Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Insider's Story

This entry was written by Michelle Zeigler, LBBC's Marketing & Communications Assistant:

I always assumed yoga was for flexible people. Not for someone like me—who can barely reach down and touch her toes; someone who trips over a jump rope and somehow falls over an aerobics step at the gym. When I was hired at Living Beyond Breast Cancer as the Marketing & Communications Assistant, I knew I’d be working on Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer. And I knew I needed to understand—really understand—what the event was all about.

It’s hard to explain what the event means, because it holds different meanings for different people. For me, this was an opportunity to help change the lives of so many women. Women whom I had never even met. It was an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself—and bigger than my everyday stresses. Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer gave me an opportunity to step outside of myself and put life in perspective. There are women out there going through much more than me—and staying positive. They’re living their lives to the fullest. Couldn’t I take some time to focus on someone other than myself?

So I decided to not only help plan the event, but to join Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s fundraising team and help raise the money. You may be saying to yourself, I’m no fundraiser. Well, neither am I. Marketing and fundraising are two completely different things!

What kept me motivated to raise the money? The women we serve. Women whose phone calls I take each day. Women who tell me they’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer and are afraid. Women who tell me they need support. Women who tell me they’ve chosen to live their lives as fully as possible. Women who tell me they have hope.

I also do it for the caregivers. Those whose loved ones have been diagnosed, but who remain by their side. Husbands that stand by their wives. Daughters that encourage their mothers. Friends that help a loved one without being asked. I raise the money for them.

When I stood at the bottom of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps last year, I watched as families gathered together to do the yoga poses. I watched as two friends embraced. I watched as fundraising teams with matching shirts encouraged one another. It was breathtaking and overwhelming, all at the same time. So many people from so many walks of life…all in one place for the same reason.

I’ll always remember that moment. I remember that moment when I’m stressing over not having enough time in the day. I remember that moment when I’m sitting in traffic and feeling the weight of inconvenience upon me. I remember that moment when I’m angry with a loved one. I remember it and think, life is so much greater than this. Am I always successful at stepping outside of myself? Of course not. But this event has made me think hard about life and how I want to live it. And I’m thankful for that.

Have a story to share? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook Page. It's with your support that we can raise $200,000 for the nearly 200,000 women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

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