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 www.op4g.com 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 www.toughwarriorprincess.com 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.  




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