This June we will host our 5th Pink Ribbon Project. To prepare for the event, we decided as a team to take 5 and reflect on that; what we’ve learned and what we’ve experienced through PRP.
I sure have learned a lot over these past 5 years. When I think about the big things, the things that stand out the most, I think most importantly, I’ve learned to appreciate having regular, everyday problems. Having these problems doesn’t seem so bad when you take the time to notice others with real, life threatening problems.
|Photo: Em Rose Photography|
I started my journey with the Pink Ribbon Project after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt like I needed to do something positive, at a time in my life when I felt helpless. It is a crazy thing when a real problem shows up in your life. Suddenly all your other problems seem so small. I became aware of many other people going through their own experience with cancer. It was almost like I entered into a new level of awareness because all these people had been fighting for their lives all around me and I had no idea. It opened my eyes to how sometimes, we all get so caught up with insignificant problems that we don’t know or we forget about what real problems in life are.
Now, that’s not to minimize problems that are less serious than a cancer diagnosis, I get that we all go through stuff everyday, I do too. Sometimes that stuff is annoying, frustrating, sad, even heartbreaking and some of those things can be life changing too, or at least at the time we might view them that way. I just know that a cancer diagnosis is something that rocks people to their very core and not just the patient, the family and the friends too. It’s life changing, for better or for worse. It’s a serious problem, one so serious that our everyday worries, struggles and frustrations fade away and our biggest fears come sharply into focus. Over time that fear will give way to many other emotions and responses depending on the person. For me that fear gave way and allowed many other things to come through, eventually leading me to the need to take action in a time of great uncertainty for my family. Getting involved with the Pink Ribbon Project which later grew into a whole organization, the Full Circle Foundation has been a great experience with so many wonderful people. It has taught me to weigh the importance of everyday problems compared to serious ones and to give my time to support those who are facing a gravely serious situation; a breast cancer diagnosis.
|photo: Em Rose Photography|
While giving my time and resources to PRP has positively impacted me and many others, like anything it has its challenges. I’ve learned first hand that raising money for a cause is not a simple task but it is one of the most important parts of the what we do through the Full Circle Foundation. Without support from our community we would not be able to raise significant amounts of money, that in turn goes to charities who are making the most impact in breast cancer. When you ask friends and family for donations year after year you start to feel like sometimes people would like to avoid the topic. I completely understand and yes we know it’s asking a lot! I have been the one who has tried to avoid giving away my money when it seems nearly impossible to get ahead. These days it seems that everyone is struggling with the way our economy is in Southern Alberta but most of us forget while we are struggling with our own problems, the people around us that have a different kind of struggle going on. People who don’t know how much time they have left. I’m not including this to sound negative or to bring any guilt to the situation. I just want to acknowledge it to say, we see and completely understand when it doesn’t work for you. I do want to share the reason I continue to ask for support. It’s because of my awareness of the many people who are fighting this disease and because of my desire to help; and it’s the sad fact that I know there will be more. More people I know, more people you know that will be impacted by this disease. I think when we give a little time or a little money to an important cause it can pull us together and even make us feel better about our own struggles.
I think it helps to ease that burden of giving when you see what those dollars turn into when they are put into trusted hands. As an example, we are able to allocate some of the funds from PRP specifically to metastatic breast cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society. We know that until more research is done on how to stop breast cancer from spreading (metastasizing) outside of the breast, people will continue to die from breast cancer. Your support of PRP is the kind of action that allows research like this to happen.
It’s the promise of new treatments and discoveries that keep us asking for assistance and we are so humbled by the trust instilled in us to continue to invest in the work that truly makes a difference for those living with breast cancer! The only way for us to continue to get support for PRP is if we continue to ask. It’s the people that give that are truly amazing to me, to all of us! The companies and individuals that have sponsored PRP over the past 5 years are wonderful and gracious to the core. The individuals who attend year after year offering their support, are the ones who are making it all work! We are excited to share more at this year’s PRP about what your investment looks like 5 years and over $84,000 later.
|Photo: Em Rose Photography|
It was time for us to take a look back, to help us find a way forward. There is much more work to be done and issues that are so complex they will make your head spin. But I’m proud to be part of a team that isn’t afraid to dig into the issues and keep pushing forward to help as many people as we can. We hope you will be part of this 5th and very special Pink Ribbon Project, a night full of hope and support . We have so much to show you and so much to thank you for!