Category: Charity - The Funny Thing About Cancer
 
Sorry I haven't had a chance to write much lately.

I was travelling for work Monday thru Wednesday last week.

Then I had ONE work day in the office on Thursday because on FRIDAY we had our big culminating event for the fundraiser.  WE SHAVED SOME HEADS!!!!

And it was awesome.

I don't have time to write much about it now, so I will leave you with some teasers and write a big long blog about it later.  But I did want to reveal how much money we raised. 

Anyone wanna guess? 

Remember, our original goal was $2500.

I guarantee that whatever number you have in mind right now is too low.

Are you ready for it?  Drum roll please!

We raised over TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!!

And we're going to apply for matching funds from the company... so we could end up with approximately $25K as our donation for the Hope Lodge.  Isn't that freaking crazy!?!?!?!?!?!?

The emotions around this are just too much to go into right now.  I'm excited, overwhelmed, and amazed at this outpouring of support from people in my company and community.  It's been amazing.

So I'll leave you with some photos of the gang so you can see what your donations helped contribute towards.  And now you can truly understand WHY this entertained me so much :)

 
 
OK, so I know I've done nothing but talk about this fundraiser lately, but it's been so much fun and the support from this has just been overwhelming (in a good way).

So my office has already raised over 5K for the Hope Lodge.  And we know there is so much more that in the mail and yet to be donated.  We've raised FIVE THOUSAND dollars in just 3 weeks!  That is DOUBLE our original goal!  I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor.  It's amazing.

Thus, we've upped the ante.

We have one manager signed up for every thousand dollars we raise from this point onwards until we get to $10K.

Then at the $10K level, two of the ladies in the office have agreed to dye their hair pink!

I've never felt more loved by coworkers before in my life!

I don't know if we'll get the whole way to $10K, but then again, I never imagined we'd get to $5K, so you never know!

So how does this make me famous?

Well, our communications coordinator contacted a few news stations... and by a few I mean all the major news stations in the Twin Cities.

And one of them called her back.

And drove to Mankato to do a story on our little fundraiser.

And it was the lead story on the 9 o'clock news tonight.

Seriously, the LEAD STORY.  CRAZY!!!!!!

And the most shocking part?!?!  I didn't hate seeing myself on TV.  The station did an amazing job with it and I didn't sound like a total goofball (as I usually do whenever I'm on video).

Once again, I'm just amazed by the support of my family, friends, coworkers, and the community here.  I know I say this all the time, but I am TRULY blessed.

Edit:  Here is the link to the news story. 

Hope Lodge News Story
 
So good news.  We are WELL on our way to meeting our $2,500 goal for fundraising.  We already have over $1000 collected and we're planning on having a fundraising dinner next week. 

This has been so much fun.

I really mean that.  It's been fun to see my coworkers just take this whole fundraising thing to the next level.  In FACT 4 other men offered to shave their heads as well!  So it's on a bit of a graduated scale.  If we raised $500 by last Friday, my friend Warren would shave his head.  If we raise $1000 by this Friday, 2 more guys lose their hair.  So you get the idea of how this works.  In the end, it'll be 5 bald men... and EVERY SINGLE TIME I think about that, I laugh. 

It's awesome.

And it's STILL growing.  So now our communications manager is contacting local press to come be apart of it.  For two reasons, first to get more publicity for Hope Lodge.  And second, so we have loads of video and photos of the baldness :)

Thus, my old boss decided that maybe we should get some shirts made up for the baldies.  You know, since they'll be on TV and all.  My coworker Sarah (the brains behind the operation) and I were charged with coming up with some great slogan for the T-shirts.

Not being terribly inventive right now, I went onto the internet to see what I could find.  And boy oh boy, there were some GREAT ones.  And then there were some even BETTER ones that were wildly inappropriate.

Here are some examples of the ones we thought were both appropriate and entertaining:
1. Don't let Breast Cancer steal second base!
2. Bald... it's the new blonde.
3. I'm having a NO HAIR day.
4. I lost my hair, not my sense of humor.
5. Does this shirt make my head look bald?

Some that were not so appropriate, yet very entertaining:
1. Save a life, grope your wife.
2. F*ck cancer!
3. Chemo: about as cool as a honeymoon handjob.

And ones that I just find entertaining for myself:
1. I lost my boobs... I think I put them in my purse somewhere.
2. Looking for an assman.
3. I have chemobrain, what's your excuse?
4. I pay my oncologist BIG BUCKS for this hairstyle!
5. The chemo made me do it!
6. Of COURSE they're fake... the real ones tried to kill me!

I'm sure not all of these makes sense to y'all, especially considering I haven't yet touched on topics like chemobrain (chemo makes you dumb... D-U-M).

We're not quite sold on ANY of the sayings above for our Cancer Boyz, so if you come up with any others that are funny, please feel free to post them here.

On another note, remember when I asked for funny hat suggestions?  Well someone put a link to THIS in my comments section.  Yes.  It's a knit cap that looks like a BOOB.  Do you think that'd be inappropriate as a gift for all the guys shaving their heads? :)
 
So remember when I wrote the blog about raising money for a charity so that my old boss would shave his head?

And asked you to send money?

But I hadn't chosen a charity yet?

Well I chose a charity.  I know choosing a charitable organization to give money to might not seem like a difficult decision, but I really wanted to find something that meant alot to me.

So I've chosen the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, MN.

This charity provides free lodging to cancer patients and their caregivers during their treatments.  Why is this important to me?  Because cancer is a pain in the ass.  Treatment is hard.  And many cancer patients not only have to deal with the day to day difficulty of surviving, they also enter a whole new world of financial stress.

Aside from the obvious costs of insurance and co-pays and all that, there is the cost of getting to and from treatment.  This isn't something that people generally think about as a huge cost for cancer patients, but it definitely can be.  Many of the best cancer treatment facilities are located in major cities.  For some patients, getting to their treatment facility can mean a long drive or even a flight.  And some portions of treatment are DAILY.

Here are a few examples:

A good family friend from Pennsylvania was diagnosed with cancer that required a bone marrow transplant.  They had to lower his white blood count to 0 prior to the surgery.  He was in the hospital every day for several weeks to get the treatment he needed.  The hospital was over 2 hours away from where he lives and travel with a low white count is generally NOT recommended.

Another cancer patient my mother just met is from Minnesota.  Her cancer is so severe that the doctor in MN basically told her to go home and die.  The hospital she found that WOULD provide treatment is in Boston so she has been living there for the past several months, away from her 12 year old son and husband.

Even for early stage breast cancer, many women undergo radiation.  Radiation is a daily treatment.  You have to be at the hospital every single weekday for about 4 weeks on average. 

Can you imagine the extra cost of hotels and food and travel?

Now imagine that the cancer patient had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work to get these daily treatments so your income as a family was just halved.

Or maybe you're an unmarried cancer patient, so your income was just cut to ZERO.

I am lucky.  I have great insurance.  I live only 1.5 hours from my doctor.  My husband and I make enough money to live very comfortably.  And I've been able to work my way through 90% of treatment thus far.  We are A-OK when it comes to the financial front.

But financial hardship is a reality for so many cancer patients.  Bankruptcy is a reality for cancer patients.

And to me that is just insane.  Dealing with finacial stress when your main goal should simply be getting healthy and surviving is INSANE.

This is why I've chosen the Hope Lodge.  My hope is that by helping to support a facility that provides FREE lodging for cancer patients, we can help relieve some of that financial burden.  And by taking away some of that financial burden, they can spend more of their time focusing on getting healthy.

If you'd like to learn more about the Hope Lodge, click on the link below:

HOPE LODGE

If you feel as though this is a worthy charity and would like to give, you can send a check made payable to 'ACS Hope Lodge' to:

Connie Wood
Pioneer Hi-Bred
151 St. Andrews Ct, Ste 910
Mankato, MN 56001

If you donate through this current fund raising effort, know that we will be applying for matching funds from my company so your donation COULD be doubled!

Thanks again for all your support. 
 
OK everyone, I need your help.

Do you remember this photo?
Picture
Well, shortly after recieving this, I forwarded it to some guys in my office in an email that might've insinuated that this was a challenge.  I mean, people in AFGHANISTAN that DON'T EVEN KNOW ME shaved their heads in support!  Shouldn't all these tough farmer guys I work with shave their heads too?!?!

Bwahahahahahahaha! (that's my evil laugh... because cancer has made me slightly evil)

However, there was a little resistance.  My old boss was like "all for one, one for all, this means the girls have to shave their heads too!"  Well the only girl on the team is getting married in September... and no girl wants to be bald.  And certainly doesn't want to be growing her hair out in time for her WEDDING.

In his defense, he is almost 50 and has a full head of hair.  Shaving your head at that age when you're not even close to bald is kind of like defacing the Mona Lisa.  He's like the white unicorn of the late 40s crowd... the man with hair.  So I get his hesitancy.

However, my old team took him to happy hour, fed him a drink or two and got him to agree to shaving his head.

BUT before he'll shave his head, we have to raise $2500 for cancer during the month of March.

Yes... he's a wily old man.  He put a time limit on it. 

So, while I have no doubt that we'll be able to raise this amount, I thought I'd ask for your help. 

PLEASE SEND MONEY!

I REALLY WANT TO SEE HIM BALD.  I'm pretty sure this will give me at least one laugh per day for as long as it takes his hair to grow out.  AND I get to be the one to shave his head.  There will be photos.  Many, many photos.

Is it bad that I look forward to this with so much glee?  I've been smiling all week since he told me he'd do this if he got approval from our boss. 

I do get to choose the charity that this goes to.  I haven't made any decisions yet.  If you know me, you know that I have a need to research things.  I want to take some time and research charities to A) ensure it's something I want to support and B) make sure it is a highly reputable charity with a high % of their donations going back out the door to the promised cause.  I do promise to you that I don't take this decision lightly and 100% of what is sent to me will go towards that charity.

So as far as donations go, we're gonna do this old school.  Yep, using postal mail.  Because I'm not sure how to sign up for PayPal as a charitable cause and all that jazz. 

If you'd like to donate, please send cash/check/lots of quarters and change to me at:

1535 Meyer Lane
North Mankato, MN  56003

Just remember, seeing this man bald is vital to my continued happines.  OK maybe not vital.  But it sure would make me laugh!  Have I laid on the guilt too think? :)