Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! I am so excited to be walking in both Twin Cities (August 18-20) and San Diego (November 17-19) in 2017. This will be my 11th and 12th 3-Day journeys, and the first time I have doubled my efforts. Because I have seen the life-saving difference it makes, I cannot stop raising both awareness and money for Susan G Komen for the Cure. Progress continues when we all continue to fight.
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® isn’t just a 60-mile walk over the course of three days—it’s a journey to the end of breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised by the 3-Day® help support Komen’s Research and Training Grant Program and large public health outreach programs for women and men facing breast cancer. The remaining 25 percent helps fund local community and Affiliate support and outreach programs.
Few of us remain untouched by this disease, either personally or through a loved one, a co-worker, or friend. With your donation, you can positively touch the lives of others - and make a difference for future generations. Please support my continued efforts to advance the end of breast and other cancers - for what helps one cancer can, and does, benefit others. Many companies match personal donations. Does yours? And, if your donation is in honor or in memory of someone dear to you, please send me their name to add to my wings. I really do wear them all 60 miles! I cannot fly but, in truth, they carry me each step of the way.
Wishing you health, love and laughter.
Nancy Schulman / White Butterflies* (*see below for the story behind our name)
2006 Tampa Bay / $5,030.00
2007 Tampa Bay / $6,402.00
2009 Boston / $5,153.00
2010 Dallas / $5,631.50
2011Washington DC / $6,517.00
2012 Chicago / $4,714.00
2013 Philadelphia / $5,652.00
2014 Twin Cities / $6,835.00
2015 Atlanta / $7,232.00
2016 Michigan / $8,842.00
2017 Twin Cities/San Diego /
The Story Behind "White Butterflies":
"Do you miss her very much" my 5 year old asks inquisitively?" Yes, I do", I reply. "Every day."
"Her" is my mother; Grandma Lucy to my son, Logan. He has never met her. She died of lung cancer 2 years before he was born. But he knows her. He knows her life, her love, her spirit. He feels it in the softness of a baby's blanket. He sees it, as I do, in the beauty of a butterfly's wings. My mother was strong and determined, talented and intelligent. She was principled. She was a fighter. So even though we knew her death was imminent, it still came as a shock to us all. She had fought back so many times from adversity that she had us all convinced she was invincible. But the day came when the fight ended. A lifetime of smoking had taken her from us too soon. She was 69 years old.
I was angry when she died. I understood some of the choices she had made but I didn't understand all the physical pain and hardships she had had to endure for much of her life. Sitting at the kitchen table with her, shortly after her cancer diagnosis, I asked if she still believed in God after all the illness and loss she had suffered in her lifetime. She paused for a moment and looked out at the cardinals and blue jays that perched in the trees just outside our window. "I have to" she replied, "man can't create such beauty."
A few months after her death, I was standing on a balcony overlooking a lake in the Canadian Rockies. It was so beautiful. Suddenly I felt the loss of her so intensely that my grief welled up into words I spoke aloud. As I voiced my need for her, a beautiful white butterfly captured my eye, hovering for a bit before flying away. In some strange way I felt comforted by its presence.
This experience repeated itself to me several times in the coming weeks. When I seemed to need her love and guidance the most, a white butterfly entered my world as if to say, "I am near, I am here." And as the days and months went by, the appearance of a white butterfly would bring a smile to my lips. I saw many of them. I knew she was close at hand. And the pain softened.
At the one year anniversary of her death, following Jewish tradition, we had a headstone unveiling service. It reopened the wound as if it was yesterday. At the gravesite, after the service, I shared the appearances of the white butterflies with my family and how they brought me comfort. "Well didn't you see her here today?" my husband asked quietly. "No", I said, not having been able to see through my tears as the rabbi spoke. "Two white butterflies danced around the rabbi throughout the service," he said. "Your mother and Adam, the child we loved but never met."
Two years later Logan was born. He is named for his grandmother. From the very first day he was wrapped in blankets she made for him. And with her blankets, even though she was no longer with us in body, she held our deepest hope and dreams in her own hands. One of these has become "Blankie", Logan's most cherished possession. And he came to this of his own choosing. Now, after 5 years of constant love and attention it is starting to literally unravel. It is of great concern to my son. But I know that as the blanket grows weaker, the memory of her spirit grows stronger. And in the white butterfly she will live on in all of us.
Postscript: I was not a consciously spiritual person before my mother’s death. As I stood before family and friends on the morning of her funeral, the words I had planned to say on behalf of us all caught in my throat. I stood silently unable to speak. In the next moments, I felt the gentle weight of a hand on my left shoulder, yet I stood alone at the lectern. And I found my voice.
I truly believe my mother's spirit stays close to us. Watching, guiding, protecting from wherever she is. Logan believes it too. And I hope this is a gift from me to him that he will treasure always. That will comfort him. When Logan was in preschool, he ran up to his teacher one morning very excited. "Come look," he said. "Grandma Lucy is in the garden." The teacher was unsure what to make of it. But Logan knew. And I knew. And we smiled. A few years later I was bringing flowers to the cemetery with my father. As we stood there lost in our own thoughts, a white butterfly landed on my father’s shoulder for the briefest of moments before flying away; a butterfly's kiss from his wife and friend of 50 years. I smiled though my tears.
My father-in-law died when Logan was only 4 ½. They were very close and it has been a hard loss. But as time offers healing, Poppa's spirit revealed itself and began to sing sweetly in our hearts, as in life he always sang to us. So we see him now in the robin that sings out each morning in greeting. We greet him in return and we smile. Logan is now 5 ½. As we were walking to school this week he asked me if I was going to die before him. I paused for a moment before answering. "Probably, yes" I said. "Well what will your spirit be?" he questioned eagerly. "That, my son, will be for you to decide."
May 4, 2006