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Thank you. Two super small words, but imagine for a minute that they are made of molten platinum and stand about 100 feet tall. That might begin to approximate the gratitude I feel for your support over the wild 10 weeks of my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year campaign.
Here are some highlights:
- 1000+ people learned about my childhood friend, Pat "Noodle" Newell, as the 10 year anniversary of his passing looms
- Planned 2 events attended by 225+ people, including A Night for Noodle in my hometown
- Won the LLS 2014 Mission Award for "demonstrating exceptional outreach and advocacy through the campaign" (and was introduced as a "spitfire")
- Raised $41,256 in 10 weeks
While I didn't get the official Woman of the Year title, let's be real: I won the moment that I said yes. The decision made my stomach churn for about 24 hours while the critical Itty Bitty Shitty Committee in my head whirled it up. What the hell do you know about fundraising? You're not even a blood cancer survivor. Why would anyone care what you have to say? You're a little woman from a little town with a little business. You've never raised more than $3K. Who do you think you are saying you'll raise $37K? I could go on and on, but you catch my drift, right?
Here's the thing: I've made way bigger, scary, criticism-inciting changes in my life. I've lived to tell about all of them. By day, I'm privleged to catalyze and support other women who want to make their own stain on the world. (Seriously, I have the BEST job ever!) How could I say no? Sally Ekus, who is a leukemia survivor herself and a kindred badass, with a wave of her nominating wand presented me with an enormous gift - a chance to grow, learn, connect and do something soul-smooching.
For those of you who ever question whether you are enough to do this or that, stop overthinking it. You are. The opportunity wouldn't be in front of you if you were anything less than enough. Did it look like I knew what I was doing during the campaign? Quite possibly. Because, when I said yes, I had about 10% of a clue about what I was doing. However, I trusted that I could figure the other 90% out or knew someone who already had. Hell, it's not like LLS was asking me to perform a bone marrow transplant. It was figureoutable, especially to a super-organized nerd like me who had a Franklin planner by 7th grade. (Yeah, that's right, even before Covey got all up in that.)
It also helped that a fantastic team came together - Andrea Landry, Craig Snyder, Rob Berthiaume, Sally Ekus, and Sarah Williams (East Coast) plus Brian White and Robbi Rucker (West Coast). Pat's mom and stepdad, Mary and Bob "G" Pepin, dove in, plus countless others. Much to my amazement, these friends, old and new, said yes or just showed up with their sleeves rolled up and ready to rock. It took a shit-ton of emails, texts, phone calls and a planning meeting at our kitchen table, but we got it done (and done well, I might add). Brandy Morris, Brilliance Instigator, cheered me on every couple weeks and gave me the space to think things out. Megan Atkinson, Ruckus Maker Extraordinaire, got my vision and helped me create the irreverent look of the campaign that made me terrifically excited, instead of nervous, on launch day.
Then came all the kind-hearted and generous supporters like you. When I opened my heart, you opened your wallets, schedules and/or Facebook pages to help. Whether it came as an unsuspected act of kindness, an email, a comment or a note, someone managed to make me cry tears of joy and amazement at least once a day since late February. Literally, for 3 months, I've been totally drunk on the milk of human kindness (and mildly dehydrated). When you give people the opportunity to do something good or helpful, they will fucking amaze you about 99% of the time. Try it and see for yourself. No, really, try something that scares you more than a little bit and trust that you can figure it out along the way. You'll have to get over yourself and ask for help. You'll botch stuff up, but then you'll get it right. You'll learn. You'll grow. You'll connect with others. You'll make a difference. You'll be different in some really radical ways.
With loving thanks from the bottom of my bursting heart + a virtual hug that will squeeze the air out of you,
PS: I won't be emailing you about the campaign any more. If you'd like to stay in touch, do consider getting on The List. I'll pop into your inbox monthly-ish to say hello and always be a reply away.