Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New ornies from friends

Whew! The postman has been good to me this week. I have received ornies from Cindy, Cindy F., Yesenia, Peggy, Karan & Courtney this week. Here are pics of the ornies they sent:

Aren't they all just lovely? Everywhere I go there is a buzz about this tree. It is going to be spectacular!
Thanks to all. They are all beautimus!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Honor

Tomorrow night I am speaking at the Relay For Life survivor's dinner. Carter BloodCare is the corporate sponsor for this event. I am honored to speak at this event.
Cancer survivors and their spouses or friends attend the event.
I have spoken at this dinner several times before. I speak on the need for blood in our community and how nearly 75% of the blood products used are used by cancer patients.
Each year I look out into the audience and I am in awe. These people have fought the battle or are fighting the battle now. They have fought the good fight. But we still haven't won the war.
Last night at our Relay team captain's meeting I heard a woman speak about her sister. She told the story of her sister's fight with leukemia, a fight she eventually lost.
Then the woman turned to me. Looked me in the eye and told me how important blood products were in her sister's fight. It enabled her at times to leave the hospital and spend precious time with her family.
As I speak tomorrow night I will remember that woman and her sister. I know my job is important. But not nearly as important as the blood donor's job. They are the most important people in my world.
If you are a blood donor, please give. And give often. If you are not, please consider giving or get someone you know to give. Blood donors save lives. It is that simple and that important.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pink & White

Today I displayed the pink & white tree for the first time at an ACS Craft Fair. We had a fair turnout, but not quite as much as we expected. We sold $59 worth of raffle tickets for the tree.
But the majority of the teams had their own booths and weren't totally able to break away to purchase tickets. We will probably sell quite a few more at our meeting on Tuesday.
The tree will now hang out in our donor center where we will continue to sell tickets until the night of Relay, Oct. 17th. Then it, along with the big tree, will be at Relay and that is where most of the ticket selling will occur.
I hope to make $500 off of this tree alone. It should be quite do-able. I am also going to have some media coverage after Relay.
The pink & white tree will be raffled on November 1. It is in honor of breast cancer awareness month. The other tree will be raffled off on Thanksgiving.
So we are still along way from the finish line on collecting money for ACS.
Here are a couple of pictures of the tree. The fair was outdoors and the colors of the ornaments don't show as pretty as they really are!
We did have a "fallen angel" problem with the tree topper. I will have to work on it. The wind played a part in the falling angel.

Thanks again Aunt Sue!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tree!

We have found a sponsor for the big tree! It is going to be a pre-lit 7 1/2 foot tree. This means that there will be no money raised that will have to go to the purchase of either tree! Everything we make will all go to American Cancer Society.
Hatch Bailey, of Wilkirson Hatch Bailey Funeral Home is donating the money for the tree.
Hatch lost his wife, Yvonne to melanoma. Yvonne lost her dad and then her mother passed after her to cancer. Here is the link to the obituary that touched my heart:
Yvonne Bailey
On this Saturday, I will reveal the Pink & White tree at a Relay For Life Craft Fair. We will sell raffle tickets for it through Oct. 31 and will raffle it off on Nov. 1. It will be displayed alongside the big tree at Relay For Life on Oct. 17th.
I had started getting nervous again (I know, I know!) But God has put so many things in motion that I am sure we are going to raise our goal of $5000.
Thanks Hatch! You are a gem!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Little Intermission from Jennifer

Hello All. I hope you don't mind but, I decided to take a little blog break to give a big kudos to my mom, Donna, for heading this HUGE project. I remember the day she called me and started the conversation with "I want to auction off a Christmas Tree for American Cancer Society, do you think people will stitch some ornaments for it?" and my response:"I'm sure a few will and you can always do pink, purple and teal balls as fillers." It's amazing to me now that we were worried about fillers. I have been in the background, but, I am proud to say I have been able to be a part of this journey. Starting with that first conversation, setting up the blog, having the mid-way meltdown "Will we have enough ornaments? Are we going to raise enough money to make a difference?". I have the same answer now as I did then, Every penny we raise will be a penny more they didn't have towards the ultimate goal, FINDING A CURE SO NO ONE EVER HAS TO DIE FROM CANCER AGAIN! Everyone who has been a part of this project, even just praying for it, has made a difference. YOU ALL ARE WONDERFUL AND MY MOTHER AND I LOVE YOU FOR IT! On October 16, 2009, I have the grand privilege of attending Relay for Life with my mother and watching the grand unveiling of the tree. Yes, there will be plenty of pictures! I know I will get misty eyed. As every single one of the 167 ornaments was stitched for a special person in mind. Whether living or already gone to a better place, that person fought, that person struggled, and that person has touched our hearts. And now, we get to do something to thank those people. We get to unveil a tree, auction it off, and give every cent towards making a difference. As much as I have loved this project, I think I can speak for my mom when I say that I hope one day we have no need for this project. We will have no cancer victims to stitch for! And my mother. My dear sweet mother. Who has a bigger heart than could ever fit in my chest. Who deals with and helps cancer patients everyday and not just in this project. Who watches them have surgery, get better, get worse, and pass away everyday. I would be curled up in a ball in the corner if I had to hear about children dying of cancer everyday but, she does it and still fights on. Her motto: "If they can fight this disease, I can fight for a cure." I wish every single one of you could meet her. Extraordinary doesn't even begin to describe her. So, thank you to everyone involved in this project, thank you to the stitchers, the prayers, (the spouses of the stitchers for putting up with all the stitching), and to the woman who had a little idea that will make a HUGE difference, the woman I am proud to call my mother. Mom, you are fabulous, you are completely cha-cha, and you are remarkable. We're in the home stretch and every dream you had about this project will be surpassed. I love you. Let's see this thing through because if they can fight, so can we.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Calling all ornaments and the TREE TOPPER!

I have been amazed several times during this project. Amazed that so many people would take their precious talent and precious stitching time to make these ornaments. Amazed that so many people would share with me their stories of themselves, family members and friends who have fought the battle with cancer. Some have won, some have lost and some are still fighting.
On October 22, 2008 I started this blog and asked those who wanted to participate to join me in the fight against cancer. In the past year, almost weekly, my mail has brought ornaments. Some in big boxes with lots of ornaments, some in an envelope with one or two ornaments.
Each one was made with love. Each one is so beautiful in it's own right.
I received a box of 64 pink and white ornaments from Cindy's "Aunt Sue". This included a pink angel tree topper. I decided then that we would not do one, but two trees. The big one and a smaller one with the pink & white ornaments in honor of October being breast cancer awareness month.
This pink & white tree will make it's debut at a Relay For Life craft show. Raffle tickets will be $1 each. After the craft show, it will be displayed in our donor center where we will continue to sell tickets. It will also be displayed on October 17th, the night of Relay. Again we will sell tickets. It will be raffled off on November 1.
The 6 foot tree will debut the night of Relay, Oct. 17th. Tickets for it will be $5 each or 5 for $20. After Relay, it too will be displayed at the donor center and tickets sold for it. That tree will be raffled off on Thanksgiving Day. I thought it was appropriate to do it then. One we will give thanks for all those who helped make a difference and two most people put their trees up on the Friday after Thanksgiving or during that weekend.
At some point during this project I wondered out loud if I would have enough ornaments to decorate a 6 foot tree.
I needn't worried. I just counted the ornaments and not including the 64 ornaments for the pink & white tree, I have 103 ornaments. Amazing. These ornaments will fill a tree. A tree like no other.
So now, I am calling all ornaments. If you have an ornament that you want to be on the tree, please send them in between now and October 17th.
And I am pleased to announce that Aunt Sue has made the tree topper for the 6 foot tree also. It is done in purple thread, the color for general cancer awareness.
So with no further ado, let me present to you the 2009 Relay For Life Stitching for a Cure tree topper:

Thanks to all, whether you stitched an ornament, shared this blog with friends or supported us with your thoughts and prayers. You have been a blessing to me!
I will continue to post as the trees make their debuts and I will post pictures of the trees.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

MaKenzie, my hero

This is MaKenzie. She is my hero. She is just 2 years old and is (I can hardly write this) most likely dying. The doctors give her a few weeks at most and days at the worst.
She is the little girl I stitched the zebra print ornament for. Just a couple of months ago they thought the cancer was receding and treatment was working. Now she is at home, all treatment stopped.
She has an unknown cancer. And it breaks my heart.
Not only does it break my heart, but my husband's heart also. My DH is a big guy, a tough on the outside, never show weakness and certainly never cry guy.
But little MaKenzie, on the only time she ever saw him, gave him the biggest smile and blew a kiss to him. I haven't seen that big a smile on his face since our wedding day. But now, I see sadness in his eyes. He talks about her often. And wonders why.
And now, every day, we pray. We pray for God's will to be done. We pray for the family to have strength. We pray that something can be done and we can see a miracle occur.
But I think that this little girl was given her angel wings long before she came to earth. I read that in the guest book on her website. And it fits. She is a little angel.
So please, tonight, say a prayer for MaKenzie and her family. And let's keep fighting and stitching for a cure!