All this fundraising... WHY?

I'm sure by now, you've seen my countless posts. Countless videos. Countless ways for you to donate to LLS. Maybe you understand why this is so important to me, maybe you have your own connection, maybe you have NO IDEA why this is such a "big thing" & why I'm so passionate about it. (I use the words passion & obsession interchangeably, haha!) 

So, I'm going to take this time to blog and explain. Share some stories. Fill you in on this huge part of my heart....

I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to help others.

Each year The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) launches its Man & Woman of the Year fundraising campaign, and I was honored to join this year’s efforts as the 2015 Woman of the year Campaign Manager for Team Fight for Joy.  I am writing today to ask for your support of LLS’s mission in its efforts to find cures for blood cancers and to assist patients and families as they battle this disease.

From February 26, 2015– May 8, 2015, our team goal is to raise $100,000 which will go directly to LLS in support of its longstanding mission to find cures and ensure patients access to the treatments they need.  If we raise over $50,000 by May 8th, we can link our team name to an LLS-funded research portfolio this year to honor our efforts to help people with blood cancers.

My personal reason for joining this campaign is in memory of my cousin, Emily Leyland, and the candidate I am raising funds for, Katy Ursta.

Emily fought her fight with Leukemia with strength, and dignity and taught everyone she came in contact with that there was a bigger meaning for this life. She lost her leukemia battle here on earth in August of 2013, but, like Stuart Scott said, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live your life”, therefore, Emily beat cancer. She has always been my role model, teacher, mentor, friend and held my hand through the best times in life, because we truly only had the best times. Fundraising in her honor has become a huge passion of mine— it’s how my family and I keep her spirit and memory alive. When we raise $50,000 & have the opportunity to name an LLS-funded research portfolio, it will be in her name and her honor. This is the most special and amazing thing I could ever do and work on together with my family, Katy, and people like you. Cancer may have taken Emily away from us too soon, but we will continue to fight in her name and with the JOY she exemplified. 

Katy herself is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and very dear friend of mine. She was diagnosed and began treatment last February and went through her last chemo treatment this past August. We are truly thrilled to have been able to join forces on such a campaign to raise funds, bring awareness, and change lives! If there is anyone who deserves your vote for Woman of the Year— it is her. She has reminded me to pay attention to the little things that bring me joy in life— a trait she shares with Emily. We were surely brought together to do something “bigger” with a little nudge “from above” & I’m so thankful for this opportunity! Katy and I met last March at a fundraiser for our husband's hockey team. Their teammate, Tim Paul, also fought a courageous battle with Burkitt's Lymphoma. Each year, they do an alumni charity game in memory of him- & this year, I have the privilege of working on this event & many others with Katy. TRULY- Tim & Emily had a hand in us meeting & working together to raise this kind of money for something so special. 

There are many reasons to be proud to support LLS’s efforts.  For instance, of the 39 new cancer-fighting drugs approved by the F.D.A  in the past 10 years, 19 of them were initially developed for blood cancers and many had funding from LLS.  Of those 19, ALL of them show promise for treating other cancers:
  • Gleevec, used for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), was recently approved to treat stomach ulcers and is in trials for breast, prostate and ovarian cancer treatments. 
  • Velcade, that targeted drug to treat patients with myeloma or mantle cell lymphoma, is also in trials for people with kidney, lung and thyroid cancers. 
  • Rituxan, the first approved targeted cancer drug that was initially used for non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients, is used in 11 blood cancer and rheumatoid arthritis treatments.
This is an organization that is doing the right things with the dollars it raises, and I’m proud to be associated with. 
So, Maybe now your'e wondering, HOW CAN I HELP?

There are SO MANY amazing things we have going on to raise this money & I would like to list a few! 

For starters, you may have seen my push-up videos! If you donate to my personal site, I will do a push-up per dollar, video myself doing these push-ups, post it on Facebook & tag you so you can see your dollars at work! The link for that is here:

We also have "EVERY SWEAT MATTERS" shirts available for purchase. All proceeds from these shirts go to our campaign! The link for those shirts can be found here:

There are also lots of "parties" being hosted via Facebook! Here are a few!


Stella & Dot:

Chloe & Isabel:

We also are hosting many LIVE EVENTS! 

The hockey game I previously mentioned will be on March 21st! Have a little one that plays ice hockey? They can be involved, too! Check out the details at this event link:

Lastly, I am hosting an accountability fitness & healthy living group via Facebook! To participate, you must be a current challenger or NEW challenger of mine! This group will start on March 23rd- TWO WEEKS! The theme of this group will be "EVERY SWEAT MATTERS: sweating for those who can't!" We will together, come up with a list of names & daily we will sweat for someone who can't. I'm EXTREMELY excited for this group, because it really keeps me motivated & pushing- knowing others can't. 

To apply to be a part of this group, please click on this link and fill out the application! 

I will be accepting these applications starting NOW! For each new challenge pack or Shakeology on Home Direct purchased in March- I will donate $10 to LLS! Get healthier & help end cancer at the same time! 

As always, let me know if you have any questions about ANY of this going on! 

All my JOY,


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