Sunday, July 3, 2011

It Really Does Take a Village!

I am regularly reminded that it really does take a village! Most recently I was reminded of this by the outpouring of support that I have received from friends – near and far, old and new, and even from ones I haven’t met personally, yet have through, yep, you guessed it, none other than Facebook – for my Rappel against Cancer! I signed up to do this wild and crazy rappel “Denver Over the Edge” ( – off a 31 story building (1600 Glenarm) in Denver, CO on July 8, 2011 to benefit the Colorado Cancer League ( This is the third annual but my first time -!

I was inspired to do so for many reasons. First, in the last year, I have met a couple of people through my efforts to find investors for my company OneGiving ( who had done the rappel in 2009 and 2010. When I heard about it in 2010, just a few weeks after the event, I thought to myself, I want to do that. One of the individuals I met who did it is a man named Shane Feiman who told me of his story of the rappel and how he did it together with his wife Amy. He is inspiring and has become an amazing friend and advocate in some of my own professional and personal journeys…he is doing it again this year -

A few months later I met a woman, Courtney Mizel - who had survived breast cancer and had done the event in 2010 after surviving cancer. She is a bright, passionate and spunky woman who reminded me a lot of myself and I instantly took a liking to her! During the first year of the event she was in cancer treatment, chemo, radiation and the rest of it and had a good friend of hers rappel in honor of her and the second year, last year, she did it with him together as a survivor! I was touched! She is doing it again this year - we are doing it together...!

A while later, both Shane and Courtney had told me I needed to meet a man named Gary that we would really hit it off. When I met with him, I realized that he was the guy who had rappelled in honor of Courtney the year in 2009 and with her in 2010. This year he is doing it again and together with all of us. Gary is the President of the Cancer League, and his wife was the President before him. The Colorado Cancer League is a fully volunteer organization.

I feel so grateful to be able to participate in such an exciting adventure with people who have such depth of spirit, passion, purpose and compassion and live their lives to the fullest with respect for others and honoring themselves in each and every moment. I feel lucky and humbled to join them this year!

In addition to doing it because I was inspired by others, I decided to do it as a symbol and reminder to myself of all the fears, challenges – personal and professional, physical and mental –and obstacles that I have overcome in my journey. In my 20’s I over came many health scares – including early stage melanoma and cervical cancer – among other things.

For a period of time my health challenges got the best of my mental state of being. Until one day I woke up and realized that it was all in my attitude. I was feeling defeated and wondered if I really wanted to be living or not. It took me a while to choose in. But when I realized I did want to be here, I chose in – fully, wholly, completely! I decided to move forward in my life and take each breath deeply, each step passionately and appreciate each moment fully! I chose in fully to life.

Doing this rappel reminds me of all of the fears and obstacles I have overcome in the past few years and in my life as well in my move to California to go after my dreams and life purpose. I am dedicated to living with courage, not cowering in front of my fears, but rather standing up to them and overcoming them. This rappel represents what I have overcome with my health, in my life and with my most recent challenges tied to starting my company OneGiving and living a life of purpose, passion and authenticity. I know that whatever comes of it all, I will be ok, no matter what…because I have my positive attitude and an outlook on life that finds the opportunity in even the hardest challenges. I hope that others too may know that they can really do anything they put their minds too…it is just about standing up to our fears and the unknown, believing and having the courage to keep going forward!

Probably most of all, I am reminded by moments like these how it really does take a village! I am soo grateful for all the friends, loved ones and even new people in my life, who have stepped up to support me in my endeavor – with words of love, encouragement, donations and more! At a moment in my life, that I needed just another little umph or push of support – I received it in abundance. I am grateful for the angels who have showed up throughout my life at just the right moments! I would never be where I am or whom I am without those words of encouragement!

Thank you to all of you who sent donations large and small…and words of support and encouragement even if you couldn’t donate. It didn’t matter if I received just a note or a $1 donation – every little bit counts! Thank you for reminding me of the wisdom and truth of our OneGiving tag line – The Power of ONE has the Strength of Many! Remember that the next time you doubt for a minute that you are all alone…just reach out, look around and take time to support and cultivate your Village!

Many thanks to…Trish, Goodspeed & Merrill, Myrna, Ben, Ivana & Jon, Scott, Kim, Mariah, Debbie & Dave, Susan, Maryna, Tina, Cynthia, Francine, Faradee, Martin, Mark, Patrick, Melanie, Drew & Zach, Deb, John & Ashlee, Arthur, Jodi, Farzad & Parandis, Jack & The Jaffe Family Foundation, Terry, Phyllis, Leslie, Jennifer, Elisabeth & Jeff, Shane, Courtney, Gary, Kay, Sandi, George, Carrie, Naina, Ryan, Reshma, Francoise, George, Elizabeth, Baeth, Kerry…and so many more of you!

If anyone still wants to donate…you are more than welcome to go to:! Let it inspire you and represent your commitment to fighting cancer and/or overcoming all of your fears and obstacles and living life to the fullest!

In peace, love and gratitude ;) p

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