Well, I happened to have the most amazing week. Last week the SAMFund hosted their 2nd Annual Cornhole for Cancer Fundraiser @ Joe's in Chicago. It was perfect. Funny enough, that marks the one year anniversary of this very blog! I remember back to a year ago, when I got home after the 1st Annual event and the social night @ Theory- I was so inspired then, I had to write a blog about it. Well a year later, I am even more inspired. But before I get too redundant, I will share a link the a blog entry I wrote for the SAMFund blog. It explains everything, so you have to check it out. I am very sad that it's over...and I am counting down the days til next year.
So, back to my wonderful week. Last night I was so very lucky to attend the Women Who Make a Difference event @ Petterinos in Chicago, hosted by Lakeside Bank. An amazing woman who I feel so blessed to know, Sharon Karsten, won an award for her work with the SAMFund. She was being honored for making a difference in the community. She is a very wonderful person, and like I said, I was so lucky to get to attend the event. I was even luckier because I got to speak at the event. I am no public speaker. I get all flustered, shaky and super nervous when all eyes are on me, and to have all eyes directed to me while trying to speak is like 10 times worse....But it was SO worth it. I got to speak in front of everyone about my story of survivorship, my experience with the SAMFund, how they helped me in SO MANY ways, and best of all, I got to share with everyone how amazing Sharon is. Honestly, without women like her, I may have not had the opportunities I have recently been presented with in life. It was such an honor to be able to go up there, and somehow- once I got to the podium, after being introduced by local Chicago celeb-anchor-woman, Linda Yu, all nerves died down. I got up there with my little cheat sheet. I didn't look at it once. Whatever I managed to say up there was way better then what I had practiced. It was just right- which shows me that no matter how nervous I get, I was meant to be up there to connect with people. It was amazing. I met so many great people that night that are involved with so many other non-profits in the Chicagoland area. And I was accompanied by Andrew Feldman, another wonderful person who I met through the SAMFund- and served on the planning committee with him for the Chicago events.
I drove home that night glowing. I kept thinking "wow, how did I get this lucky? To have met these amazing people, to have done what I've done, I can't believe it". I can't stop saying this, but when I think back to a few years ago, like before I was even diagnosed, I would of NEVER guessed that this is where my life would take me. I may have had to endure really horrible scary cancer treatment for 10 months out of my life- but I would never change anything about my life because I couldn't risk not having what I have now. It's funny, but last night Sharon said to me: "Things that happen in life really do happen for a reason, serendipity". It stuck with me, and when I think back to my life, everything really did happen for a reason. That's why I can say that I am one of the luckiest people, because I feel so honored to be able to have learned the life lessons that I have learned, lucky to have met the people that I have met, and thankful to have what I have. I will never consider myself an unlucky person- well actually I have bad luck with cars, and cameras, but that's another story. I am very lucky, and feel so blessed to have what I have.
My week is going to get even better...
I'm going to Nashville this weekend. My cancer sister/friend/fellow alumni leadership member Melanie is hosting a SAMFund Fundraiser in Nashville on Friday. I am so lucky to be able to join her. She is a very special person to me, and I cannot wait to see her. She is SO passionate about the SAMFund, and being a former grant recipient and AWESOME cancer-survivor, I am so honored to call her my friend. I just wanted to say thank you to the SAMFund for everything. Thank you to everyone who supports the SAMFund, & thank you to Sharon and Andrew!