I worked in non-profit organizations for a total of 5 years. I organized walks for 40 people all the way up to a few thousand. I called. Begged. Pleaded. For donations. For money. For the kids. The families with cystic fibrosis in their story. The families with T1D in their story. I have helped raise funds for REbeL, an organization focused on fostering positive body image and self-esteem. I was just talking with my Pastor’s Wife last week about helping her out with a Project Hope fundraiser. I’m interested in getting involved more with Omaha’s Project Pink’d and even with Little Pink Houses of Hope.
I know how to ask for money. I know the rules, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I have the right to ask, they have the right to say no. A “no” is not personal to me… it’s because they are saying yes to something else. And I know that above all else, most people say yes to people… not to a cause.
I am running in the 2016 Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. It is next weekend. Yes. October 9th. And I’m just starting to really talk about it. WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU JUST STARTING TO TALK ABOUT IT, ASHLI?! YOU KNOW HOW FUNDRAISING WORKS!!!
Yes. I know. But I also know this. Now. It’s personal. Now. When I ask, I am actually asking for me. I am even asking allllllllllll the same people who have given prayers, money, meals, love, support, and most importantly, TIME, to our family over the last year. I know now how it feels sheepish to ask for more after you’ve gotten so much. I know now how it feels to have to pick where you ask for money to go. I know now that much like the organizations I worked for, people are always going to call to question how the money is being used, if it’s being used appropriately, if it is making a difference. I know how hard it is to make a personal ask.
But here goes…
I am choosing to support Susan G Komen this year. I am choosing to participate in my first event… and be a survivor. I am choosing to show up with countless others who have been affected by breast cancer. And be among survivors of all stages. And see the reminders of those who are no longer able to fight. I am choosing to be there and wear pink and be proud that there are organizations like Komen who raise funds for breast cancer patient support, advocacy, grants, and of course, research.
I know it isn’t the cure. I know that getting together and wearing pink isn’t the cure. But it is a way to celebrate where we are today in relation to decades before. It is a way to help those who haven’t been dealt the cancer card see the actual faces of the men and women who have. It is a way, for me, to move forward.
My life took a huge detour this last year but where I’ve ended up, well, it’s a beautiful place. It’s a beautiful life. It’s one where I will seize the days.
Last year, I didn’t go. My friends did. God bless them. But it was too new for me. I couldn’t. But this year, I want to be brave in a new way. I want to wear my badge proudly. And I want to celebrate others who do as well.
I know. There are many organizations. There are lots of ways to spend your hard-earned dollars. But if you are compelled, at all, please, lace up your shoes and run or participate as a part of my team. Or, make a donation to be used to further the fight for all those diagnosed today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Race. For the Cure.
I will be slogging… AKA slow jogging. I may even need to be carried across the finish line. But I will be there. In person. Alive. And believing that every day, we are closer to a world without breast cancer.
You can catch me next Sunday at the Nebraska Medicine booth — helping them spread Goodness — or you can see me before the race as they share a bit of my story over the past year.
Here’s my team link, sign up today for a team, a race near you, or consider making a donation. Thanks a mil, friends, for always allowing me to share my heart and my desires. And for sticking with me, through it all.
Click the RIGHT HERE to check out my page, make a donation, or join my team!