Friday, January 29, 2010

Seven Year Pitch

One of our volunteers, Cheryl Dudley, started a fundraising team for Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer last year. She was our top individual fundraiser and brought in over $2,000. This is her story:

I saw last year as a critical benchmark for me. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer seven years earlier at 43, there was enough time behind me to wonder if it could happen again. I was particularly anxious about getting my mammogram last year. When contacted by LBBC about putting a team together, I had decided I wasn’t going to do Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer again – despite the fact that my diagnosis date corresponded with the first year of the event. I wanted to get my clean mammogram again and continue my busy life. But, after getting the clean results of my mammogram for the 7th year in a row, I felt euphoric. And I wanted to express my gratitude in a tangible way. After all, LBBC was with me at the beginning of my journey... as they have been for so many others.

The tangible way for me to express my gratitude was to put together a fundraising team for the event. I named it the "Seven–Year Pitch," in honor of my seventh cancer-free mammogram. I was concerned at first about raising the money. But I looked beyond that and pledged to do my best in reaching my goal of raising $2,000.

The website made it easy to fundraise. It provided a visual way of tracking our individual and team progress in raising funds for LBBC. I checked the site at least daily (sometimes several times a day!) once we got started to see how the money was coming in, and who responded. I was surprised by how much was given. Those I didn’t expect to respond did, as well as those I knew in my heart would contribute in some way. When we surpassed our goal, I wondered if our original sights were too low, or if our friends and supporters were more generous than what we anticipated. Perhaps both.

The team name was centered on my own survival and very helpful in terms of getting family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances to participate with me. I was 7 years clean and wanted to make a pitch to those in my networks to celebrate with me. The name was also a way to push past any dread and to claim “7” as a marker of good things yet to come.

The rainy Sunday of the event didn’t dampen our spirits. We extended our arms in appreciation for each who joined with us, not just on the steps of the Museum that day, but beyond that place and much further than our eyes could see.

Cheryl is proof that you don't need to live in the Philadelphia area to participate in Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer. All you need is an idea. Cheryl reached out to her networks to ask others to join with her--you can do the same! Family, friends, co-workers, Facebook friends...they're all willing to help. All you need to do is ask. Check out our website for more info and to get fundraising tools.

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