Hello! I’m pumped to share some exciting news today involving my new partnership with Head for the Cure! Since helping to take care of Andrew from his stage-four cancer diagnosis in the fall of 2012 to his final day on this earth in the summer of 2013, I knew I wanted to one day contribute toward finding a cure for cancer. However, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would do it or what my involvement would look like.
Taking Andrew to his chemotherapy and radiation appointments at M.D. Anderson Cancer hospital every week had a profound impact on my life. We faced a whole new way of living where the single focus was getting our loved one healthy again. The experience developed in me the deepest sense of gratitude for EVERYTHING. I realized I had been taking my life for granted. I lived as though I was entitled to everything— my health, my financial position, my family. My attention was focused on what I didn’t have versus the gifts I’d been given, and that mindset left me bitter, self-consumed, and pretty unhappy. Witnessing the strength, courage, and positivity from Andrew and other patients facing some of life’s greatest challenges woke me up to a whole new appreciation for life.
After Andrew passed away, I was in complete survival mode as I learned how to take care of everything on my own while being the best mom I could be. I felt completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Every year I would get a Facebook message from Shari at Head for the Cure inviting me to participate and every year I never got around to looking into it. As time’s gone by, I’ve started getting a handle on how to manage my new normal. I’m grateful Shari continued reaching out to me each year, and this year was the year I felt ready to dive in and see how I could help contribute to bringing awareness to finding a cure for cancer.
Head for the Cure helps with the fight against brain cancer. This specific cause is dear to my heart because Andrew’s cancer eventually spread to his brain and the gamma knife surgery he underwent was the only treatment his body responded to out of all the cancer treatments (he also went through chemo and radiation). We believe this treatment gave him three more months to live. This procedure gave us more time with Andrew and allowed him to finish his books, A Gray Faith and The Ellie Project. I will forever be grateful to a very special doctor at M.D. Anderson who broke protocol to give Andrew the treatment he needed.
Another reason this specific cause grabbed my heart is because I’ve been touched by the stories of some incredible men and women (some of whom I knew personally) who battled brain cancer, are in remission, or gone on to be with the Lord. Stevie Patrick is one of those beautiful souls and this is her uplifting story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bY-oVvj4g. Stevie’s legacy continues to inspire and impact positive changes in this world.
We can all do something to make a difference. So I will be joining Head for the Cure on May 7th in Plano, TX for their 5K event http://www.headforthecure.org/north-texas where I will be sharing my story and some inspirational words on stage, as well as having a booth to share Andrew’s books, where 20% of all proceeds from the books and stationery will go to benefit Head for the Cure. Also, starting TODAY through the end of May, when you order Andrew’s books or stationery on www.ellieproject.com and put in the discount code: headforthecure, 20% of each order with that discount code will be donated to Head for the Cure.
I’m grateful to be a part of this amazing cause and help give back. Would love for you to join us at the 5K run/walk! Go to http://www.headforthecure.org/north-texas for more details.
I want to leave you with a quote Andrew wore around his wrist during the final months of his life:
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
I’m grateful for you. Have a blessed day!