Wednesday, January 27, 2010

my awesome family

My awesome cousin, Regina, who happens to be a highly qualified ICU nurse, will be flying down from Boston to Haiti - any day now - to lend her medical expertise and compassionate heart to the victims of the earthquake.

She'll also lend her humor.


And possibly teach those in her company some of her suave dance moves.

I'm certain that she will do a great job and I am so proud to be related to this incredible woman. Oh, and to add to the awesomeness factor? Regina will be doing the 3-Day walk with me later this year. Yup. You read it here.

(FYI: Regina. You're doing the 3-Day walk with me later this year. Hugs! Kisses!)

My awesome cousins, Margaret and Lisa, who happen to live in South Carolina and have dedicated themselves to homeschooling their children, have also dedicated themselves to keeping their father's memory alive. Because my Uncle Bill never gave up his hope for a cure to lung cancer - his daughters haven't either.


A few years ago, Margaret worked tirelessly to have a license plate adopted by the South Carolina legislature, which would benefit lung cancer research. Now, Margaret and Lisa are trying to help spread the word about lung cancer research legislation that is currently before the U.S. House and Senate which will declare lung cancer as a public health priority.

I've written about my Uncle Bill before. As you may recall, he was an extremely healthy man who never smoked a day in his life. And yet, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Although the doctors only gave Uncle Bill three months to live, he made it almost five years because he was so strong in both body and spirit. It's not as unfathomable as I once thought, that someone who never smoked a day in their life would be struck by this horrific disease. Tomorrow, my boss will be flying to the funeral for his 60-year old cousin who died of lung cancer this past weekend after a diagnosis in October. Of 2009.

(He was also a nonsmoker.)

What I didn't know until just today is that over 60% of new patients are former smokers or people who never smoked at all. Moreover, one in five women that is diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance website, there is currently a piece of legislation before both the U.S. House and Senate called the "Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act of 2009."

This critical piece of legislation "declares lung cancer a public health priority, authorizes the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs to combine their key assets and to develop a comprehensive and coordinated research program with a goal of cutting lung cancer's mortality in half by 2016. The first year of the five year bill would be funded at no less than $75 million. Additional sums are authorized as determined by these three agencies in the overall five year plan."

Wow. That sure seems like a lot of money.

But did I mention that lung cancer will kill:
  • More people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney, and melanoma cancers combined;
  • Nearly twice as many women as breast cancer;
  • Over three times as many men as prostate cancer;
  • An average of 437 people a day?
Did I mention that??

So please consider signing the petition and sending a message to your congressmen and congresswomen, today. It's extremely easy to do and a wonderful opportunity to stretch your democratic muscle.

(Believe me, he would if he could.)


(FYI: Margaret and Lisa. You're doing the 3-Day walk with me later this year. Hugs! Kisses!)

So here are people from my family - doing what they can to help the scores of people that have been devastated by the recent earthquake in Haiti, raising their voices to help spread the word about passing a critical pieces of legislation that will reduce the mortality rate of lung cancer patients by 50% over the next six years. That's some pretty incredible stuff. What else could I possibly tell you?

Well ... my husband he is an extraordinary man.


Do you have any idea how difficult it is to juggle clumps of sand?


It takes coordination, balance, dexterity and SPEED.


Yet look how he does this so effortlessly.


My husband is a man of many talents.


And he is a man of very good looks.


FYI: Charlie...


Regina, Margaret, Lisa and I will be doing the 3-Day walk later this year...


Which means I'll be gone for a few days...


But I have every faith that you'll be TOTALLY fine...


Hugs! Kisses!




  1. what a wonderful post! i'm so glad you're getting the awareness out about lung cancer. also, your aunt (the icu nurse) sounds amazing. my husband is working on a special right now for the tv show "the doctors" about haiti, and he said it's the most heartbreaking thing he's ever witnessed. he said if i had to work on it, i'd be crying every second. i'm glad your aunt is lending her help to a very needed and worthwhile cause.


  2. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Regina ~ You ROCK!!!

    Charlie ~ Simply Amazing!

    Jen ~ Hugs and Kisses


  3. Thank you for the kick in the butt (Ie: link)that I needed to be heard. I have gone and sent my email.

  4. Jen, that last photo is just beautiful! I would love to commit to the 3-day with all of you, but I don't know if my "discs" would survive it....and I would be mortified if I couldn't finish. We'll see.


  5. My grandmother died of lung cancer last March. She was 63 years old and had never smoked in her entire life. She also lived on a farm where she grew her own vegetables, made her own bread, and never ate processed food. She never weighed more than 145 lbs, even when she was pregnant. She was the picture of health.

    And that's why I'll be signing this petition. Thanks for posting information about it.

  6. Oh MY GOSH!! Charlie can juggle???? That's amazing!!!!!!! ;-) I hate being the last one to find this stuff out!! (just kidding)

    REGINA!! ONE OF MY MANY CUZZINS!!! WOW! Your incredible! So impressive that you would use your talent, treasure and time and actually GO!! Amazing. We've donated to the Red Cross and Catholic Charities feeling that our hands are tied but WOW!!!!! Your Amazing! Thanks for all you do Regina!

    Okay fine Jen. Do I still have to sleep in a tent?? and we need another date 10/10 is out for me. (it's my anniversary) I think Amy V. is going to join us too! Right Amy?

    Love, Marg

    PS Thanks for all you do too Jen and for posting about the current legislation. Back atcha y'll - hugs, kisses - literally. ;-)

  7. Erika: Good Lord woman, you live in California, right?? What are you doing up at 2:22 AM?? Wait. You have an infant ... right?! :)

    AM: I told Regina that if necessary, we'd just take the shuttle to the end. The important thing is to be there. What's there to lose?!? You could do it. Of course you could do it!!! OR, if you were absolutely certain you didn't want to walk, you could be on the crew?! They COOK. And BAKE!

    Margaret/Lisa: I don't know if you'll be sending me hugs & kisses once you get the packages I mailed to you last week. Are they there yet?!

    Marla/kbreints: Thanks for sending an e-mail! You rock!

  8. Your family is so amazing. I love you guys.

    Hugs and kisses.


  9. Good Post Jen and I have signed the petition. I will call Regina to see how she is doing and urge her on. I agree that the last picture is great of you and Willian at the beach. It looks so beautiful out in SD.

  10. Hey!!!

    Yes! I just got it...I am so glad I didn't read that this was coming until now.

    I am sooooo sIked! I don't get out much...

    Presents from California. YAAAA

    But here is a question.....Do I have to share the Joe-Joe's??? I didn't even know what they were...until now.
    and I think I am going to really like them!

    So here is the thing:
    My kids are ready to kill each other over Chocolate covered Cherries...Mark byes them for Kathryn, Kathryn and Mark eat them ALL...Stephen feels left out, Mark bought some for Steve, told him to share...Now just like a big brother would he is teasing is sister and until now I wanted to take the Cherries and flush them...I find my self in such a dilemma...Do I share and set a good example or do I hid???

    I'm going to hid with the Joe-Joe's and think about it for a while.


    Love and Kisses!!

    PS ~ Liz loves the new clothes!!!
    THank you for sending them to us.....She is already trying everything on.

  11. One of many cuzzins!1/27/10, 10:51 PM

    O.M.G. Would you pleeeze burn that stupid picture of me!!!

    Thanks for the nice words Jen. I'm very excited about my journey tomorrow. I received word just this afternoon to be at the airport tomorrow morning at 6:30AM. I feel very honored and blessed to have this opportunity to go to Haiti to help. I appreciate your prayers, for me and for those entrusted to my care.

    I'll drop you a note if I have an opportunity.

    Tons of mush,

  12. Talked to the amazing Charles lasnt night and wanted to let you know My Joe Joe's are yum! yum! ;-) And breath is so minty!! ;-) Thank you!

    I'm not sure if your guilt-ting us into eating them and wearing the t-shirt so we "HAVE" to walk or your guilt-ting us into a good feeling of "oh WOW! Jen sent..." so we "WILL" walk!! :-) Either way. Your good.

    (Thank You) Love, Marg

  13. Thanks again and again for your supporting lung cancer. Uncle Bill was so lucky to have all the support that he had, but more must be done for this disease. Can you believe what a gal, and you another trip for cancer, me and your Mother will be in Washington, right Mary, she is a great cook, I'll bring the wine, and we will have a great time. I saw the piece on the Doctors on Dr. Phill and it was really heartbreaking. Keep up the good work Jen, and Mary E. loves the clothes and shoes, she said the mail man likes her.