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It’s time to fundraise again!

Next Sunday (June 28), it will be a year since I held my bridal shower fundraiser for the 5th annual Walk for Lymphedema in NYC. Since then, I’ve been honored to be a charter member of the NY State Chapter of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, which sponsors the Walk. We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to bring patients of lymphedema and other lymphatic diseases resources and a chapter where they can find others who understand their struggles.

I’m sad this year because my husband, Patrick, and I cannot swing the cost of attending the Walk in person on Sept. 19. Our hearts will be there with the hundreds who will once again cross the Brooklyn Bridge to raise awareness about lymphatic diseases and money for much-needed research. We will, however, be there in spirit, as we are doing our virtual walk. We’ve created the team SwellingWithHope to do our part to raise money and to remind our family and friends that this disease could hit anyone, especially those who have surgery or treatment that involve the removal of lymph nodes.

To support our team and raise money for LE&RN, please visit our page:

Again, thank you so much for your support!


It’s Lymphedema Day!

I marked Lymphedema Awareness Day by writing my heart out in the Buffalo News. Hoping to help somebody out there who suffers in silence, who suffers without knowing why.

Keynote speaker?!



This past week has been a whirlwind of activity and news. First and foremost, Patrick and I got married! What a wonderful day full of family, friends and love!!

As you have read, part of our mini-honeymoon is the Walk for Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases on Sept. 14 in NYC. Well, I received an exciting call a few days before the wedding. The organizers of The Walk, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, asked ME to be a keynote speaker! I’m humbled and floored to have been chosen!! I can’t wait to share my story in the hopes of raising awareness of this condition.

Here is the blog post I was asked to write for LE&RN’s website:

In the meantime, I congratulate all the walkers and sponsors, and I encourage patients to keep fighting for answers.


As promised …

fb cover photo fall first ride april 2012

With every fall, we must rise and ride on. (Photo by Patrick McPartland)

   Here are a few blog posts I’ve added to the site. They are from my journal that I kept as I learned how to ride a bicycle to participate in the 2012 Ride for Roswell.

   The entries are very personal, but I’m hoping that sharing the information will be helpful to someone out there.

   Here are the links for posts I’ve added so far. More posts and some photos will follow 🙂

Survivorship: What a ride:

Riding on a mission:

Riding on the past:

Riding on ambition:

Riding on persistence:

Riding on perseverance:

Riding on determination:

Riding on caution:

Riding on faith:

Riding on publicity:

Riding on compassion:

Riding on empty:

Riding on hope:

Riding on self-confidence:

Riding on progress:

Riding on love:

Riding on success:

Riding on survivorship:

   BLANKET DISCLAIMER: The writings in the links above comprise an account of my experiences with lymphedema, cancer, exercise and lifestyle choices to maintain my personal health and weight goals. No part of this account should be taken as medical advice, and each reader should consult his or her physician before beginning, changing or ending any treatments, exercise routines or diets.

One month left

With only one month to go until the big event, we’ve hit 100 baskets for the regular auction. I can’t express how truly grateful I am to my family and friends and to the businesses that have so generously given.

When I was tossing around ideas for my next “project” before deciding to hold Stick it to Cancer instead of a bridal shower, I thought about writing a book about my experience with learning how to ride a bicycle for the 2012 Ride for Roswell. Since this thought a few years ago, I have written a lot. I turned a journal into chapters, cleaned up the writing, chose some of the Lisa-approved photos that Patrick so patiently shot as I was learning and even began the layout process. Nearly two years later, I’m still not sure if publishing a book is the right thing to do. I get stuck in the thought: “Who is going to care?”

Of course, those who follow me in cyberspace care, or otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this! But for the wider audience, I’ve decided that a better idea is to use this already-established forum to share the Ride for Roswell story. Even if it helps just one of you, I know it was worth sharing! Maybe someday, when I’m more financially able to take a chance with real publishing, I’ll issue it to a wider audience.

Over the next few days, I’ll post the “chapters,” hopefully where they belong in the timeline of this blog. As I do, I will add the links to this post so the story is easy to follow.

Thanks again to everyone for all your support. See you next month!

Prizes rolling in already!

kindle and gogo pillow

I am so excited to report that less than a week after we sent out donation letters for our bridal shower/”4th Stick it to Cancer Blood Drive and Basket Raffle,” businesses and individuals already are being so generous!

Added to the list of large prizes with the Lady Gaga tickets is a Kindle Fire HD (8GB) with a camo GoGo Pillow, donated by me. We had an extra unopened GoGo Pillow at home because when we ordered Billy’s, it came with a twin. He didn’t need two, so I stored the other one still in its wrapper. I wanted to do more than put the pillow out as a prize, so I found a great Kindle to go with it!

My family also has been so supportive! Mom is storing all the baskets at her house, my sister, Mary, is organizing and creating baskets, and my aunt, uncle and cousin have made donations, too. My aunt, Kathy Trimper, is providing $25 gift certificates for use with my cousin, Christine McGinniss’ Avon business, and Aunt Kathy and Uncle John are offering a Keurig and a large bakeware set as prizes.

We have also:

-Awesome baked goods from our friends Jill Keppeler and Lisa Bell Parrish as well as family members Margeret Johnson, Mary Codick, Christine McGinnis and Aunt Liz Juszczyk.

-Many awesome baskets from Aunt Liz, cousin Becky Hernandez and the rest of the family!

-Avon gift certificates (4) and basket from cousin Christine McGinnis.

-A $50 gift card to Stuffed Chocolate in Williamsville from Gregg and Michelle Prince.

We also have received wonderful donations from the following businesses:

-Buffalo Sabres yearbook autographed by John Scott.

-Buffalo Bisons reserved seating passes. 

-Anderson’s gift certificate for an ice cream cake or pie.

-BAC for Women 3-month membership (21 and older).

-Pepsi Co. generously offered cases of its product for use during the event. We also may work some into a fun snack basket!

-Gift certificate for a full car detail from David Chevrolet (thank you, Ben Zaino!)

-Gift certificate from Adventure Landing for 4 free games of golf or 100 tokens

-Gift certificate for a wine/chocolate tasting for six people from A Gust of Sun Winery & Vineyard

-Mighty Bucks from Mighty Taco

-$25 gift certificate from Salavatore’s Italian Gardens

-$25 gift certificate from Russell’s Steaks, Chops and More

-$25 gift certificate from Premier Wine and Spirits

-$25 gift card from Jim’s Steak Out  

-Three one-hour passes to SkyZone

-Free birthday party with six guests from Adventure Landing

-Gift certificates for a large pizza with one topping from Papa Leo’s

-Gift certificate for a Swedish massage from Massage Suite and Spa 

-$25 gift certificate from Chef’s restaurant

-3 vouchers for organ concerts (2 adult admissions per voucher) from Riviera Theater

-Two $10 gift certificates for Reids on Elmwood…/Reids-on-Elmwood/187627951279962

-Wendy’s meal certifiates.

-Basket from Shofield Residence Nursing Facility & Rehab, where my niece, Meghan, volunteers weekly.

-Gift certificates from Delta Sonic.

This is in addition to the 50+ other prizes that already have been donated by family and friends! We’ve got prizes for everyone — girl/boy, young/old — including lottery trees, children’s fun packs, Girl Scout cookies and more!

Thank you to the businesses and individuals for their support!

While the event seems so far off, it’ll be here before we know it. Please consider spreading the word! Patrick and I want to share our happiness with the community, so the more the merrier!

Time left till event:

We’re in the news!!

I was so touched to read this item in the Ken-Ton Bee today! Naomi is a great reporter and story-teller, and I’m honored to have been featured in her column! Read it here:


I sent out the press release for this year’s Stick it to Cancer/Community Bridal Shower this past weekend, and I’m happy to see that it’s been released in a few media platforms. Here are some other locations where you can find news about us!

Here’s an oldie but a goodie from our event two years ago 🙂 It would be wonderful to get this type of coverage again!

Thank you again for all your support!