I’m slowly but surely getting into the swing of this Mommy thing, although it’s amazing to me how different my perspective is on things like time, goals and how much you can pack into a day. I live my life in 2-hour intervals of sleep, diapers and nursing. There’s not a lot of room for much else, like blogging, and the free time I currently have goes to showering, spending time with my Mom and Lucas (she leaves this week — sniff!) and trying to keep the house clean.
However, I wanted to take a moment to honor the incredible men and women who have battled and are still battling a disease that has touched my life, and I know has touched many of yours.
As part of the Ford Warriors in Pink campaign, I was asked to share the story of someone I know who has been affected by cancer, and how he or she has battled it with courage. Sadly, I have no shortage of candidates. My grandmother died of the disease, multiple family members have fought and survived after their diagnoses, and I have been privileged to meet and share the stories of many survivors through my work at Growing Bolder (see our entire channel of content here).
But after watching the “Bang the Drum” documentary (embedded below or available here), I knew that the person I needed to pay homage to is my friend and colleague Wendy Chioji. Wendy is an inspiration by any measure — a fantastic journalist, a great friend, an Ironman triathlete, a crazy cat lady and a philanthropist.
Wendy was working at the station in 2001, and the biggest thing on her mind was the Boston Marathon. She was training hard, hoping to put in a good showing, and her life revolved around running. When she felt a lump in her breast, she decided to have it checked out…sometime. After the race. Because it couldn’t possibly be cancer — she was young and fit!
But it was. The mammogram showed Stage 2 breast cancer, and her treatment began immediately. But rather than keep it quiet, perhaps taking some time away from the cameras to recover, Wendy shared every moment of her often painful story with viewers.
She blogged about it before blogging was big. She went on air with short hair and told people about her chemotherapy and surgeries. She talked about how much it sucked and what was pushing her to get through it and become a role model.
And she has! More than a decade after becoming a cancer patient, Wendy has become one of the most active philanthropists, raising money and awareness (she was even at the big LAF event this week — I caught a glimpse of her on the Today show, walking the carpet with other celebrities!).
She completed the Ironman in Kona this month, a huge goal, and she did it, as always, with a smile on her face. She recently posed — in a bikini!!! — for a fundraising calendar. And she attends events all over the country, helping to support survivors and their families.
Courage is just not a strong enough word for my friend Wendy, who inspires me to set new goals and to life each day to the fullest. I’m so proud of her and of the countless other survivors who prove that you don’t have to give up when you get sick. You just have to survive and thrive.
This October, Ford Warriors in Pink® has launched its first ever produced documentary, “Bang the Drum: Living Out Loud in the Face of Breast Cancer.” The film honors 11 men and women breast cancer survivors who have demonstrated strength and courage in their battle with its “Models of Courage” program. 2012 marks Ford Motor Company’s 18th year of support for the breast cancer cause. In that time, Ford has dedicated more than $115 million to the breast cancer cause.
You too can get involved in this tremendously worthy program! When you buy Ford Warriors in Pink apparel at fordcares.com, 100 percent of the net proceeds go directly to support breast cancer awareness all year long.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ford Warriors in Pink. The opinions and text are all mine.