The start of our relationship five a half years ago was all exciting and filled with never ending rainbows and everything in between, but after only eight months into our relationship came the fateful news of my first breast cancer diagnose in 2013. It literally felt like a ton of bricks that came crashing down on our glass house.
We didn’t even know how to share the news at first. And while we knew it was certainly going to be a journey full of ups and down, we ultimately just wanted to live our lives not always having to think about what was happening, seeing as it had already begun to consume much of our time and energy. Luckily, we were blessed with an incredible support system, since both our families and friends swooped in and filled us with so much light and love. It still brings me to tears to think of how much support we’ve had throughout the years, even from all the new friends we’ve made along the way.
Sure, it’s been a journey that many couples experience in their later years, but it has made it feel like we’ve known each other a lifetime. The silver lining to this experience is that I know without a doubt I have found my soul mate, and with that I’m excited to announce that we’re engaged! 😀
So, for those of you feeling like your new norm will never amount to your happily ever after… be patient and focus on your healing, both inside and out. The rest will all fall into place in time and your never-ending rainbows will return. 😉 ❤
To be honest, that’s a loaded question. It’s been six months since my last blog post, yet it feels like so much less despite how much has happened since then. I suppose I can start by sharing that I recently got a promotion and am now working at a new property as the general manager of a residential condominium located in Miami Beach. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better welcome from my residents, in-house team, and corporate team members. I have learned so much about myself, and from those around me since I’ve been there, and I look forward to learning so much more. I’m also still attending school with my graduation date just around the corner which is super exciting. That brings me to my birthday which just passed in May. I was so happy to be able to spend it with my family this year, including one of my nieces who I hadn’t seen in ages. It was the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. And as if that weren’t enough, the following week I got to check off one of the items on my bucket list… Sky Diving! What a liberating experience!!
But that’s not all, which brings me to the rebranding of Gift With A Pink Ribbon, Inc. What started as my personal blog, morphed into a non-profit organization focused on bringing comfort to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. This part of my journey has been great, but as the years have gone by, it became clear to me that Gift With A Pink Ribbon, Inc., the non-profit organization, needed a new name so that I could continue to share my personal journey under my original name of “Gift With a Pink Ribbon” without steering the focus away from our non-profits mission. So, without further ado, I welcome you to visit our new website, www.Knots4Comfort.com.
Yes, our name has changed but our mission remains the same, “to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy find comfort and warmth during their treatments”, and I know that with your continued support, we will be able to raise enough money this year to resume the production of our blankets.
It is with much gratitude that I thank all of you who have followed me since day one and inspired me to continue my journey living every moment to it’s fullest. And to those who have joined me along the way, I thank you as well because you have helped remind me of my purpose in life and for that I am eternally grateful.
This year has been an interesting one to say the least. I went back to school to begin my studies in Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations, have stumbled across some interesting challenges (aka opportunities) in my career, adapted to several changes in my family dynamics, began working on rebranding my nonprofit, developed major back pain issues and learned that I shouldn’t have waited so long to seek medical attention because it could be cancer related, and well, as is the case for many, the list goes on. But before I move forward with my 2018 plans, let me clear the air on the big “C” word.
I underwent several tests but it was the bone scan that came back with the news that the cancer had not returned. Phew! A little recommendation to those of you that have had breast cancer, please don’t ignore back pain symptoms or write them off as “something I can get through” like I did. It could very well be a sign that the cancer has returned and is presenting itself in your spine. I didn’t know this myself, but I guess it’s all part of the learning process. Thankfully all I need at this point is a little more yoga in my life and to be making some better “back saving” choices (i.e. not wear heals all the time, etc.) and I’ll be “A” okay. 😉
So now what’s in store for 2018?
With the end of the year quickly approaching, and after starting a new read called The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance(by Gangaji, Forward by Eckhart Tolle), my new focus for 2018 is to live more in the moment by truly acknowledging my state of being and health in every experience I have and/or create. I feel it is only then that I will expand my knowledge and tap into who I am at the core; building a greater appreciation for my courage, integrity and emotional flexibility, rather than taking it all for granted. I look forward to 2018 and the changes and opportunities that will come with it. Whatever your goals are for the new year, make 2018 the year in which you create the space for you to be and energetically feel greater than you could have ever imagined! That is my wish for you…
There are truly a number of things that I am thankful for, especially my continued good health. Just a few weeks ago I celebrated the 4 year anniversary of the day I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and though I was diagnosed again about a year later, I am happy to say that I have been cancer free ever since!
Strangely enough I still find myself adapting to my new “norm” but all in all I feel great, and far more in tune with what I want to achieve in this lifetime. I’ve kept very busy with work, Gift With A Pink Ribbon and school, and it is all bringing me closer to doing what I love most, and for that I am extremely thankful.
But none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my family, friends and the big man upstairs, who always finds a way to keep me grounded.
So while there are a million things that don’t always go my way, like my participation in the New York Marathon that I had to postpone, there are a million and one things that go exactly as they should, even if I don’t always see the moment in which each puzzle piece falls into place.
Here I sit working on my studies when out of nowhere I receive a Happy Anniversary message from WordPress. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years since I posted my very first blog entry! Where does the time go?
It’s been several months now since my last post and as crazy as it sounds I feel like its only been weeks. I’ve kept busy with work, Gift With A Pink Ribbon, training for the New York Marathon and School just to name some of the big things that are keeping me on my toes, but in light of the message I received I wanted to take a brief moment to truly thank everyone for all of your support. Its thanks to all of you that GWAPR exists now as a nonprofit organization, donating blankets to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments all throughout the US.
Just this past April we were able to send blankets to the Moffitt Cancer Centers for their volunteers to deliver to the patients currently undergoing chemo treatments. Our next step will be the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital right here in Miami. I can’t wait to deliver all of the colorful blankets we have created so far to the children receiving treatments!
My days are long, and sometimes I even feel like I don’t have more to give but there is one thing that always keeps me going….. The smile that comes to the faces of each person that receives one of our blankets. Just knowing that we are brightening someone’s day makes every hour spent on our mission worth it.
I must admit that there is nothing more wonderful than receiving a card or gift via snail mail. Especially when that gift is from a complete stranger, with a note full of gratitude and encouragement. Whoa, where did that come from! 😀 ❤
In the package I recently received was a beautiful rose quartz cuff bracelet from an incredibly talented and inspiring young woman named Kaliada, and a special note too. I must say however that this particular note in itself was a gift.
Not only did Kaliada gift me one of her beautiful designs, she also took the time to make me feel incredibly special by acknowledging all I’ve done with Gift With A Pink Ribbon, and what I’ve gone through in my journey. The acknowledgement alone is a gift in my book.
What makes this extra special is that she herself has experienced cancer first hand, and through her very own journey discovered her gift for creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.
I admire her dedication to empowering women to feel beautiful and confident after cancer, regardless of their emotional or physical scars, and I love that gives back by sharing her own journey.
I am humbled to have received one of her pieces, and will forever be reminded of her kindness, and her incredible journey each time I wear it.
Thank you Kaliada for your heartfelt gift! I can’t wait to see all of your future designs! 😀
Elizabeth ❤ 😀
P.S. If you are interested in viewing Kaliada’s designs, you may do so by visiting www.kaliada.com. There is currently free shipping on all orders over $100 and, you can also save %20 percent by using code: LOVE at check out! 😀 (This offer is valid until February 13th, 2017)
The happiness I feel each time I mail out a blanket, is just to hard to express with words.
Tonight I just finished fulfilling another request, and I can’t wait till it reaches our special recipient in CT, USA.
All I’ve accomplished through Gift With A Pink Ribbon is a result of my own personal journey with Breast Cancer, and it’s nights like these that make me so grateful for that journey.
Through it I learned to take what I could have easily viewed as a horrible life experience, and turn it into something greater than me. A tool which I could use to support others, like those before me who provided a place for me to find comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone.
I never once thought my voice could be heard across the USA, let alone the world, or that I could make such an impact, and meet so many incredible people along the way; But I am truly humbled by this experience.
I hope that I can inspire you to do the same. Your voice is waiting to be heard by someone who will find comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone in their crazy cancer journey because lets face it, it can get pretty crazy…
I can’t believe that a week has already passed since our Gift With A Pink Ribbon Annual Fundraising event in Naples, FL on October 27th, 2016. Where does the time go?
It was such an exciting night! 😀
I had the opportunity to reunite with people that have been such a big part of my life growing up in Naples, and was also able to meet so many new faces. I can honestly say that I am still blown away by the turn out.
Gift With A Pink Ribbon was able to raise almost $2000 that evening, with the help of all of our Sponsors and Supporters. Wow! 😀
I definitely had big dreams for GWAPR when I first started the organization, but I am truly humbled to see how many people have come together to support my mission.
The reality is that, GWAPR would not be what it is today without all of the help and support of family, friends, colleagues, our wonderful volunteers and generous sponsors.
I am eternally grateful to the time and dedication everyone has put into making this dream a reality, and I look forward to touching more lives as GWAPR continues to grow.
Elizabeth 😀 ❤
Are you interested in making a donation or learning more about our cause? Click Here! 🙂
I have really been working hard to find ways to generate funding for Gift With A Pink Ribbon, Inc., and with the help of my amazing team, I am super excited to announce that we are currently doing a fundraiser with Yankee Candle!!! 😀
Shop by clicking here and 40% of your purchase will go to Gift With A Pink Ribbon, Inc. to help us fund the production of each blanket and cover the cost of shipping them!!
Thank you in advance for your support and as always….