When life goes sideways, people close to me know they’ll usually find me in the kitchen. When I don’t have the answers, feel helpless, or the “waiting game” seems endless, it gives me something to focus on…something to DO. Obviously, lasagna isn’t going to fix anything, but it’s just what I do. When I don’t have the words, it gives me a way to say to someone, “I’m here, I care about you, I’m sorry you’re hurting or scared, and I promise to support you in any way I can.”
When my Mom's cancer returned after 10 years, it was scary and heartbreaking, and very hard not to get angry and stay that way. My Grandma was also facing her own battle with breast cancer at the time, giving our family more unwanted perspective on the disease, the treatment, and the progression. Always thankful for my family, there was some added comfort in the fact that my sisters and I have all ended up back in Brooks with our growing families close to Mom and Dad. Our little support system was in place, but dealing with all of this, staying positive, and supporting Mom, Grandma, and each other was going to require a lot more than muffins.
We were lucky growing up to always have amazing support from our family. My mom modeled the importance of helping others and always being there to give support when and where we’re able. Her lifelong support of her girls continues as we navigate marriage, motherhood, and achieving a balance between chasing our own dreams and raising happy, healthy families. We grew up asking “What can we do? How can we help?”…Now the questions became more focused… “What can we do to show our support to Mom? How can we help create a future without breast cancer?”
This ingrained need to do something and show my support is a big part of what drives me to work on the Pink Ribbon Project. I was so grateful to be able to work alongside my sisters and our dedicated team last year to bring the vision for this event into a glowing pink reality. Rather than letting feelings of fear or helplessness take over, the event gave me a focus for my energy, allowing me to do something that had the potential to have a positive impact in many different ways. We gathered our team and our resources; we made plans, we made lists, we made contacts. We were making a promise of support – to our moms & grandmas, to our families, to the Foundation, and to ourselves. We were a small group that was determined to make a difference and contribute in some way to raising awareness, supporting progress, and providing hope.
My hopes for the Pink Ribbon Project were many and varied that first year. I hoped the women we set out to show our support to would really feel the love, and understand how many people are cheering them on. I hoped that our guests that night would have a memorable, inspiring and fun evening. I hoped that we would raise a respectable amount of money in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation I hoped that just talking about breast cancer, the event, the screening programs and other resources available, that even one person would quit waiting to get that lump checked and be proactive about their health. I can’t know for certain about that last hope, but as for the others…the feeling at the event that night was incredible: the beautiful room, the great people, and the positive energy all contributed to a wonderful night and a successful event in every respect.
As we head towards our second Pink Ribbon Project, my hopes are much the same. My brave and colorful Grandma lost her battle with breast cancer in November, surrounded by her family, comforted by baby snuggles, and entertained by her GGs up to her final days.
My courageous and inspiring Mom continues her second fight and we are thankful for every day we have together and every memory we make. My mind sometimes wanders to what the future might hold for me or my sisters, or my beautiful daughter. I hope it is a much different story, but all of these personal motivations only strengthen my resolve to do what I can.
|Photo Credit : Rachel Boekel|
My commitment to the Pink Ribbon Project is my promise of support, not just to my people, but to anyone’s Mom, Grandma, sister, daughter, friend…anyone’s anyone. It is my way of finding the good, embracing the hope, and making a difference.
This year’s event promises to be another great night, and our team is so grateful for the incredible response & support we have received already. From our generous sponsors and donors, to the hard working people who help put on the event, and all those who attend, we thank you! Visit our event's webpage for more info on how to get tickets. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get your pink ribbon info where you want it!