I’ve never done anything really big in my life. I’ve had my moments but haven’t done anything momentous. Yes, I gave birth to two healthy, lovely boys. And yes, I’m doing my bit to raise them well. But family aside, I haven’t many notches in my belt. When I was young(er) I had visions of changing the world, making more than a dent, making a difference. In a big way.
What I’ve discovered is that I can indeed make a dent and still make a difference. This time I’ll change the world one cancer cell at a time. Yes, I’m going to cure cancer. Breast cancer. My friend Jen, who’s as smart and sassy as they come, has been battling stage 2 breast cancer. She’s younger than I am. She’s mom to Mac, who’s Deal’s age. She’s pig headed, foul-mouthed, irreverent, and preppy as hell. And, she can’t cook but she can mix a mean gin and tonic with just the right amount of lime. Jen was my neighbor and classmate in graduate school. She and I caused got into a good bit of trouble together. We trash talked statistics because it kicked both our fannies and we trusted each other’s mad editing and proofreading skills. If I ever get around to writing a book, it’s Jen I’ll go to to read the first draft of my manuscript. Underneath all that sass (that she prefers to call spunk) she is a load of mush. Jen’s heart is bigger than her boobs even were when she was pregnant. She won’t mind that I’m talking about her boobs on the internet and all because she’s cool like that. You’ll be hard pressed to find her without her pearls or donning Lilly Pulitzer. When Mac was born I sent a monogrammed cashmere sweater because I knew Jen would appreciate that kind of extravagance and understand that I don’t get to indulge in such fanciful purchases for my boys. Jen is the kind of girl whose laugh leaves you both gasping and grinning til your jaws ache. She sucks at telling jokes, yet she is damn funny in a delightfully self deprecating way. Jen never forgets my birthday and actually calls to wish me a Happy Birthday. Like, on the phone. She’s even been known to mail me a whole key lime pie from my favorite place in Key West.
I don’t see Jen often but I think about her always. For starters, I think about her every time I pass by the local Lilly shop. Chocolate syrup also makes me think of Jen. And coffee. The girl likes needs her java fix. When I see people doing something idiotic, like walking into a tanning salon or driving an Aztec, I think of how Jen and I would exchange a knowing look that meant our synapses were in synch.
I don’t know how I can help Jen but I do know I must try. I’ve done the Race for the Cure several times. But it’s not enough. I’ve just signed up to walk 39 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. 39 miles in two days. My numero uno fan Christy enouraged me. She’s revived team Stop the War in My Rack. My friend Lyndi just completed her walk over the weekend. While I might be whining and boohooing about my feet and blisters and knees, it’s nothing compared to Jen’s aches and pains. All those women (and men!) battling breast cancer model the grace and aplomb I strive for. The least I can do is quit my bitching, even if that means I bring along Bird’s skateboard and Lark’s leash so my teammates can drag me along. My joints might ache, but my boobs will be just fine. And that’s what I hope for Jen too.
So please, I’m asking for a little support here. If my readers and Twitter followers and Facebook friends and IRL friends just donated two bucks each, your series of little dents would make a big difference.
I have to raise $1800.00. Cough cough. The money raised is managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity with a mission to fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Foundation funds both local and national organizations in five key areas: medical research; education and early detection programs; clinical care; and support services, all with a focus on the medically underserved.
Support my walk. Support my friend. Support the girls. Now go schedule your mammogram.