Oct 11, 2013 by Shawnee Lavy
Istarted this journey on a whim. A presentation was given at my work and I thought "Why not. This will be great to represent my company and honor my Mother In Law". 2 hours after signing up I thought "What the *%$@ did I commit to? I can't do this! I'm too out of shape, I have no time and how am I going to raise all that money?". I immediately called my Mother in Law and told her what I was doing in her honor. I would never do anything to disappoint her so I think that was my way of locking in my commitment right then and there. I went home and told my family and they were like: "Okie Dokie" but I knew their were rolling their eyes at what I had "gotten myself into now".
After the kick off, I came home and was very quiet. My husband asked why. I again was overwhelmed about what I had signed up for and was worried I wouldn't be able to pull it off with out my work and family suffering. BUT, I continued on. I told her it was in her honor right?
So practices came and I met my West Valley Team Mates. Practices turned hot (tell me again why we thought we could do this in the summer?) and talk of ice cream and Guinness ended up with wine and tapas. This is when the real magic happened. Mission moments mixed with personal stories and life changing moments when people torturing their bodies for those who's bodies needed it more than we ever could, changed the game. For me this became more than a personal goal. Fundraising became a focus. Let's face it, if I wanted a "nice weekend away in a cool city like San Francisco" I could have paid for a couple of times over with the money I have spent on "gear" and fundraising "incentives" and after practice shenanigans. This money is being used to save lives and support patients who cannot afford their care.
I changed my diet to better improve my performance. I invested hours and hours into sending out fundraising letters. I approached businesses for sponsorships. I ran straight out of my comfort zone at a speed so fast the un-thinkable happened. I broke myself.
When they told me my injury would keep me from crossing that finish line I cried. Really really cried. Right there on a gurney at 11pm in the middle of one of the busiest trauma center/emergency room in the state. The doctor actually ran out of the room. The nurse stood there staring at me not know what to say. My husbands eyes glistened with tears of his own watching his wife's heart break knowing she was thinking of all of the people she was going to let down.
Now I have bucked up, realizing this journey never had anything to do with me crossing that finish line. It never did. It has everything to do with continuing to support those "who can't" even though I can't either. I will heal. Some day I can try again. But what I will never be able to do is give back this experience I am having here and now. I would never want to.
While my team mates are out there pounding the pavement I am going to BE here pounding the key board asking for donations and sharing the cause. I am going to continue to fundraise and BE support for other's in their fundraising ventures as well. I am going to BE in San Francisco. I am going to BE there to support my team. I am going to BE just fine. Because I am going to continue to BE part of the cure. And because if it, I am never going to BE the same again.
Thanks to all of you how supported LLS by supporting me in this journey, even though the road to the finish line took a different turn for me. Because of each and everyone of you I am the top fundraiser for this event in the whole Arizona Team in Training chapter. Thank you is not enough. I wish I could double your money and give it back to you but I know each and every one of you would give it back to help those who need it the most. We are forever grateful.
PS. My Mother in Law is now cancer free had her last surgery during this adventure. We are so blessed with what the future holds for her and our future.
We can't give up on those who need our help
Oct 03, 2013 by Shawnee Lavy
What most people don't know is I have a blood disease with a very long name that I will not bore you with. In a nutshell my blood clots. I have had in the past clots in my leg and almost didn't make it in 2007 when I had a pulmonary embolism following surgery. With my recent foot operation and the need to have a cast and now the boot, I have been placed on blood thinners again and need to see a Hemotologist. Yesterday I went to see him and his office/clinic serves hematology patients and oncology patients as well. He treats patients with blood cancers. As I was getting out of my car a lady who clearly was there for cancer treatment saw me struggling and got out of her car and came and asked me how she could help. My heart sank as it should have been me asking how I can help her. When I was in the building I went to use the restrooms which were in the Chemo treatment room. There were about 10 people in chairs with IV's reading or resting. The room was so quite and again my heart sank. I want to yell out "I'm going to keep doing everything I can to raise money to make your lives better and longer!" I managed to hold back but the feeling has not left me. The angel that helped me out of my car is forever burned into my soul. I don't know her name or circumstance but she is added to my ever growing list of those inspiring me to keep on keep'n on for the cause. When I told my Dr I had been in training before my accident and why he got so excited. He says that LLS financially supplements the cost for care for many of his patients. He gushed on about what an amazing organization LLS is and how their research is changing the outlook and outcome of so many people not only with blood cancers but other cancers as well. I am so proud to be a part of the masses working to support LLS and their for Drs and patients. Will you join me? Can you please reach into your heart and check for any amount you can spare? Can you share my link to spread the word? Your dollar may just be the dollar that makes somebody's "someday" today. Thank you!
Waving the white flag for my foot-but not for the cause!
Sep 10, 2013 by Shawnee Lavy
Big sigh. Reality has finally landed in my brain and has overridden my heart. Some of you may or may not know, but 3 weeks ago today I fell and broke my foot. Surgery was necessary and they put my bones back together with tiny little screws. Good news is I got my splint off today and talked them out of a cast. I had to promise to wear my boot. I am sad because after much advise from Dr's coaches and friends and family who know me the most I am going to have to concede I cannot do this race in San Francisco on a scooter. Nifty as it is, it's just too dangerous and the hills probably will be impossbile. Just typing this has me pausing to take a deep breath and breath through the tears and lump in my throat that are instantly forming. The good news is I am cleared to go to the event and the organizers are working on me being able to be at the finish line to escort my team members across. I will be happy to share in their accomplishment as we have all worked so hard together and have become very close. I will still fundraise as well. This is the most important part as the need has not gone away because I broke myself. Please continue to check my link for updates and share with your friends if you could so we can raise as much money as possible for research and patient support. Also I would love to see pics of you all in our Cinderella shirts! $25 donation via my page and I will mail it right to your home! If you are local and can pick it up it's only $20. Also, don't forget for every $10 donated you will get 5 entries into the drawing for $500 cash and other prizes. For every $50 you get 6 entries! The winner will be pulled at our team send off dinner in October. Thank you again and again for everyone supporting LLS while I am on this journey :)
Keep on Keep'n on for the cause...
Aug 24, 2013 by Shawnee Lavy
"Like, Oh my Gawd!"
Aug 19, 2013 by Shawnee Lavy
What a weekend I just had! Started Saturday morning with not hearing my 4am alarm for team practice so by the time I got there the team was already on it's way back in. Coach James had the "Awesome" idea that I would just continue on foot to where the team always has breakfast after practice. Sure. No problem. Well, it almost turned out to be a problem because I did the 5.58 miles with no nutrition (I always have my Shakeology on the way to practice) and no hydration (since I was off the course no water stops). What a lesson that was, I was a hot mess by the time I got there. But then food, coffee water and good times was had by all and I headed home for a soak in the pool. BUT that plan was derailed by the last minute call that they needed someone to facilitate the 50/50 raffle at McFadden’s (West Gate) before the Cardinals/Cowboys game. I barely got a shower and ran back out the door to spend the next 4 hours going from group to group in a crowded bar selling raffle tickets, almost 400 of them! No rest for the weary either! Sunday I was up early, putting on blue eye shadow, eyeliner, pink lip gloss and popping my colar to compliment my 80's bangs and "permed" hair to go play in an 80's themed volleyball tournament to support some of my fellow TNT fundraisers. Team “Like, Oh myh Gawd!” Played 7 games in 108 degree heat. I did use sun screen so avoided sun burn on my skin, BUT wore cheep risky business sunglasses that allowed my eyeballs to get burnt. Who knew? Apparently, everyone who did not grow up on the Oregon Coast...oh well all for the cause right? What really got me though was when I got home and watched the live streaming YouTube tribute to Talia Joy Castellano. Over 2 hours of talking about and honoring this amazing and talented little girl taken just before her 14th birthday by chilldhood cancers, among them Leukemia. I cried and cried and cried. So unfair for her family to have to go through this but how blessed are we to have an opportunity to "know" this amazing person because she used her situation to get this disease noticed? I am humbled time and time again by the strength, grace and courage of those battling, winning or losing, against cancer. We have got to "Keep on swimming" and giving and serving until we can wipe this ugly thing out. We have got to find cures and treatments so our littlest of angels on earth get to grow up and have angels of their own. My goal is 10K by October 20th. I'm a little over half way there. Can you help get us the rest of the way? Please?