And with all sincerity, I can honestly say that I am thankful for cancer.
You know why? Because I have learned to trust that the plans for me are wonderful, and even though cancer might not have been in MY plans, I know that it is being used to make me into an even stronger woman, mom, teacher, friend and champion for others who have faced, are facing, or will face this disease that does not discriminate.
Because of cancer, I have met so many wonderful people and am constantly amazed at how we can touch each others lives in meaningful, helpful and encouraging ways. The opportunities I have received by fighting this fight have all been worth it.
Once my first bout with colon cancer was over, nearly 2 years ago, I reached out to help others in need. I volunteered with Our Hearts, a local non-profit organization which meets needs of those who are experiencing medical crises.
And now? I'm finding myself in need.
After my surprise diagnosis of colon cancer reocurring this past Fall, and the subsequent surgeries combined with chemo, my school determined that they must lay me off for this semester. I am not bitter. It was understandable since the wonderful charter high school I had the honor to teach at has very specific needs for an at-risk population of students to have consistency on a daily basis. Because of my 12 sessions (6 months) of chemo, I could not do what the school needed everyday for the last semester. They are a non-profit school themselves and could not afford to pay my salary plus a full-time substitute teacher to be there when I couldn't be during my treatments. I will be able to return to work in the fall next year, but until then, I have lost my income.
I am fully intending to substitute teach on the days where I feel good. I am not looking to be a free-loader. I do need to prepare for the unseen, however, because I know how chemo works. Toward the end, it gets harder and harder to even get out of bed to take a shower. I am currently appealing my unemployment benefits denial, but unfortunately it is VERY difficult for teachers to receive unemployment benefits. They scrutinize teachers more harshly than other professionals.
So, here I am, asking for genuine help from you. The money I raise will go directly to my general living expenses, bills, co-pays and medical bills for the next 6-7 months until I can return to my job. While I realize many questions will be raised in your mind about FMLA, disability benefits and other possible legal avenues, I have exhausted all possible recourses for my situation. I am receiving legal help from my dear ex-husband, Devon. However, I have to be able to live RIGHT NOW.
There will be two definite ways you can help financially.
1) You can give direct monies to Our Hearts, Our Families, Our Community through their website by indicating that you want the money to go to pay my bills. Our Hearts, a wonderful non-profit here in Reno that I have had the honor of being a part of, has agreed to pay my specific bills DIRECTLY through their organization. This will serve two important purposes:
a) It will provide automatic accountability for me and will provide you with peace of mind if you need it. You will know that the money you donate is going to specific bills.
b) Our Hearts is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
If this is how you would like to give after reading your next option, please click here: OurHeartsReno Donation Website
2) The second way you can donate financially is through this gofundme page. The monies raised here will go toward:
a) Expenses that are non-bill related, like food for the kids and I, gas, home expeditures and yes... even occasionally a movie or two.
b) Any monies raised above and beyond my goal of $15,000 will be re-donated back to a Colon Cancer fund, which will be determined toward the end, plus if I am able, I will re-direct funds back to Our Hearts to help others in our community who are experiencing medical crises, not unlike what I am going through right now.
So, please know that I intend to be above board with all monies raised and will in turn help others with your generousity who might need help in the future.
WIG OUT! Sunday, March 23rd at 1:00 p.m. Sidelines in Sparks
On Sunday, March 23rd, I will be holding a fundraiser to kick off this campaign with a bang! "Wig-Out!" will be at Sidelines in Sparks, starting at 1:00 p.m. and will end when we feel like ending it. There are amazing things planned, including giveaways for some really cool items, some amazing bands (including the headliner Drinking With Clowns, as well as a great DJ named RV Motorhome), local celebrities, food, and libations for purchase. Thank you Dave Pennington of Sidelines for donating this venue. I am blessed with many wonderful people in my life, and all of them are coming together for a good cause: My fundraiser, my 40th birthday and raising awareness for Colon Cancer Month... all of them in March. Wear a wig! Let's make it fun!
Life is good, people. I am excited to see all of the wonderful things that will come from this experience. I am expecting these wonderful things, because I know they will happen.
Thanks for contributing. I love you all. And you know I mean it.
Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,
Pass on the word by sharing this link with others. Social media is a powerful tool! Feel free to copy and paste the image of my fundraiser flyer and attach it to messages so others can know about Wig Out!
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