You would think after this last year, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of things that faze me anymore. And to a degree, you’re right. And yet, to an even larger degree, you’re wrong.
There are still some things, that no matter how much I have personally stared down and DARED them to test me, I still am just frankly scared of.
Dive meets, for example. Or boxing matches. WHO WANTS SOMEONE TO INTENTIONALLY PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE? Roller skating. Animals with more than six limbs. Or no limbs at all.
But the scariest thing of all? For me, it’s asking for help. Especially of a financial nature.
You would think after a year of cancer treatment, I would learn how to ask for help. Not true. I was very blessed to be surrounded by an incredible family who knew, without me even having to ask, what I needed. I had countless people reach out to me in the past year asking if they could help with my medical bills or in other financial ways but I always shrugged them off. I mean I make a living telling the stories of some of the most deservingly needy people in the world. I am not one of them. I worked six weeks in the largest refugee camp in the world for God’s sake. I don’t need help.
But now I do. And while part of me (a tiny sliver) is scared to ask, the majority of me wants to shout from the rooftops. Because I know I’m not asking for you to give ME money. But for you to give THROUGH me so that others will benefit.
One night several weeks ago my sister Lindsey sent me an email with a link to the Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation website. In all of her time on Facebook (and she spends A LOT) she has never before or since seen an ad for A Fresh Chapter. But she did that night and immediately sent it to me. Reading it made my heart nearly beat out of my chest. A Fresh Chapter is the love child of woman named Terry Wingham, who like me, had breast cancer. After months and months of pity parties, she decided she didn’t like who cancer made her. She wanted to shake it off and find herself again. To make a fresh start. She decided the best way to do that would be to volunteer abroad, remind herself through acts of service to others of all the things that made her her, and in the process reignite her soul.
And that’s exactly what happened.
In doing so she started dreaming a big hairy audacious dream. One that involved bringing cancer survivors to the other side of the world to volunteer, allowing them to reignite their own souls and start a Fresh Chapter of their own.
In the last year, I cannot tell you how many nights I spent in bed and in tears, telling myself that once this was all over, once I was done with treatment and reconstruction, I was going to find the me that I loved being once again. And I was going to do it by marking off one of my bucket list items: I was going to go to India and volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute and the Dying.
Guess where A Fresh Chapter goes? Guess what one of the volunteer programs is? Guess who, by some miracle of God or the universe or both, has been selected from applicants across North America to be one of the 12 people to go? Guess who needs your help to make it happen?*
*It’s India, it’s Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute and the Dying, it’s ME and it’s ME!
The true cost of the 2-week program is close to $8,500. But with the help of sponsors and partners, the cost selected participants have to pay is closer to $5,000 ($6,500 including airfare).
So here I am now, finally, asking for your help. I have until December 31 to raise the funds. Any money I raise over my costs would go to defray the costs of other participants in need. The trip is February 28th to March 14th, 2015.
Will you please help me? Click here and give a gift of $50, $100 or more and share this post so that others can give. The $6,500 I’m raising covers the program fee, all planning, accommodations, meals and airfare to New Delhi. I’ll spend two weeks there, volunteering at places such as Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying and bonding with fellow survivors. The trip ends in a weekend experiencing the majesty of the Taj Mahal. Thank you!! I will also be blogging from India while I’m there to keep you posted on my experience.
I am so very grateful for your support. For this opportunity to serve others in need. For the chance to start a Fresh Chapter.