I can assure you that after an initial health diagnosis everything is a blur, with a capital "B". Mind swirling, a revolving door of doctors, nurses and tests, and family members in shock and sadness….and so much more. Suddenly it came to me – I need a goal, my first “finish line” – and I needed it for me and for everyone around me. After all, what do you really say to someone in the midst of all of this? No one wants to mess that up or do the wrong thing. So here it was – my chance to help me and everyone who wanted to “do something” but didn’t know how.

My Johns Hopkins Oncology doctors had just recently recommended a few lung cancer organizations to look into for support, events, information, etc. And off to Google I went. First up – Lungevity and what do you know they were having a Breathe Deep Event a month later, in Baltimore and at the Maryland Zoo no less. That was it! Get myself to the walk. I didn’t know my treatment, what lied ahead or really anything about anything at this point – I was just days into everything. This was just what I needed. I set up a team fundraising page, a target goal of just $2500 and invited my immediate family to join me in 30 days. And declared, that I would be there myself to join them in the 3.5k walk. From there – it just spread like wildfire and within 2 weeks, without a single post on social media, we were up to over $17k. It was incredible. But then co-workers, friends and others wanted to help and I shared out the link directly on Facebook. Heading into the event, we had over 100+ people registered to walk with us and raised nearly $28,000 in donations. I literally 10x my goal.

Needless to say the day of the walk was like no other. Friends & family flew in from Canada, California, Texas, New Hampshire, Florida and joined us and our local bunch on a beautiful Sunday morning at the Zoo. Together we smiled, cried, laughed, hugged and walked….

Crossing that finish line, with each of my parents hand in tow, was a moment I’ll remember forever. With my husband and daughter by my side, we conquered this first goal. We did it! And the best part – together, with my army, we raised money for lung cancer research that is so desperately needed.

So much happened between discovering this walk in the hospital alone one night to actually crossing that finish line. But each day in between I knew I was fighting – for progress, for perspective, for hope, love and health. Literally putting one foot in front of the other.

What’s better – is that I’ll focus on the next goal, and the next goal and so on. Because that’s just how it’s going to be from here! If you’re not working towards something, then what’s the point??  I can see mine. It’s clarity at the end of this health restoration journey – literally and figuratively. Cancer-free and sharing my learnings with others so that desperately will save their lives because of it. The power of goal setting right from the beginning is just critical! Eye on the prize.

Ps. Here’s a few photos of our #luvyourlungs Army that joined us back in September 2019. A day filled with energy that I’ll harness forever.