Dec 4, 2015 was the worst day of my perfect life. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the young age of 39.
"How could this happen to me?" I couldn’t help but wonder. I had it all- a great childhood with loving and supportive parents. I married my best friend and had a loving 3 year old (now 5 year old) daughter. I had a fulfilling 18-year career at JPMorgan Chase and even became a real estate investor at a very young age. I didn't know what bad luck or hard times were because I never experienced either. I was also the person who thoughtfully mapped out each and every move in my life in order to get whatever I want. Getting sick did not fit my plan!
My world crashed even further a few weeks later when I learned that the cancer had metastasized to my bones. I spent weeks confused and distraught. After all, things like this aren't supposed to happen to people like me.
Finally my husband said something to me that really hit home. "People die tragically and unexpectedly every day. You never know what can happen at any time. But God has given you a chance. You can do whatever you want with that chance." Those words snapped me out of disarray and got me focused on next steps. I chose chemotherapy, although not the textbook treatment for Stage IV. I was young and wanted to be as aggressive as possible and knew I could handle it. So here I was, ready to plan again, except this time it was a plan of attack! Chemotherapy shrunk my main tumor in half and prepared me for surgery which would be in December of 2016. There was no cancer showing on my bones. Although I knew it was still in my bloodstream, no evidence of it was a huge reason for me to celebrate, at least temporarily. My hope was that the hormone therapy would help me keep the disease at bay for many years to come. If it didn't, I knew I only had a handful of options which is why I knew I needed another plan.
I decided to use my leadership and planning skills to fund raise for Stage 4 research for meds. Every birthday is a milestone for us Stage IV'ers I used my birthday for the event which I named "MetaBash". I chose METAvivor as the organization to raise money for as they are the only national organization that exclusively supports Stage 4 research that benefits patients living with metastatic breast cancer. METAVivor holds a peer-reviewed grant process that is transparent on their website. 100% of every donation made to METAvivor goes directly to research. And research is the ONLY thing that will keep us alive. I also realized just how underfunded Stage 4 research was. If more isn't done, the stats just won’t get better. MetaBash 2017 was a success. It brought in 150 people and over $30,000.
After a year on hormone therapy, I did a scan in June that showed the return of the cancer on my bones. There it was, my worst nightmare- My medicine stopped working. I had to switch to a new drug; however my options were extremely limited. Where is all the money poured in Breast Cancer going and why isn't it spent on research for meds is the question I and others with Stage IV can't stop asking. And now, MetaBash 2018 is even more important to me for this reason. My goal is $50,000 which will fund a METAvivor Young Investigator award. This award is given to an up-and-coming researcher to explore new ideas for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Come to MetaBash. You'll be learning about Stage IV Breast Cancer, networking and making a difference. There will be food, drinks, raffles and even a take home bag filled with organic and natural goodies that I believe in. If you can't make it, please donate. This is a cause where you finally know exactly where your money is going.
Bounce Sporting Club, 55 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 6-10 PM
Dress to Impress! Wear METAvivor colors Green, Teal or Pink to get a gift bag!
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