Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

November is a great month to get going on this blog.  November marks one year since I met my amazing team at Dana-Farber: Eric Winer, Jen McKenna, Kathy Roche and Liz.  It was then that Eric and the team told me I had stage 4 breast cancer, or as we prefer to call it “treatable, non curable cancer – a chronic disease.”  One year ago they told me “our job is to find solutions to fight your cancer.  Your job is to trust us and go live your life fully.”

Let’s see how I did this past year living my life fully:

In April, Eric, my doctor, asked me to speak at the Women’s Executive Breakfast Council as the patient speaker – it was such an amazing privilege to be asked. It has connected me with so many people since it was posted on you tube, that I can’t thank Eric enough for giving me the opportunity.
At Boston Marathon we launched our OOFOS Ribbon collection, where we give $10 for every pair sold on our site to Dana-Farber under the Women’s Oncology Department.  OOFOS proposed to me that they wanted to donate to a cause that was important to me around my cancer.  We are still a small, start-up company that has to be very diligent with our budgets.  I love to say that we “never budgeted for me to have cancer”, so agreeing to take money out of our planned budget to donate to Dana-Farber is such a testament to what a great company our OOFOS team is.


In May I did the Avon 39 2-day Boston Walk with OOFOS founder Lou Panaccione and his wife Lily.  Such an awesome, amazing experience.   We walked by my house the morning of the 2nd day, to the greetings of my whole family and friends dressed in costumes cheering us on!






 In August, I did the Pan Mass 2-day with my son Will, my brother Terry and Lou.  Another amazing experience.  And we rode on team WOW (Women Oncology on Wheels).  All money from team WOW goes to Dana-Farber Women’s Oncology (my awesome doctor Eric’s, department).

Later in August, NESN came as part of their Jimmy Fund efforts,  to the OOFOS office and also my home.  They video’d Lou, my son Duncan and my brother Terry around my cancer journey and how we can all help raise money to keep supporting  research to find cures for cancer.

In September, I was invited to be a part of the Red Sox Jimmy Fund campaign, and speak on the Red Sox Jimmy Fund telethon radio show, as well as speak on the TV pre-game show. 

Even better my whole family went to the game and my boys put down the bases before the game (thanks to my brother Terry)!   

Later in September I took an RV to Notre Dame with my son Duncan, my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece and her friend Sarah to visit my son Cavan.  Awesome experience (although I think I’m going back to flying in the future – one and done)!

In October, Eric (my doctor) asked me to join he and the rest of my team on a panel at the Susan B. Smith Metastatic Breast Cancer Forum to discuss my experience on the Clinical Trial Program at Dana-Farber.  Another amazing privilege to be asked to join this team of experts and talk with other women with metastatic breast cancer about my journey, and hopefully add some value to their journey.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Forum

An Educational Program for Patients and Families

Friday, October 16 – Saturday, October 17, 2015

And last weekend my whole family was lucky enough to go to the BC/Notre Dame game at Fenway.  My husband and I are BC grads, and Cavan is a senior at ND.  Awesome night!

WOW.  When I look back I’d say I followed my doctor’s orders and have been “living my life fully!”.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and here is what I am thankful for this year – exactly one year into finding out I was on this breast cancer journey:

  • I’m thankful for my amazing team at Dana-Farber (Eric, Jen, Kathy and Liz) and the entire Dana-Farber community that is working tirelessly on fighting and curing cancer so I can keep “living my life fully”.   I have so much respect for them - they are an extended part of our family.
  • I’m thankful for OOFOS.  Most people get up every day and “have to go to work”.  I get up every day with OOFOS being a career for me, a part of my life. It’s because of the people on the team and those we work with-in our business first.   Then it’s because of the amazing product we have that is delivering on our mission statement: making yOO feel better!
  • I’m thankful for my faith and spiritual journey with our Blessed Mother, and those around me who have supported me and continue to help me grow in this space.
  • And, OF COURSE THE MOST IMPORTANT, I am thankful for my amazing immediate family – my husband Tom and my 4 boys (Alec, Cavan, Duncan and Will).  As well as my brothers and sisters and extended family and friends.  I will go head to head with anyone to prove that they are the BEST! 

I look forward to another year of being alive and living my life fully!  And working with OOFOS to use my voice to raise awareness and money for research to allow these great research doctors at Dana-Farber and beyond to keep “finding solutions to fight our cancer” so myself and other women and men with stage 4 breast cancer can live many, many years.  Or even better, let’s raise enough to help them find a cure!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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