.  It was fantastic.  We are so very lucky to have partnered with this wonderful organization.  A huge thank you goes out to Charlene Dolan and Danielle Holmes of Dolan Financial Services in Amesbury, MA.  They  provided the food and supplies for the pool party and were the people who got us in touch with the YWCA in the first place.  They have been invaluable to us in so many aspects and TWP wouldn't be where they are today or what we will be in the future without them.  
                                                                                    The joint logo - I love this!!

Lastly, I invite you to come join the fun.  On Wednesday, September 19th, TWP is having it's first open, general meeting.  Anyone is invited.  We are looking to brainstorm and plan for our future.  We will be meeting at the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank at 43 Main Street in Amesbury, MA at 7:00 p.m.  We need you!!

 Meetings not for you?  You can become a member for $10.00 and support us just by that fee or select other volunteer opportunities.  Go to to join. 

Or, simply Share or forward this blog.  It may touch someone to join Every Step for Emma or come out to a meeting.  Every little thing counts!

I am hoping everyone had a wonderful summer.  I know I am looking forward to getting back to some structure and cooler days.  Thank you for taking the time to let me share the TWP story and as always, thank you for the support!  I hope you take a moment here to say a prayer for the Journeay family.  




Saturday, June 2, 2012


It's a rainy Saturday morning and I am blessed to be quietly reflecting and drinking my warm coffee.  I am thinking about friends and acquaintances and people who are heroes to me and why. 

Let's start with Kelsey - my young 11 year old friend who holds her birthday party each year and asks her friends to donate to my annual walk.  She has officially raised over $5,000 for my walk in the 3 years she has done this.  Her personal life story and her struggles makes most people's pale in comparison.  Her journey is tough, but she is tougher!  Check out the new addition to the Tough Warrior Princess website - Kelsey's Corner.

Then, there is a young girl who is turning 9 this weekend.   My friend Emma.  Her mom and grandmother are breast cancer survivors.  Emma is battling stage IV Neuroblastoma.  This has been going on for almost a year and Emma has faced beyond grueling treatments and is about to be admitted for another month of stem cell transplants.  The horror of what she has faced and is going through now is so far beyond words.  This girl is STRONG.  This girl is a hero.  Check out the article about her in the Newburyport news.
Consider becoming part of Emma's Penpal Adventure Around the World on Facebook.

Then, we have Emma's mom, Tina.  Talk about amazing beyond words...  A breast cancer survivor and Treasurer of the Tough Warrior Princess organization.  Tina teaches Emma how to fight and how to appreciate life and not let it get you down.  Tina continues to stay connected to her friends for love and support.  She attends Tough Warrior Princess meetings, contributes as if there is nothing else going on in her life, and continues to go on training walks with our team as life permits.  She also helps her mom fight a battle with breast cancer at the same time.  She is a constant ray of sunshine as she teaches us how to appreciate our lives in a quiet way. 

I am also watching a few of my dear friend's children graduate this year.  It is so strange to look back and know I have watched these kids since they were little.  I have watched their parents influence on their lives and am proud to call these parents my friends.  I have learned a lot watching them and hope to be as successful in my parenting.  I have had some great examples to follow. 

The Tough Warrior Princess organization continues to grow.  We got some coverage in our local paper and that has been a blessing in connecting us and our cause to our community.   We had our annual 'Dance Like a Princess' silent auction event this past month and are blessed with the success and support.  With even more expenses this year, our event raised a net of $17,000.  This $17,000 goes to two places - the Tough Warrior Princess portion of the funds goes to our mission of helping women and their families impacted by cancer of any type.  The other portion of the funds goes to the other part of our mission in raising funds for breast cancer research in hopes of finding a cure.  The funds are divided between the walkers on our team that are walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. 

We are thankful for the support.  The businesses in our local communities and the support of friends and family far and wide make it possible. 

Stay tuned as we explore new opportunities to expand our mission of helping women with cancer. 
We are working on our first official newsletter and welcoming new members who want to help suppport our mission.  To learn more go to

Back to Heroes -- Take a moment this weekend to quietly honor the heroes in your life.  I bet there are many!!


Patty Mellon

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Magic when you need it most!

There are times I must admit that I wonder if we did the right thing in starting the Tough Warrior Princess non-profit organization. Some days it seems daunting. The auction items for our May silent auction fundraiser are coming in much slower this year, as are donations and it gets stressful.  We want to pull off the best fundraising event possible. It's the Type A personality in me and in a lot of our committed teammates. I am realizing more and more that there just is not time to fit it all in and be able to do everything you want to do.

We had a TWP board meeting this week and our worries were dicussed. After the board meeting, I felt better, as we accomplished a lot. One of the topics were that we didn't know how we would get a cake donated for our event this year. Another topic was wondering if we were going to get the grant we had applied for to start doing survivor baskets. Another worry that I had this week is my own fundraising for my Komen walk.

We have always said the there is something called TWP magic. It often happens when we are all together, but there are so many serendipitous events that have led us to where we are it is almost a magical journey. Well, in true style and just when we needed the boost, TWP magic struck again!!! The morning after our TWP board meeting, we get a new membership form submitted on our website -- it is a woman who had been to our event last year and was wanting to be able to help. Guess what she offered?!.... To donate a cake for our event!!! 

Today, we received word that we got the grant from the Institution for Savings!!! Our very first grant!!! This grant will be used to make Survivor Gift Baskets. These baskets will contain various items one needs when going through a cancer dianosis and treatment. We want to really show our support for women with a cancer diagnosis and help her through it. The basket will be the first symbol of our commitment and caring.

Then, I was contacted by my very favorite people -- Kelsey and her mom. Kelsey is the young girl who, for the last 2 years, has held her birthday party and asks that her gifts be in the form of donations to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure to help support my walk! They let me know that once again, Kelsey has chosen to do yet another birthday party without gifts for her, but gifts that she hope will help others. Kelsey's personal story is one of strength, determination, power and love like I have never seen. I have written about her in my past blogs. Her story is more than magic.

Another exciting thing on the horizon is the connection we have made with a company called The b Positive Project. I ran into the company when running in a 5k last year and bought a great tshirt with their logo.  Their message.. b Inspired b Motivated b Positive. The purchase of this TShirt helped fund the charity that had sponsored this particular 5k. b Positive, in their line of business, helps charities succeed and espouses a fantastic message. We are now in talks with them to get a line of clothing with our Princess on the front, but also the b Positive logo! Sales of these shirts will further help fund our cause and help us get word out about The Tough Warrior Princesses.   (If you go to their website and buy anything, please use TWP code so 20% of proceeds come back to us!)

So, wrapping up the week, my attitude has shifted back to that of power and hope. I am back to being inspired, motivated and positive!! That is where my attitude belongs.
Please, please mark your calendars for May 19th. Our 3rd Annual Dance Like a Princess Silent Auction will be held at the Holy Family Parish Hall in Amesbury. Tickets can be purchased online at

Thank you all for your support!!