Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Would you walk to raise money for cancer research on your birthday?

Melissa, can you help me spread the word about a walk I’m doing?

It’s on November 4..

I’m walking for Shari, my Aunt Ellen and Myself….its my birthday 🙂smile

I got that message today from a long time friend.  So, I asked her to fill me in.  I was out of touch with what is going on in her life.  It turned out to be pretty intense stuff.  In fact, I have been teary eyed all evening.  I don’t want to make you cry, so I will tell you there is hope at the end of this story.  There is a cute picture of the Cookie Monster to make you smile.  And you might even be inspired to act.  I hope so.  Hmm hope.  There is that word again.

I asked Valyrie to tell me everything.  Here is word for word what she shared with me. . .

“Okay, so every year a close family friend of ours, Jenn Anton, joins the Walk for Hope at the City of Hope for Women’s Cancer….Chris and I joined her back in 2010…..

Last year when I had my cancer scare…radical lumpectomy to remove pre-cancerous tumor and cells….I decided the walk was even more important.

I have lost my Aunt Ellen (Elle’s namesake), my brother and close family & friends over the years to cancer.

So this last February, Shari, Chris’ mom, went to her doctor because she was feeling tired and needed her blood work done to refill her meds.   She was horribly anemic…her hemoglobin was 5 when normal is 12… they gave her a blood transfusion…3 pints over 2 days and did a colonoscopy to see if she had a bleed.


Then, about 3 weeks ago, it’s time to refill her meds again…she is again anemic…but now she gets referred to a hematologist who orders a bone marrow test. That was when we discovered Shari has AML. Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Now the walk means even MORE…because Shari is now at City of Hope receiving chemotherapy to hopefully extend her life.

We are heartbroken…I’m not sure Chris is going to survive emotionally….he is devastated. The prognosis is 6-18 months on average. She is 63…she is struggling with comorbidity issues…blood pressure, diabetes and being in what they consider an older age group.

Shari is Chris’ best friend….on her side of the family tree it’s really just her and Chris left… grandparents, no dad, no siblings, no aunts or uncles…it has been a very tight bond between them for a long time.

When I lost my brother and then my mom I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to handle it  so now I am trying to be the best wife and friend for Chris.

AML has no stages…to compare it to other leukemias…it starts at Stage 4, but to her credit, she’s not a complainer. She has her good and bad days but her spirits are high. Because of her comorbidity problems all research leans toward bad news, but we have hope…’s what keeps us going every day.

I’m hoping she is going to surprise us and in 15 years we will joke about this. Shari is loved by so many, Chris is her one biological son…but she has so many sons and daughters who love her and would do anything for her.

So, the Walk of Hope has become my mission…not just for Shari but for all those at City of Hope and those patients everywhere that the research they do helps. So, that is why on November 4, 2012 on my 47th birthday,  I am doing the Walk for Hope with Chris and Elle. It raises money for the City of Hope…where Shari is right now….for groundbreaking research and care for people with cancer.

Our team was named by Elle…..we are called “Cookies or Cancer?”  Both Elle and Shari love the Cookie Monster.  The motto our team has adopted is, “C is for Cookies, not Cancer!”  Our team goal is $5,000 …for every penny we make Bank of America, Chris’ employer, will match.  So, we hope to raise $10,000.

You can use this link to donate to our team:

This is the link to join the team or donate to a team member:

For more info on the City of Hope and The Walk of Hope:

Team "Cookie or Cancer? Walk of Hope November 4, 2012

I’m all in. Are you?

This part is from the Walk of Hope website, I am borrowing their impactful words  because I am still at a loss with emotion for my friend. . .

Join the 16th anniversary Walk for Hope Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 4. Step by step, your support speeds our science saving lives.

Every year, too many women must battle breast and gynecologic cancers. These are the women we love: our mothers, our wives, our sisters and our friends. Our selves.

We envision a future where women’s cancers no longer take them from us. We strive to prevent women’s cancers before they even start. And we want to provide better treatments that help survivors return to the whole and healthy lives they once knew.

This is why we walk.

Walk for Hope is a national movement that unites survivors and supporters — women, men and children — in the fight against women’s cancers. This movement looks to the eight national walks as an opportunity to raise necessary funds to continue groundbreaking research, treatment and education at City of Hope and to raise awareness for women’s cancers.

In labs and clinics, City of Hope scientists explore the links between breast and gynecologic cancers, seeking to prevent and cure them. Without funds, research is impossible. And without research, the cure to cancer is a far away dream.

Our scientists have shown that regular exercise can cut breast cancer risk — and studies indicate that regular exercise actually helps breast cancer survivors live longer. We walk for these reasons, and for the promise of many more discoveries like this to come.

Hope is on the horizon, and your commitment makes a difference. Together, we can build a world without women’s cancers.

We’re all in. Are you?

I hope you join.  I hope to hear from you.  Share your story with me.