Greetings. I hope this blog post finds you safe and well.
I just wanted to take a moment to express how deeply touched I am by the generous support our team received last weekend (be it in-person, in-spirit, as a team member, through a donation, or otherwise). You helped make the Los Angeles BT5K run & walk organized by the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) a truly wonderful experience.
Thanks to your involvement we were deemed a “top team” and as of today, we have reached 91% of our $2,500 fundraising goal. Our team grew from two members generating more than $700 last year to 14 members raising more than $2,200 this year! And, it’s still not over yet as every contribution received by midnight on 11/26/19 will still count toward this year. If you wanted to contribute to this effort, but haven’t been able to do so yet you can click here to donate to my personal page or here to donate to our team page. See how convenient I made that for you? 🙂
Overall the BT5K Los Angeles event generated nearly $130,000 this year. This is important because, in addition to supporting patients and caregivers since 1973, more than $31 million has been raised through events like this across the nation and redistributed as research grants to help find a cure for brain tumors. In fact, $5.5 million has been awarded in research grants in the past 5 years alone.
Speaking of the last five years, I was honored to have the opportunity to share our survivor story this year which had a five-year theme since I was diagnosed in October of 2014. It was extra special to have my husband and son join me on the stage.
There is something very healing in connecting with other survivors and caregivers. The reinforcement that we are not alone is truly gratifying. For the day, the survivors and caregivers were the rock stars. As we took the survivor photo, dozens of people were applauding us simply because when we were knocked down–we got back up. It was extra special to be cheered on by the volunteers every step of the way through the 5k.
I also participated on the event planning committee this year. My first assignment was to cold call the vendors located in the USC village and ask for donations. Although this used to be a strength of mine, I really had to push myself to get through this one. Not because I have a fear of asking for contributions but because since my craniotomy I have had a fear of speaking on the telephone due to my halted speech which is lessoned in-person thanks to my ability to still read body language. But, I pushed through and guess what! Over time, my phone voice and personality started to come back! Also, I’m very thankful to USC Village Starbucks and the store manager, Stephen, for his compassion and the generous donation of coffee his store ended up making.
I’m very grateful to Eddie and Vicky from Enlightened Living. My friend Barbara and I visited their booth at a local Farmers Market in August. I proceeded to invite them to sponsor a booth at this event. Not only did they patiently listen as I attempted to explain the event to them and why I thought it would be a good match for them to be involved, but they were very responsive and eagerly participated in numerous phone calls which resulted in a virtual bag sponsorship for this event and potentially an event tent sponsorship for an upcoming event in another city.
Lastly, I so appreciated my friends Greg (and his family) of StudioPick Arts Integration Space and Richard (a fellow brain cancer survivor of 14 years) author of 20 Poems 20 Paintings A Creative Warrior’s Journal for sharing their artistic talents and enhancing the overall event experience.
By the way, did you recognize the DJ? That was Tony Zambrana a.k.a. Celebrate with Music. I first saw him at this event last year and thought he was so engaging that I recruited him to be the DJ for my son’s Bar Mitzvah. I’m so glad he was available for the BT5K event again this year. He truly knows how to make any event a fun celebration.