Monday, September 21, 2015

Love Is On: Let's Help Mary's Place WIN for Cancer Support

Cancer took my dad's life almost two decades ago. At the same time, my stepfather started his cancer battle that he has since won and still works to triumph.  The list goes on with how many family members and friends I know that have been coping with various types of cancer.

Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. It sucks.
 
Support is tremendous as I have learned for people coping with cancer. It also varies from person to person.
 
Explaining cancer to children who are not familiar with the disease is challenging, none to say the least. 
 
To help explain it, we have together done several lemonade stands for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Sarah is growing out her hair to donate for kids with cancer, and we have been more upfront about loved ones coping with cancer.
 
Last summer, as part of a work outing, I was able to meet some amazing women who helped start a  unique organization called Mary’s Place by the Sea (www.marysplacebythesea.org). This non-profit organization provides a place for women, and now men, around the world with cancer a place to go to, to heal: mind, body and soul.
 
At first, I wasn't sure what this meant. Many people with cancer have different experiences. Then, there are people who just need someone who understands what they are going through and knowing that sometimes they need someone who is unbiased, who is not related to them, and more, who can help them either come to terms with their diagnosis or learn about how to deal with the disease and find a place for solace and peace while determining what their next steps are.
 
While Mary's Place by the Sea may be located in New Jersey, people from around the country, far and wide have come to stay in their "special" home where they can gain the emotional and psychological support they wish for.
 
With offerings like Reiki therapy, oncological massage, spa services, guided meditation, yoga and nutritional counseling, I was impressed by all the things offered to help people with cancer.
 
As you know by now, when I hear of something that needs attention or want to help shout from the digital rooftops, then I am going to do so.
 
There is so much I can say about Mary's Place and feel it may be best to learn more about it from them directly either on their website or calling them at 732-455-5344. They welcome volunteers and support.
 
I was excited to hear that Mary's Place has been included among a hundred health care care-charities to receive a financial prize from Revlon as part of their "LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge, an online fundraising competition created to help charities, dedicated to leading women’s health issues, raise as much money as possible over the course of 6 weeks.
 
Revlon will be donating $1.4 million to various organizations throughout the challenge. According to their release, "The organization that raises the most donations between today, 9/21, at 12:00pm ET and 10/29 at 1:59:59pm ET, will win an additional million dollar donation for their cause. There are also prizes for second and third place.
 
There are so many things we can do. We can:
  • Donate to our charity of choice directly or through the Revlon page here
  • Create a personal fundraising page on CrowdRise, linking to the charity we support
  • Share support on social media and use the hashtag #RevlonMillion and link to Mary’s Place Twitter page -- @marysplaceog
The winner of the Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge will be announced in November 2015.
 
Here is our chance to give back. Let's help Mary’s Place by the Sea, who helps so many people battling with cancer and who need support in so many ways.
 
To learn more and to donate click here: http://bit.ly/1LrCQeO.

Mommy's Point of View has made a donation to this great cause and encourage your support as well.

Disclosure: The communications company that I work with, Green Room Communications, does pro-bono work to support Mary’s Place by the Sea.

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 and a Heavy Heart

Amazing to think that 14 years ago a significant tragedy happened on American soil that will forever impact us.

While living and working in New York City, six months before first meeting Daniel and four days after my thirtieth birthday, I thought the world was going to end.

Or, at least that's how it felt.

I know that this sounds dramatic. But, I was there that dreadful day in New York City when the Twin Towers came crashing down and my home city was up in smoke and in mayhem. I was there praying for friends, family and strangers to be safe, and helping others to grasp and move on. I was also trying to keep it together helping my mom get to my apartment on foot, worrying about my step brother getting home on foot, and calming my mom until we could see my step father who worked downtown and was in lock down most of the day.

I know, without question, that what I experienced pales in comparison to what others suffered on that dark, dreary and deadly day under the open morning sky, and that there will be suffering for many for years to come.

Today, and every day, I thank my lucky stars and kiss my husband and daughter hoping for many more tomorrows.

This past year, Sarah’s teacher called me saying that she took out of the library a book about 9/11 and asked me if it was okay and to give me a heads up.  While Sarah, Daniel and I have a relationship that is open to discussions on many things, even those that we think are tough for her but necessary…I am not ready for this conversation to explain what happened that very dark day many years ago.

I thanked her teacher for letting me know and she put the book back. When I feel the time is right to explain to my empathetic child the specifics of that day, I will. In the meantime, we keep the discussion general that bad people hurt Americans and many people are now “up in the sky because of it…and that is why we need to be good and caring of others.”

It's hard not to get choked up or get a lump in my throat remembering that time when the streets of my home city were flooded with candles, flowers and countless posters of faces staring back at me of the missing people in desperate need of being found. Sharing this with Sarah as such a young age, I know I will be in tears. As I write this now, I am welling up.

What is most important, as parents especially, is to help our children know that they are loved and know that we are truly blessed and thankful for the lives we have and can live.

What I continue to do, with this blog, is to help educate and keep the history of this tragic day alive, and for all of us to remember, and also to be thankful for the lives we do have, the family and friends who are here with us, and so much more, and remind our children that they need to be good, not to single anyone out, and to be mindful of others.
 
Today is a day we are reminded to live fully and thankfully. G-d bless all the families impacted by the travesty of 9/11 and know you are in my heart and wish you nothing but peace.