Sunday, September 30, 2012
She said, "This is mom" after I handed her the card
Yesterday was a big day for us in the Teal Four Square Flash Mob community. With the Facebook campaign falling on deaf ears I needed to do something else to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer. That is how this whole Four Square Flash Mob thing started. I imagined a crowd of people dressed in beautiful teal, crossing an intersection over and over, calling out about our "gems" and giving people symptom cards. I am a nut, I know. A little much and, well, different. Let's just say that I am strangely happy that it wasn't a mob in downtown Seattle yesterday, but instead just me and my little basket of cards, talking one on one with other women.
As I was leaving my apartment yesterday I still had not chosen my location. With all of my sales and marketing history (not professional that is) I would say I failed miserably in terms of planning. Oh well. But, that may have also been a good thing. I hadn't done anything like this in a very very long time. I am a shy person and for me to go out and talk to strangers is challenging. Always has been.
So I got in my car and just started driving. The air was cool, a little cloudy, and really I had no clue what was happening anywhere. I thought, well I can go to Pikes Market, that would be crowded. Then I thought, maybe by South Lake Union, so beautiful around the lake, surely I will find lots of people there. Then I thought about Phinney Ridge, a little neighborhood with lots of shops. Then Fremont, then Golden Gardens park by the sound. I thought about Greenlake too, a little lake between Phinney and Wallingford.
So first I drove to Phinney Ridge and it didn't feel "right". I kept sensing this need to go to Greenlake, so that's where I went.
On the west side of the lake I could see the regular view, people walking and running along the edge, as usual. I decided that I should go to the eastern side of the lake, where the food stand and boat rentals are, an area more concentrated with people. If you have ever driven anywhere in Seattle you know that you can't really see what's around the corner. That's how it is driving around the lake, crazy.
As I drove around towards the eastern side and passed the tennis courts suddenly there appeared an area with a bunch of tents and balloons. I saw a huge stage and thought, wow, just exactly the place to be. Perfection.
It took forever for me to find a place to park. Finallly I found a little spot with 45 minute parking in front of Jodee's Desserts. Yum. I scurried my buns to the park, teal balloons and basket in hand, ready to talk to the world about ovarian cancer.
When I got there, I saw that the event was for the Light the Night Walk, http://www.lightthenight.org/. It's a walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. People were lined up to register, red and gold balloons were everywhere and you could see people forming their teams. It was just a really nice event.
I got permission from the people at the information booth, who were "in charge". I want to say thank you so much for allowing me to hand out my cards at this special event. It felt really good to give out the cards because somewhere along the line, they will help. I met some really nice people.
One woman stands out. She and her sister were with their children, babies and older children. She took the card and read it quickly. She glanced at her sister and said "This is mom". She asked for another one, and handed it to her sister. My heart sank. I gave her a sympathetic downward smile. She did not ask questions and I knew I should keep walking, but then after a few feet of walking, one of her children grabbed me and said his mom wanted another card. I knew that card was for grandma.
I am so relieved that they have a little information. That one little card may be the spurt of courage that is needed to be firmer with her doctor to at least look for ovarian cancer, in the hopes to rule it out.
I will never forget those words and the look on her face. Imagine being at an event and being handed an ovarian cancer awareness card, sort of a shocker really. Not something you would ever think to get, to be honest.
I write about this not to pat myself on the back or anything, because none of this is up to me. I am just trying to do my part to give back.
Whether it's a national PSA or flash mob of one, we can all do a little something to help people be more aware of the whispers of ovarian cancer.
My friend Bob went out in his little town in Texas to do the same. He distributed 100 cards and spoke with many women about ovarian cancer. I have another friend who gave her pharmacy a bunch of cards.
So I leave you all with a few more little photos from yesterday. I love you all and thank you for following along with me on my cancer journey. God Bless you.
PS.....the dessert place is fantastic!
http://www.jodeesdesserts.com/#!home/mainPage (Fabulous gluten free and dairy free desserts, yum)
PS again....Please visit Cancer Lifeline and view their incredible services. They fell short of their goals this month and their unique services help all people dealing with cancer and their caregivers. They have helped me so much. http://www.cancerlifeline.org/