Dear family, friends and colleagues,
Last Friday evening, I walked into the salon for a haircut. A cosmetology student named Aynsley walks up to me with her shaved head and bold purple lipstick, ready to cut my hair. I sit down in the chair and we are talking about what we are going to do for a summer hair cut to keep it out of my face. Aynsley states that she will not have that problem with her summer hair style . She proceeds to inform me the reason she shaved her head is because her mom is battling breast cancer and will lose all of her hair from the chemo. Aynsley chose to shave her head as a sign of solidarity for her mom as she goes through this fight. I then told her about the Breast Cancer walks that I have done in the past and all of the family and friends that I know that have been affected by this disease or by some other form of cancer. Within the first 5 minutes of meeting this girl, we were both tearing up.
At a fundraiser, a little over a year ago, my friend Stephanie had her long sandy blonde locks shaved on the first day of her chemo treatment. She and 2 of her friends were taking their hair to have a wig made for Stephanie as she went thru chemo. The wig was made, but I never saw Stephanie wear it in person. She owned her new bold bald look, just as Aynsley owns her new look.
Stephanie’s friends and family held several fundraisers for her over the past year to help cover medical expenses. Fundraising events such as the Susan G Komen 3 Day walks, not only help fund medical research, but also provide funding for mammograms and other treatments for patients.
For example: I have extremely dense breast tissue, this factor along with my family history of breast cancer, puts me at a higher risk for getting the disease. A tomosythesis 3D mammogram is what is recommended for my situation. My insurance company will only cover a standard 2D mammogram because they state that the 3D mammogram is investigational or experimental. In 2016, I was unaware that this was not covered by my plan and paid several hundred dollars for my yearly mammogram. In 2017, and at other times in my life, a grant covered the additional expense.
This year I will be walking my 21st event in Seattle on September 15th – 17th. To walk, I am required to raise a minimum of $2,300. My goal is to raise $ 6,300 which will put me at $50,000 raised since 2005. My team, the Coconutter Strutters hope to exceed the 1 million dollar mark this year. I hope that you are able to support me with a tax deductible contribution of $60 or $120 or $600 or whatever you are able to give. Please feel no obligation and remember that an employer who matches gifts, will double your donation. I am enclosing a donation form, payable by check or credit card. You may also donate directly online at the3day.org. Checks should be made payable to the “Breast Cancer 3-Day” and include on the memo line my name and ID# 1178166.
I recently read in The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, “Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them and believing in our own abilities.” Together, with bold resilience and hope we can assist others in times of adversity and struggle in their lives.
Thank you for your support and hope!
Heidi De Young