But if you're new here ... Hi.
My name is Jen. This is my blog. (This is the only decent picture I could find of myself where I wasn't wearing a wedding gown.)
The man with his arms raised is my husband, Charlie. (We need to have pictures taken of ourselves more often.)
These are our four-year-old triplets, William, Carolyn and Elizabeth.
This is our one-year-old toddler, Hurricane Henry.
We are on a mission to cure cancer.
Oh, it's a lofty goal, we know. And we realize that there are a lot of different forms of cancer. But we're doing what we can to raise money for research because we believe that the cure for one form may lead to the cure for others. And cancer is one of those things that must be stopped.
My cousin Raymond died from cancer in 1976.
My Aunt Dorothy died from cancer in 1976.
My Aunt Carolyn died from cancer in 1986.
My mother-in-law Jeanne died from cancer in 1992.
My cousin Andrea died from cancer in 1996.
My college buddy Tom died from cancer in 1998.
My Aunt Barbara died from cancer in 2001.
My dear friend Julie died from cancer in 2005.
My cousin Paul died from cancer in 2006.
My neighbor Anne died from cancer in 2009.
My sister Mary was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2008.
My Uncle Bill, a man who has never smoked a cigarette, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given three months to live in 2005. He is still fighting his cancer battle due in large part to the tremendous strides that have been made in cancer research and treatment.
Six months ago, my friend Deana - a mother to two young sons - was diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt's lymphoma. Just when everyone thought the cancer was gone and Deana was in remission, the cancer came back with vengeance. Recently doctors told Deana that chemotherapy isn't working and she needs to contact Hospice. This week, Deana flew from California to Texas with the hope that the treatment she receives at MD Anderson will save her life.
These are just a few of the people in our life that have been affected by cancer.
We are frustrated hearing the stories. We are frustrated when another loved one is struck down by this horrific disease. We are frustrated feeling like there is nothing we can do except bake lasagna, pray and send cards. We are frustrated with feeling afraid.
Who is next?
God forbid, one of our precious children?
It happens. All too often.
We are frustrated with feeling helpless.
And we are not alone.
Along with my cousin Margaret, Charlie and I are running the San Diego Rock N' Roll marathon, to benefit the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Sunday, May 31, 2009.
Up until very recently, none of us could run more than a mile. (I still barely can.) But all of us are dedicated to raising money that will fuel the research for a cure. All of us are dedicated that once this race is over, we will not stop. We are going to keep raising money for a cure for as long as we are physically able, or a cure is found, which ever comes first.
Three weeks ago, we began fundraising for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Twenty-two days later, we have raised over $5,000.00. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that we would raise so much money so quickly, especially during a recession. Never once did we imagine that people, especially those we've never met, would donate so generously to this cause.
But it seems everyone has been touched by cancer. Today while at the dentist office, I told the receptionist about our involvement with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and she told me that she had never known anyone that had cancer. Just then, her coworker leaned over and confided that she was currently battling uterine cancer.
We are committed to exceeding our minimum fundraising goals. To that end, every week until Charlie tells me that I have to stop hosting giveaways, I am planning to hold a new contest with a prize that will be raffled off in return for a 100% tax deductible donation to fund cancer research. The details for any contests that are currently underway can be found in the top left hand corner of the blog under the title, "Go Deana GO!"
We know we are going after Moby Dick.
But we're bringing along the tartar sauce.
So we hope that you will help us.
We hope that you realize cancer does not discriminate based on age, gender, religious viewpoints, political viewpoints, financial status, highest-level of education received, or national origin.
We hope that you will challenge yourself to become physically strong because if you are able, there is nothing stopping you. We hope that you will become inspired to use your physical strength to do things for those who cannot and in doing so, we hope that you will discover you have the ability to be amazing.
We hope that you will join us on this amazing trip to help end cancer.
(Coming soon: t-shirts and wristbands. OK. Soon might be Christmas 2010. Unless I can find more time in the day or at least, convince the children that a three-hour nap is a GOOD idea.)