Friday, April 10, 2015

Climb-A-Thon FD Fundraiser

Dan and I found a way to fundraise for other cancer patients to join First Descents on an adventure camp retreat - by fundraising we make the camp free to the cancer patients! Here is my story from the fundraising page. I'm so excited at the idea of more cancer patients getting to enjoy the experience that is FD. It may be crazy but we're hoping to raise $3,000. In 10 days. Yep, we're crazy. PS All donations are tax deductible! (click to donate)

Hi Guys, 
Welcome to our First Descents Climbathon fundraising page! Very soon, on April 18th, Dan and I will rock climb to raise money so that more cancer patients/survivors can enjoy the life changing experience of a First Descents camp. We signed up a little late, so we only have about 10 days to raise money before we climb our hearts out. Our goal, in the three hour time slot, is to do 50 climbs between the two of us. Is that insane? Yes it is. But, if we divide it by two, that's 25 climbs apiece, then divide it into three hours and it's less than 10 climbs per hour per person. Is it possible? I don't know! But good gopher we're going to give it our all. 
My lovely blog readers, friends, and family, have heard me sing the praises of what a First Descents adventure camp did for my morale, my confidence, my soul, my spirit. It was epic. I also gained profound friendships, soul siblings. They're family. Please help us support First Descents and its mission to provide amazing outdoor adventure programs for young adults impacted by cancer. Please consider making a donation. I can't emphasize enough how excited I am to be raising money so that others can enjoy what I've already been able to experience.
As many of you know I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on April 13th, 2010 at the age of 29. I had my first brain surgery on the 27th of that same month. It was an awake crainiotomy. They literally put me under, sawed open my skull, woke me back up and dug around in my brain with electrodes, and tools, to determine what was tumor tissue, and what was healthy brain tissue. During the process I was joking with the doctors and answering their questions - it was wild! They awake craniotomies in cases where the tumors grow dangerously within important areas of the functiong brain. For me that area was speech, language, and movement. I was at risk of being paralyzed on my right side, of being unable to process or use language.
Not long after the eight hour brain surgery, my body created a blood clot in my brain along with hemorrhaging in the tumor cavity. It required a second, emergent brain surgery. When I came out of the second brain surgery, I was paralyzed on my right side. I couldn't say more than a one syllable word. I didn't know the months of the year, or the days of the week for that matter. I couldn't recognize everyday items. I couldn't walk. I couldn't feed myself, or even wipe my own bum. The doctors and nurses said I would not get better. And they were almost right. It took shy of a full year to learn how to read  again, and run the way that I used to, the way I loved. I still get better every single day. 
I have since had a second brain tumor grow, and it was resected. I have been doing active treatment ever since (two and a half years). My treatment protocol is intense and dedicated. I've flown to other countries for immunotherapies, I swollow hundreds of pills a day. One of my main treatments must be refrigerated, and it requires applications of medicine every four hours. (This is how I have to insert the medicine up my nose every four hours.)
When I went to my First Descents camp I was nervous because of my treatments. I thought  I wouldn't be able to enjoy all of the activities. But the First Descents crew, especially "Honeybucket", made sure that I had my medicine, going as far as strapping the cooler of my treatments to her back as we climbed. (My medicine is in a cooler in that gigantic backpack.)
For the first time since my diagnosis I wasn't the weirdo doing treatments, or the girl who had to stay home because of seizures. I was free. I was supported. I was normal in a sea of my peers. Just writing those words, remembering the freedom, has caused me to start crying happy tears. This is what I want to share with others. I want to pay it forward so that no other cancer patient ever feels alone, or weird, or isolated. We are not meant to be alone, solitary. It puts a damp cloth on the fire of our soul.
There is no pressure here, but if you can't make a donation at this point, please help me reach my goal by sharing this page on Facebook and Twitter. Or, even better, send an e-mail to friends you think might be interested in contributing and include a link to my page!

Thank you for loving me, for supporting me, and for helping me pay it forward.
With love,
"Coconuts" (and "Huckleberry" too!)
Want to donate? CLICK HERE

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