Friday, February 1, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: The Healing Power of Giving

Today my good friend Heather Cooper would like to share a few words about something very close to her heart. 

With no further ado, Heather...


We probably all know someone who's had cancer. Sadly, cancer has left a personal imprint on my heart, as my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago. When she received her diagnosis, she decided to immediately take care of the spot on her breast. At the time, the doctor suggested a lumpectomy because the cancerous spot was very small, but my mother opted for a mastectomy, fearing the cancer would come back down the road. She underwent the procedure and had full confidence that she had rid herself of breast cancer.

Fast forward to last February... my mother was admitted to the hospital after taking a fall. The tumble led to a subdural hematoma (ie. blood in her brain), which triggered seizures. They gave her medication for the seizures and she had an operation for the blood in her brain, but still, she was not getting any better. The doctors decided to do a bone marrow biopsy to see if something else could be going on beneath the surface. To our surprise, they relayed that her breast cancer had come back and was already at Stage 4.

I was shocked and full of emotion. I honestly couldn't believe that it was possible! My mother began treatment for her cancer while in the hospital, but sadly mom passed away this past April, after being in the Intensive Care Unit for almost six weeks. I cannot help but think that she shouldn't have spent the last few weeks of her life this way.

Since she passed, I have a growing desire to make a difference in EVERY area of cancer, especially breast cancer. In October, I participated in the Avon Walk with my sister, and I'm proud to report that we covered 39.2 miles in 2 days. It was such an exhilarating, powerful experience that made us both feel so close to her. Cancer will always connect me to my mother.

For the New Year, I have committed to running the New York Half Marathon on March 17th and have also signed up for the full NYC Marathon next November. I will be running for Fred's Team because they donate 100% of their proceeds to cancer and they allow me to designate which cause the funds go towards.

I am confident that my experience running and training for these races will allow me to feel close to my mom while also knowing that I am making a difference in someone else's life.

I wanted to share my story with you today to raise awareness but also to encourage you to give to a cause that means something to you. The month of February is all about love... it's a great time to consider giving to others!

And it's true, every gift matters - no matter how big or small.

Heather Cooper lives in New York City and works in the big crazy world of Manhattan real estate. Heather was actually MY broker a few years ago and rented me a lovely little apartment on the Upper East Side. She also succeeded in getting me a job. Now that's the kind of broker you want to work with! In her free time, you can find Heather training for the New York Half Marathon and helping others reach their full potential through Landmark Education. She's quite the busy lady!

One last thing... I know there are many of you out there with similar connections to a cause that hits close to home. One of my goals this year is to use my blog for good, and that's where you come in. If you have a story you'd like to share on my blog in an effort to publicize an issue or raise money for a cause, I'd love to give you the opportunity to share your story in my recurring post Highlight on Giving. Just drop me a line at 

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