Several years ago I had the honour and privilege of working with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I was thrilled that they had decided to include so many of their stake-holders in the brainstorming session, specifically their corporate sponsors, staff, survivors, and their volunteers.
The focus of the session was to generate fresh new ideas for their ongoing fundraising initiatives.
All of the work that I do with non-profits is incredibly meaningful and rewarding, so I was very excited about being ask to help!
I arrived at their offices at the crack of dawn to set up the room, lay out all of the name tags, and make sure every tiny detail was in order. When I walked in, it felt like I was being given a huge, warm, pink hug! Everything … and I mean EVERYTHING was pink!
As the guests arrived, greeting each other with more hugs, and sipping their coffee from pink mugs, I realized that this was a very, very special ‘family’.
As the morning unfolded, the pink walls of the boardroom became covered with colorful drawings, Post-It Notes, scribbles, bits of Play-Doh, and a proliferation of fantastic, new fundraising ideas.
We laughed, we cried … and we created together!
I was astonishing by how much there was to learn about breast cancer – the research, the statistics, and the immense amount of money required to keep moving forward with finding a cure. By far the most powerful and emotional part of the day was the survivor stories.
Throughout everything I learned that day from the inspiring breast cancer family, there was one statistic that hit me hard … ‘it is estimated that approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime!’
Fast forward 6 months. That same statistic was forefront in my mind as I sat on a gurney watching the examining doctor put my biopsy sample in a specimen container. She placed my container on a large shiny tray with 7 others that had presumably been taken earlier that day. This now felt like I was playing a scary game of Russian roulette!
One of those 8 specimen containers was going to test positive for breast cancer.
It did, and it was mine.
The journey I embarked on over the next several months with the doctors, nurses, technicians, surgeons, volunteers, and radiologists was one of the most positive and enlightening of my life.
I saw and experienced firsthand how all of the big ideas we created helped to raise money for breast cancer, helped to fund the research, helped to purchase the equipment, helped to train the doctors, the nurses, the surgeons and the technicians. I think it even helped to purchase the juice boxes and cookies so lovingly set out in the waiting rooms by the tireless, smiling volunteers.
October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, and raising funds to help the ‘1 in 8 women who will develop breast cancer during their lifetime!’
Please walk, run, donate, or support this incredible cause in any way that you can.
I am now 100% healthy and the doctors tell me that I have less than a 1% chance of the breast cancer reoccurring.
Big ideas can and do make a big difference!