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ACS CAN 2017 Lights of Hope✨✨✨

2017 Lights of Hope Ceremony

I am so honored to have been named an Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and representing Charlotte, North Carolina this September in Washington, D.C. for the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony. As an Ambassador I will be shining a light on the need for access to quality health care for all and Congress’ responsibility to do everything they can and more in the fight against cancer.

On September 12th, more than 24,000 Lights of HOPE luminaries will line the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. For some, this ceremony is a celebration of survivorship. But, for far too many, it’s a remembrance of someone who was lost to this dreaded disease.

Each Light of HOPE luminary costs just $10 and will be personalized with the name of the person you’re honoring and placed in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as part of this beautifully moving ceremony.

Purchase your luminary here:

http://action.acscan.org/site/TR/Events/GeneralACSCAN?px=3999158&pg=personal&fr_id=1150

When diagnosed with both colon and breast cancer in 2015, my world was turned upside down as I fought to survive the beast that cancer can be. I am a fighter and a survivor and knew that if I made it through I would volunteer and dedicate my efforts towards finding a cure for cancer and being a voice for fellow cancer patients.

 

I give testimony to the fact that you never know when cancer may strike. Just recently, my heart was broken when I lost my dear, sweet Nurse Navigator, Pat McKinney, whose love and spirit helped ease the anxiety my husband and I felt when I was first diagnosed. She set appointments, answered our questions and eased my journey with her calm and gentle voice. Not only did I lose this beautiful angel, but I lost her to cancer.

 

When we first met she was on her way to the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony in Washington, D.C. She imparted to me her belief that I would be there one day fighting for a cure with all the passion in my heart. I will be lighting a special candle for my dear angel and friend. Her spirit will be there along with my mom whom I know watches over me.

Pat McKinney, Me

The Lights of Hope event is a beautifully moving ceremony with the glow of lights from thousands of luminarias lining the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in dedication to the survivors and in remembrance of those we’ve lost to the nightmare of cancer.  

Please join me in this fight against cancer while celebrating the lives of survivors, friends, and loved ones.

Click this link to donate to the American Cancer Society and purchase your luminary for this very special and moving event.

 

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Acts of Kindness ✌💞

 

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I was reading this wonderful, “Acts of Kindness” article on Upworthy, a website for viral content started in March 2012 by Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn, and Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of The Onion and thought what a great philosophy of life and a wonderful opportunity to give back.

 

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Here are 5 acts of kindness you can do to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:

 

1. Spend a couple hours volunteering at a local nonprofit organization. (connect at this link)

2. Donate goods to a local shelter.

3. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.

4. Send kind words to someone getting a lot of hate on social media.

5. Send groceries to a friend who is busy and/or going through a difficult time. (links to sites for local online grocery shopping)

 

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We all have the power to change a life, to change the world with a simple act of kindness. Let’s uplift the world and ourselves by reaching out, lending a hand or sharing a smile.

 

The Beatles – “I Am The Walrus”

                          

What Would You Do If?

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The Ultimate Question!

I’d like to believe that I’ve always been willing to go for it. Running towards the possibilities and not letting fear of the unknown be part of my thought process. My mom always instilled in me that I could do anything so being a student at the University of Michigan was another step forward and a fantastic opportunity for me to express myself. I took my dream of being a writer and turned it into a reality, majoring in Radio, TV, and Film and subsequently landing an incredible job as Creative Director for a local Rock/Country radio station. 

                Go Blue!

Getting married! Come on now, that’s a leap of faith. 😍

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Deciding to have a child and owning the birthing experience on my terms. Not in a hospital (too sterile and rigid for me) but, not at home with a midwife. I believed there was another option so started researching for something I didn’t even know existed. A “Birthing Center”, one of the first in the state of Michigan in the late 1970’s.

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Starting an acting career at 40 yrs of age and performing in one of my favorite stage productions, West Side Story!

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I sang, danced, was a Jet girlfriend and executed (for the first time ever) the most amazing gymnastic flips off my partner’s arm, his back and had the time of my life! Of course, my daughter had to bring my 40th birthday cake to the theater complete with 40 flaming candles. Loved it!  

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Happy Birthday To Me!

 

Today, fighting and surviving 2 cancers at once, it’s more important than ever to live up to a credo of living fearlessly! I do believe that attitude dictates the quality of your life and tomorrow is not promised so what the heck – trust yourself and go for it!

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Note to self – never stop asking this ultimate and most important question:

 

What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid?

 

What if God Was One of Us?

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While watching one of my favorite tv shows, “The Voice”, I was struck by the lyrics of a song I haven’t heard in years, Joan Osborne’s incredible 1995 hit “What If God Was One of Us?” I instinctively grabbed my laptop and began writing down the bleak thoughts that had started rushing through my head.

With all the conflict, and negative energy coursing through the world these days, the question of the song lyric – “What if God Was One of Us?” made me pause and ponder; in what spirit are we living our lives?

 

“What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?”

 

How we interact with or judge others has a ripple effect. Love and compassion shouldn’t be dirty words and we should be offended by and call out those who judge the world and view people through a crooked lens. As we go about our daily lives let’s be mindful and strive to live a life of hope, mercy, and kindness.

What we say and do matters. You never know who’s listening and watching.

 

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“My religion is simple. My religion is peace, love, compassion, and equality.”

 “Notes from Nora”

 

What Kind of World Will You Leave Behind?

 

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The purpose and mission of this blog are to uplift my audience and give testimony to my belief in the power of faith and positive energy in one’s life.

As a survivor of both colon and breast cancer, I’ve been both humbled and blessed with God’s grace and favor.

 

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My heart has been so heavy with grief, anger, and outrage with the attempt by the Republican Party to take it upon themselves and behind closed doors mind you, to craft an incredibly inhumane piece of legislation with the express purpose of stripping away health care from 22 million of its fellow citizens in order to give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country, because God knows they need it. 

 

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Life is a precious and fleeting gift we are given and it’s up to us to decide what we want to do with that gift by asking ourselves – “Who do we want to be, and what kind of world do we want to live in?”

The great equalizer of us all is the fact that one day we are going to die. I’d like to ask Republicans when you look back on your life, what kind of legacy will you have left behind? Did you try to help those less fortunate than you, or did you deliberately plunder and disregard the lives of the least of us. 

 

What kind of person are you and what kind of world will you leave behind?

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Let us all take this moment to pray for compassion and the future of our humanity.

 

Joyful Thanks!

“It’s a Beautiful Day!”

From the first time I heard this song and still now, I feel joyful and appreciative for the blessing of waking up to a beautiful day! And my intention reminds me – make the most of it!

Since I’m a word girl and lyrics get butchered all the time,😄 I picked this video which showcases the impactful words of “Beautiful Day.” 

 

 

It sounds like such a simple thing to do but so easy to forget. Each day, each moment is a gift. I know for me, next time I question what’s up with time, I’ll have to reflect on my own sense of appreciation.

 

 

New Attitude

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, shaping our lives and image of ourselves based on outside input and descriptions others have deemed to be true. From birth, we take on the totality of remarks and declarations outright or subtly put in our heads. Whether it’s from parents uttering – “oh, you’re so pretty” maybe trying to build up our self-esteem or to teachers concluding “you don’t really have a head for numbers” in an effort to shield us from what they perceive as a possible failure.

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These early definitions paint a picture we add to as we approach life and try to sort out how we fit in and what we’re capable of accomplishing. We are socialized by our peers, teachers, and loves. What we hear we sometimes assimilate to and believe.

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I used to call myself a late bloomer, but a therapist corrected me saying “No, you come into things in your own time.” That perspective totally changed the way I thought of myself and opened my eyes to the fact that I was basing my definition of self on what others deemed as “appropriate” timing or behavior. I had been primarily judging myself by letting society dictate, on some level, my worthiness.

 

Maybe, if we stop letting others define who we are, we might just find the person we were meant to be.