Friday, February 27, 2009

Be Amazing

Most of the people that read this blog already know who I am.

But if you're new here ... Hi.

My name is Jen. This is my blog. (This is the only decent picture I could find of myself where I wasn't wearing a wedding gown.)

The man with his arms raised is my husband, Charlie. (We need to have pictures taken of ourselves more often.)

These are our four-year-old triplets, William, Carolyn and Elizabeth.

This is our one-year-old toddler, Hurricane Henry.

We are on a mission to cure cancer.

Oh, it's a lofty goal, we know. And we realize that there are a lot of different forms of cancer. But we're doing what we can to raise money for research because we believe that the cure for one form may lead to the cure for others. And cancer is one of those things that must be stopped.

My cousin Raymond died from cancer in 1976.

My Aunt Dorothy died from cancer in 1976.

My Aunt Carolyn died from cancer in 1986.

My mother-in-law Jeanne died from cancer in 1992.

My cousin Andrea died from cancer in 1996.

My college buddy Tom died from cancer in 1998.

My Aunt Barbara died from cancer in 2001.

My dear friend Julie died from cancer in 2005.

My cousin Paul died from cancer in 2006.

My neighbor Anne died from cancer in 2009.

My sister Mary was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2008.

My Uncle Bill, a man who has never smoked a cigarette, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given three months to live in 2005. He is still fighting his cancer battle due in large part to the tremendous strides that have been made in cancer research and treatment.

Six months ago, my friend Deana - a mother to two young sons - was diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt's lymphoma. Just when everyone thought the cancer was gone and Deana was in remission, the cancer came back with vengeance. Recently doctors told Deana that chemotherapy isn't working and she needs to contact Hospice. This week, Deana flew from California to Texas with the hope that the treatment she receives at MD Anderson will save her life.

These are just a few of the people in our life that have been affected by cancer.

We are frustrated hearing the stories. We are frustrated when another loved one is struck down by this horrific disease. We are frustrated feeling like there is nothing we can do except bake lasagna, pray and send cards. We are frustrated with feeling afraid.

Who is next?



God forbid, one of our precious children?

It happens. All too often.

We are frustrated with feeling helpless.

And we are not alone.

Along with my cousin Margaret, Charlie and I are running the San Diego Rock N' Roll marathon, to benefit the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Sunday, May 31, 2009.

Up until very recently, none of us could run more than a mile. (I still barely can.) But all of us are dedicated to raising money that will fuel the research for a cure. All of us are dedicated that once this race is over, we will not stop. We are going to keep raising money for a cure for as long as we are physically able, or a cure is found, which ever comes first.

Three weeks ago, we began fundraising for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Twenty-two days later, we have raised over $5,000.00. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that we would raise so much money so quickly, especially during a recession. Never once did we imagine that people, especially those we've never met, would donate so generously to this cause.

But it seems everyone has been touched by cancer. Today while at the dentist office, I told the receptionist about our involvement with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and she told me that she had never known anyone that had cancer. Just then, her coworker leaned over and confided that she was currently battling uterine cancer.

It's everywhere.

We are committed to exceeding our minimum fundraising goals. To that end, every week until Charlie tells me that I have to stop hosting giveaways, I am planning to hold a new contest with a prize that will be raffled off in return for a 100% tax deductible donation to fund cancer research. The details for any contests that are currently underway can be found in the top left hand corner of the blog under the title, "Go Deana GO!"

We know we are going after Moby Dick.

But we're bringing along the tartar sauce.

So we hope that you will help us.

We hope that you realize cancer does not discriminate based on age, gender, religious viewpoints, political viewpoints, financial status, highest-level of education received, or national origin.

We hope that you will challenge yourself to become physically strong because if you are able, there is nothing stopping you. We hope that you will become inspired to use your physical strength to do things for those who cannot and in doing so, we hope that you will discover you have the ability to be amazing.

We hope that you will grab this button and help spread the word. It is free to a good home. Lisa: all you need to do is open layouts > page elements > add a gadget > link list > then paste the HTML code in to the content section of the HTML/JavaScript box and select a name for the button which you'll type in under Title. Once you save the changes, the button will show up in the sidebar of your blog. (And once it does, I'll send you a box of Joe-Joe's.)

<a href=""><img src=""/></a>

We hope that you will join us on this amazing trip to help end cancer.

(Coming soon: t-shirts and wristbands. OK. Soon might be Christmas 2010. Unless I can find more time in the day or at least, convince the children that a three-hour nap is a GOOD idea.)


  1. YOU are amazing.


  2. As soon as i can get my wallet, I will be making a donation.

    I added your button/graphic to my site as well as a post about the people cancer has stolen from me.

  3. Jen I can't support you financially at this time because we are struggling to make ends meet but my husband prints t-shirts and balloons and he can help you! Right now he is giving 5% of the sale back to your charity. He will cut you a great deal as well. He knows all about you because I talk about you all the time!! Keep up the great work you are doing.

  4. This is Darcy aka: "finn" from Carolyn's...Questions for you. I posted the button in my blog and it links to your blog. Where can they find contact info or a way to donate? Also, is it okay for me to use the photo of Deana on my blog? Just want to okay it with you... Thanks Jen! Darcy

  5. Jen, Grandma Foley had cancer too. Breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and then about 10 yrs later, the cancer came back and she had her 2nd breast removed.

  6. Jen, I admire your effort, and am happy to post a link on my blog. I'm sending you happy vibes from Texas that your feet will wake up & get moving for you. :-)

  7. A Chinese proverb says” The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” What you are doing is amazing and I hope that you’ll be able to raise awareness among other, myself included.

    We must not stop, we must find a cure and we will believe in miracles!

    Thank you Jen (or Jane) for all you do!

  8. Jen,
    as always your words move me, today especially. A very dear friend was diagnosed Wed with Ovarian cancer. I don't know all the details, but they are at this very moment prepping her for surgery. Prayers are appreciated.

  9. I just lost my uncle last night to liver cancer, my mother survived colon cancer, my oldest brother is currently fighting colon cancer and a dear family friend just lost her battle with leukemia this past Sunday. That is just recent history. The past is FULL!
    I am planning on helping soon, do not give up on me.
    You inspire me each day and keep the light on. Here fishy! fishy! fishy!

  10. Hi Jen - just donated on your team site! Go Deana Go!!! and thanks for all you are doing for her.

  11. Jen, What a fantastic essay you wrote today. You are so right, research is working. When we go into the "center" (as uncle Bill calls it,) there is not a chair available for treatment. We have to wait until one is finished with his treatment to grab a seat. There are all ages there, one a sixteen year old boy, pleasent and happy to be there, women in their thirtys, fortys and so on, men, young men with small children, but you know what, they have been going for treatment for months and yes, years. The research is working, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists are wonderful hard working compasioniate, great people. I know first hand if it were not for the research, Uncle Bill would not be here. Thank you Jen for your partication in this fantistic endeavor.

  12. PROUD member of the Cancer Crusaders!!!!

    Great Post.
    Love, Marg.

  13. Hey Jen,

    It was'nt too long ago when I started visiting your blog and since then it never fails to amaze me. Your kids are just too adorable and your drive to do something is just awesome! I will keep coming back that's for sure! By the way, I have added your site on my blog links, indeed one of my Fave. :)


  14. Hey Jen,

    Just donated on Margaret's page. You guys are doing such a terrific job!!!

    And adding the button right now...


  15. Jen,

    I would like to donate to your cancer crusade but no longer use paypal because of security problems that I have had with it in the past. Could I just mail you an old fashioned check? And I would love to be entered to win a scarf but don't need an Ipod. I am cali+1 on the baby steps board. Could you u2u me if I can send you a check? You may need a PO box if others want to do this. And I have an idea for a great fundraising idea, have a kids and parents afternoon dance jam and charge admission. They are really popular where I live.


  16. I really wish I could make a financial donation but I am in the process of raising money for my Breast Cancer 3Day walk! I have to raise a minimum of $2,300 and I am almost half way there! I do wish you well and know that I am in the fight against cancer with you guys! I lost my mom Nov 04 to Breast Cancer... it has to stop!

  17. Jen,
    I went to grab the link for my blog. It's not "Link List" but rather "HTML/JavaScript" gadget to add.

    Thank you so much for your eloquent post today. I have family members that have died from cancer and some friends and family that are still alive due to advanced treatments and early detection.

    Because of your inspiration, I'm planning a grueling 2 hour work out tomorrow morning at the gym.

  18. One of many cuzzins!2/27/09, 2:28 PM

    Hey Jen,

    Great post! I so admire you and Charlie and Margaret for not only challenging yourselves, but also challenging all of us to be more aware and more accountable. I'm going to mail both you and Margaret a donation. (I had a problem at Christmas time and decided not to use my credit cards electronically anymore.)

    By the way, You can add my name to your list. I've gone through chemo & radiation three times for a rare cancer involving my muscle tissue. But I'm wicked big and wicked strong...and that wicked "C" ain't gonna get me!!

    Best of luck training. You've got a super team and you're making us all proud.


  19. You Rock! I'll be making a donation soon.. I'm going to point all of my 18 blog readers toward this post to try to help you out!

    Good luck!


  20. If you're serious about the t-shirts and wristbands, then check out You can set up a 'store' in minutes that let's people buy online through that site. All you profide is the graphic, then you pick the items you want available in your 'store.' A fee goes to for each item, printed on demand, and you could use the rest for charity.


  21. Jen,

    I wanted to donate to all three of you and enter the bean bag raffle, but then Jeff came home and told me yesterday that he just took a $640/month paycut to go with the $300/month paycut he took back in August. So now, I'm not even sure how we're going to pay bills anymore. However, I am putting your button on my blog, so maybe that will help somehow. I think all three of you are amazing and that you are doing an amazing thing. I'll definitely be rooting ya'll on!


  22. The gadget is posted, I don't have a huge blog following but we are trying to help spread the word
    I am a sugar freak and don't make fun of me but what are Jo-Jo's or are they Joe-Joe's I know what the potatoe jo-jo are but not a box of something that sounds yummy.

  23. I'm a total dork when it comes to technology, even though I have my own blog, but I did link to this on Facebook. In the meantime, if anyone commenting knows how to put the button on a Typepad blog, I'd be thrilled to hear about it!

  24. All you do is.............try to get this stupid button, uuuu I mean cute button onto your blog that your really not sure how to work anyway and NOBODY really reads hitting this and that......while you are trying on and off ALL DAY and then pull your hair out and start to throw the computer out the window screaming.........

    until your Night is Shinning Armor says..."What are you doing Liser" (My dad calls me that so Mark thinks it's funny) "OH, let me see if I can help you." "Is this what you wanted".....YES!!! How did you do that??.......uuuu.........

    WELL! It is done...THANK GOD!! I think I will need two boxes!.....
    Now, How do you turn on the DVD player again??

    LOVE todays post!!

    Love, Me

  25. Done! I am a loyal reader. And I wish I could help monetarily, but I can't right now. So I added your link to my blog. Go take a look! Hope it helps you out!

  26. I love the button. Hopefully it'll remind well as get others going.

    This week's been running. We're all battling some super bug that refuses to go away! We all sound like seals. It's hard to run when you're barking like a seal! But I'm going to try tomorrow. My new theory...SWEAT OUT THE BUG!

  27. Wonderful post Jen. I wish I could donate but in these lean times breast cancer gets any spare money - 2 1/2 year survivor! My husband is also a colon/liver cancer survivor of 14 years.

    What you're doing is amazing!

    How's Mary doing?

  28. not a lot of people go to my blog, but im adding it anyway. :)

    goodluck to you and your fight against cancer.

  29. I have been following your blog for a long time , but never felt easy to post cause I do not have children , but now I think I can leave a comment just to tall you that I AM IN on your fight against cancer . I also lost some precious friend with this mean and devastating disease.
    God bless you and your precious family.

  30. I'm not able to contribute anything myself, but I added the button to my site.

  31. Hi. I'm a first time visitor to your website. You're commitment to beating cancer inspires me.

    My bf was diagnosed with lymphoma when he was 16. They beat it off and he was in remission for a year before it came back when he was 20. He left for Houston (we live in Oklahoma) and was there for four months of intense treatment. They know what they are doing though, and he just returned from his six year checkup. There is hope for your dear friend. She's in a great treatment center. :D

  32. P.S.- I will try to post the button on my blog, but I'm not very good with technology. We'll see what happens. :D

  33. I found your blog two days after my mom found out that she has lymphoma (again). I added your button to my site.

  34. well i just commented on the other post before i found this one. and my love of you and your cause is only growing by leaps and bounds every moment i think of it. please let me know if there is anything i can do to help... besides, ya know, entering a giveaway every once in a while when i can afford to do so.

  35. oh yeah! one more thing: my friend is running that same marathon! how neat. three people of whom i'm a fan running in the same race. love it!

  36. Hi Jen,
    We live an hour North of Legoland as well. Maybe North East of Legoland. I found that interesting. Do you live in OC or the IE? We live in the IE. We need to talk more off-site. I am amazed at you running on fish sandwiches pushing 2 of your kiddos. Not an easy task I know. Well, I have never pushed any of mine further than 3 miles in a stroller while running. Kuddos to you.

  37. This is wonderful! My mom has an incredibly rare cancer (there isn't anyone else who currently has this exact cancer); so I am very happy to hear of any research being done to help curing cancer. Since she is out of the box, it is hard for the doctors to know what to do for her, but they are doing their best and she is doing well.

    Thanks for all your hard work!