life in the granite state
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
At the finish line of the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the
Cure with my mom and sister
I turn 30 years old this summer. I'm not freaking out about it. 30 is the new 20, haven't you heard? I've heard your 30s are better than your 20s anyhow. 30 doesn't scare me. Cancer does, though.
For my mom, her 30s brought some of the worst health she's lived through. At 37, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In my eyes, it can't get much worse than cancer. I'm grateful that I can say this was some of the worst health she's lived through. She had a mastectomy and came out on top. In 1995, my mom watched her first-born graduate from high school, and earn her degree in education in 1999. In 2000, I crossed the stage to receive my high school diploma and my mom was there. Likewise in 2004 when I earned my degree in journalism and my brother collected his high school diploma. And she was there in 2008 when her youngest child picked up his degree in business. 
For 23 years, we've shared birthdays and holidays, arguments and blow out fights, achievements and some not so proud moments with our mom, but no matter what, she's been there every day of our lives. We know that could have been abruptly stolen from us in 1987. 
We were lucky and we know this.
We know that others are not as lucky. These moments are stolen from families on a daily basis. 
In 2008, a friend of mine e-mailed to say she was putting together a team for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and did I want to join. I'd considered walking before, but the fundraising figure and the thought of doing it alone held me back. In 2008, I shoved aside my fear of raising then $2,200 and walking 60 miles and said yes. I knew it was something I wanted to do, with barely a moment's hesitation. I would walk in honor of my mom. 
I raised the money, it wasn't easy, but I did it. Or, I should say, I did most of it. I went into my first 3-Day a few hundred shy of my minimum fundraising requirement, then $2,200, with plans for a fundraising push in the month you have after the walk to get any last donations in. But when I crossed that finish line the first year I walked, my mom and sister were waiting for me with a poster bearing the names of all the people they contacted while I was walking to help push me over the top. It was amazing and touching and emotional at the end of such an inspirational and emotionally-charged event. I don't think they've ever realized how much that meant to me.
I decided in 2008 that I was committed to helping find a cure for breast cancer. 
I want our future generations to never have know that breast cancer exists without also knowing there is a cure. I encountered along this 60-mile route, women and men walking for their sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, grandmothers, aunts and friends and even for their brothers, fathers, sons and uncles. I talked to women who'd lost their moms, a man who lost his wife AND daughter, and women who were going for chemo treatments just days before and after this event, among many others.
The enormity of the 3-Day was suddenly apparent. Research costs loads of money. Awareness is as important as ever. Education is needed everyday because this disease is not static. It changes as we change. Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on. And sometimes a little dancing and singing through the streets of Boston is exactly what the soul needs (and the dancing sometimes helps make the soles feel a little better, too!)

Sarah, Stef and I at the end of the
2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
Last year, I walked with my best friend, Sarah. We walked in honor of my mom and in honor of our friend Stefanie's mom who was in the trenches battling a second round with breast cancer after having been cancer-free for 14 years. 
There was a period of time just before the walk that Stef's mom, Barbara, landed in the hospital fighting a serious infection. Sarah and I were preparing to possibly be walking in memory of Barbara, but she pulled through. 
Stef met us at the finish line of the 3-Day and tearfully thanked us for what we were doing.
On March 29, 2011, Barbara, sadly, lost her battle. She raised an amazing daughter, one I'm lucky to call a friend. This year, I'm walking in memory of Barbara. And of course, in honor of my mom.
60 miles in three days isn't a walk in the park, though we walk through the parks, that's for sure. And along streets, over bridges and through neighborhoods. It's long, and it's hard, and sometimes, you have to remind yourself, when your feet are throbbing with 10 miles to go on Day 2 and another full day of walking after that, that you are there because of the people who cannot be. We walk with friends and strangers, sisters, mothers and daughters, brothers and fathers, husbands and wives. We walk with our own intentions, but we're all walking toward the same purpose, the same goal, and really, we all walk for everyone. 
I walk for those moms and sisters, aunts and friends, brothers, fathers, uncles, grandparents. I walk for people I've never met because I've heard their stories and I've cried with their family and friends. I walk for the father raising three kids alone because his wife, their mother, died of breast cancer last year. And for the women who lost her sister and her best friend to the same disease. I walk for our future generations, for my future kids, so that they don't have to.
I walk for myself so that by the time I'm 37, the 3-Day for the Cure is no longer necessary.

What are you doing May 14th? If you don't have plans, you do now! The Bounty Room in the Holiday Inn off Exit 4 is going to be the place to be that night! What could be better than a night of fun in a pirate ship raising money for a great cause?!
The Cup Crusaders are hosting a fundraising bash there to push us toward our goal of raising $200,000 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure this year!
Join us and three bands -- The Risen, The Pop Farmers and Corolla DeVille -- for a night of great music, dancing and a lot of fun and surprises!
We'll have raffles, oh boy will we have raffles! You could win an iPad, an iPod nano, Red Sox tickets, Kenny Chesney tickets, Meadowbrook Pavilion tickets to the show of your choosing, a cbseball autographed by Rico Petricelli & Luis Tiant, four Opening Day tickets to the Fisher Cats, 1 month at Golden Crane Tai Chi & Karate, Gift certificates for great restaurants like: Saffron Bistro, McGurks, Stella Blu, San Francisco Kitchen, Kendall Pond Pizza & many more... 
And the raffle prizes are still rolling in.
We'll also have drink specials, light appetizers, and Captain Morgan and Budweiser will be there. Most importantly, don't forget to wear your pink and show support for the cause. A little birdie told me that we will be giving away a special prize to one lucky pink-wearing attendee!
Many thanks to our growing list of sponsors: Frank FM - 106.3, Carew & Wells, Concord, The Golden Crane, Windham, The Bittersweet Bake Shoppe, Tyngsboro, Mass., The Holiday Inn of Nashua, The Nashua Telegraph and Amherst Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center!
If you would like to join our list of sponsors or donate a raffle prize, please contact me at for this fun-filled night are $20 a person and ALL of the proceeds from the night will go to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! Tickets can be purchased from me or online at If you are coming from out of town and need a place to stay, the Holiday Inn is offering our guests a special room rate of $84. This Holiday Inn reservation link will bring you to the page you need to reserve a room.
We hope you'll join us for a night of fun for a great cause!
So, it's March. There are 141 days until the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Boston. I need to get my butt in gear. These past few weeks have been so crazy, I haven't really done anything. I haven't walked, I haven't fund-raised. Nothing. Talk about not being the greatest role model for Monica and Jess who joined to walk with me this year.
One thing I have done though, is joined a larger team. A MUCH larger team.
A couple weeks ago, Monica, Jess and I decided to join The Cup Crusaders. Last year, volunteering at Getting Started Meetings in the Nashua area, I met Sharyn. I describe Sharyn to my friends as a 3-Day rockstar. And she really is!
Sharyn started walking in the 3-Day the year she turned 60. She decided since she was turning 60, she would set a goal of raising $6,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She came just shy of her goal, but well surpassed the 3-Day minimum, then $2,200. Since that first year, she's walked in multiple cities, crewed in multiple cities, worked with Event 360 to help promote and provide support for hundreds of 3-Day walkers. This year, she's walking in three cities -- which I believe are her 11th, 12th and 13th walks (maybe 10th, 11th and 12th? Sharyn, if you read this, set me straight.) Regardless, this woman know what she's doing, she's such a positive energy and she is a great example of someone who leads by doing. Oh yeah, did I mention she's already raised all of her money for Boston?! Go 
She is a member of the Cup Crusaders, one of the largest walking teams in Boston. She suggested we consider joining a bigger team, and we thought it would be really fun and a great way to really get to know some other walkers. I know I'm really excited to walk with this team. I met Kathy for the first time at a training walk in Nashua during my first walk in 2008. She's kind of hard to forget. Every year, she dyes her hair bright pink (when she sent me a Facebook friend request a couple weeks ago, I saw a picture of her without pink hair and if I didn't know I was on her page, I would never have known it was her.) She's got an infectious personality and a great sense of humor.
As far as I know, they're the only two on the team that I've met (I may be wrong on this) but the opportunity to fundraise and train with these women and the rest of the more than 50-person team is very exciting.
Now, as I said in the beginning, it's time to get my butt in gear. This weekend, I WILL finally send out my fundraising letters. I've only raised $195 so far, and that's without really trying, so I know I'll hit the minimum and HOPEFULLY my goal with ease!
This year, for the first time I decided to set my goal higher than the $2,300 minimum. Taking a cue from Sharyn, I decided I would go for $3,000 this year because just two weeks after the walk I will celebrate my 30th birthday! It's also my third 3-Day. So I decided to go bigger. $100 for each year I've been alive? OK! I'm game. 
So, here's to a big and bold 3-Day! It's going to be a blast! 

Till next time!
Last July I participated in and completed my second Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. At closing ceremony, I made the decision that in 2011, I'd check out the other side of it and volunteer for the 3-Day crew. It might have been because my feet were killing me (though blister free even after 60 miles!) and the thought of walking 60 miles again this year seemed something I wanted a break from.
Then my sister and her best friend told me they wanted to walk in 2011.
That changed everything. 
So in November, the three of us signed up for the Boston 3-Day, committing to months of training and fundraising to be part of one of the boldest movements in breast cancer history.
As January has come and gone about in the blink of an eye, I'm moved in to  3-Day mode full time. It consumes my brain. I'm constantly thinking about fundraisers and when to really start training. I find myself lost for hours online reading other people's 3-Day blogs and scrolling through names of other Boston walkers on the 3-Day site and seeing how much they've raised so far. 
I think I've grown addicted to the 3-Day. 
As I learned volunteering at a Getting Started Meeting a couple weeks ago, I'm not alone. And I'm not concerned. I could be addicted to worse things than raising money and awareness for a cause affects 1 in 8 women in her lifetime. 
It's a big commitment, it's a bold approach, but each year, the 3-Day raises millions of dollars for breast cancer research and educates a growing community of people to the dangers of the disease, the strides that have been made toward a cure and the hope that's out there.
I'm so excited to be walking with my sister (Monica) and her best friend (Jess). My best friend, who joined me for the 2010 3-Day (Sarah) will likely not be joining us this year (though we wish she could!) Sarah, who's long time boyfriend proposed to her two days before last year's event, will be getting married the week before the 2011 walk. Planning a wedding and preparing for the 3-Day is a lot of work, so we understand, but we hope to be able to raise enough money that she might be able to join us!
In signing up for the 3-Day, we sign up not only to walk 60-miles over a 3-day weekend, but to raising at least $2,300 in donations. It's a big number, but its absolutely achievable and even surpassable. 
I got my first, and only, donation so far via a game at Christmas time that I played -- The Great Twitter Secret Santa. It's like any Secret Santa except the field of participants spanned the globe and matches weren't guaranteed to be someone you knew. You could tell your Santa a little about yourself and let them send you a gift. I asked for my gift to be a donation to a cause I care deeply about. My $10 donation came from a woman named Amy Kate and she lives in England. I do not know her, but she was my first donor for 2011.
Many more are sure to come. 
And many more blog posts are to come as well. 
Stay tuned for a range of posts about the journey, the preparation and the fundraising.
To any other 3-Day walkers out there reading this who haven't walked before, GET EXCITED! I'm sure you're nervous but this is fun, challenging and absolutely life changing. 
I hope to see many familiar faces along the way and look forward to meeting new friends.
Here's to my 3-Day 3peat and an amazing first-time experience for Monica and Jess!

Sarah and I at the end of the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Boston.