I have always been a person who loves to help out and give back when I can. In fact, I am much better at giving than receiving. This past year has been very eye opening. It has been a lesson on how quickly one’s life can change and that nobody is protected from this horrible disease.
Through my own blog, I met a really nice woman this year named Jamie Korn. We instantly connected because we had so much in common as she is also a fitness instructor and is drawn to all of the same health and wellness treatments that I am. The two of us fell in love with cryotherapy (a chamber which freezes your body for 3 minutes) and found ourselves showing up at the same time unannounced to be frozen. Clearly there was some magical plan for the two of us to connect. Jamie’s 6-year-old daughter, Bridget, would be with her at cryotherapy as well, trying to heal her broken leg. Little did Jamie and I know at the time, her broken leg was actually the result of bone cancer.
Fortunately, Jamie had become connected with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the year before after hosting a cycling fundraiser that raised thousands and thousands of dollars for St. Jude’s. When Bridget was diagnosed, St. Jude’s welcomed them with open arms. Currently, Bridget has had her leg amputated and is in the process of finishing 32 weeks of chemotherapy.
I felt completely helpless and so confused at how such an innocent, beautiful, young girl with such an amazing, honest, hard-working family could ‘“catch” such a horrific disease. It didn’t seem right or fair. I guess that’s not how this disease works.
This is the beginning of my mission to help put a STOP to cancer.
At the time that Bridget was diagnosed, I was in a national contest where the winner would receive a $50,000 prize. It dawned on me that I could help Bridget with her medical expenses and more if I could win the contest and gift her the money toward the expenses her family had begun to incur. I started to use my blogging platform as a space to raise awareness for Bridget’s cancer and consciousness about all of the people affected by cancer. I realized that It doesn’t just make a mess of the person’s life, it actually turns everyone’s lives upside down. Emotionally, physically and financially.
I did not win the contest, but at that point I had become so invested, there was no turning back.
So, I suppose that everything happens for a reason because as I was raising awareness about Bridget’s cancer, Jenny Martin, a hard-working student in my fitness class, approached me and told me that she wanted to help Bridget. She proceeded to tell me that she founded Phoenix Cancer Support Network and that they would love to help Bridget in any way they could. Once again, there must be a magical reason that Jenny and I connected. Since that moment, Phoenix Cancer Support Network has raised almost $3,000 for Bridget’s new bedroom furniture so that she will feel comfortable when she finally comes home. I am privileged to be on the board of the Phoenix Cancer Support Network. It helps me to know that I can help make some kind of difference to a family fighting this terrible disease!