Advocacy Through Fundraising

I have always been involved in raising money for charities and causes. The longing to advocate and fundraise for others has been with me since childhood. As a little girl, I’d collect donations for UNICEF. I got excited when they handed out the little cardboard collection boxes at school. I would go around the block, knock on doors, and collect change.

I've always been passionate about fundraising

I did the same for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I'd hit my neighborhood with a Pringles can or shoebox to collect donations. My mom would take me to where they would broadcast the local check presentations and report the area donation tallies for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. I would stand in line for a chance to introduce myself to a local celebrity host, announce my total, and share how I collected the funds.

It wasn't the TV spots or celebrities that drew me to fundraising. It was the opportunity to help others and be a part of something bigger than my adolescent self in my little kid world. I took it personally. I would hope that someday there would be a kid on the other side of the world willing to collect change for me if I were in a similar situation of living in time of war.

I never thought of the possibility of needing assistance or research funding for a medical condition or disease that would affect me directly.

Finding myself on the other side of fundraising

Living with stage IV lung cancer and needing more treatment options and answers, I take it personally. I hope there are strangers around the world willing to make donations and fundraise with me.

At the time of my lung cancer diagnosis, I didn't know anything about my disease. I was angry and wanted to educate every single person I knew about lung cancer and the risk factors they needed to be aware of. I immediately searched for charities to support.

Advocacting for lung cancer awareness and research

I participated in my first lung cancer-related event and fundraiser one month after starting radiation and targeted therapy treatments.

Since 2015, I've raised funds and advocated for many lung cancer organizations by participating in 5k’s and walks, speaking at events, going to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers, and fundraising to attend summits and conferences. Fundraising is my way to thank lung cancer organizations for their advocacy and support and to fund treatment research.

There may be bonuses to advocacy

For some, the bonus is travel by attending the World Conference on Lung Cancer in a distant country.

I earned a trip to this year’s NFL Pro Bowl by participating in the Team Draft 2020 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge and raising donations for Lung Cancer Colorado Fund. I had many opportunities to share my lung cancer story with NFL players and fans. Meeting players, the conversations, and going to the Pro Bowl game were just icing on the cake. It’s about collecting as many donations as I can to have the largest amount possible written on that presentation check.

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