Three years ago I would have never imagined that I'd be using my swimming to raise money for breast cancer research. Then of course in my typical type A personality trait, I had to set myself a fundraising goal. I first considered $10,000. I thought it sounded like a good round number and one that was definitely in reach. However, part of setting goals is to push yourself beyond what you think your limit may be. $10,000 was a nice goal, but I don't think it really pushed me outside my comfort goal. What number really seemed audacious, one that I wasn't sure that I could reach…$50,000. Yes, that seemed way out there for me.
After I set this number, I started talking with my parents about it. Did they think I could do it? They thought it was a tough challenge and they really wanted me to think about whether I could really focus on fundraising, swimming, work and friends. I thought about it and mainly I thought well this will be a challenge and isn't this is what it is about. Besides this was for a really good cause and my mom had just been diagnosed. My grandmother had passed away from the disease. My aunt had successfully fought the disease and I spent a year as a lab technician doing breast cancer research. I knew countless of other strong women, families and friends that had been touched by this disease. Yep, this is what I wanted. And I wanted to partner with the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. This was where I worked as a lab technician doing breast cancer research. I knew first hand the care they provided their patients and the tenacity that they had to find a cure. Plus, they had another patient that was dear to me, my mother.
Then became the challenge of actually fundraising. I thought about a swim-a-thon, but that seemed out of my reach for now. I began to focus on the fact that maybe people would donate to breast cancer research if I continued my swimming goals. My mom thought this was a good idea, so we started planning. Let's start with a letter to all the people we know. Thus the 1st annual Macyswim was born. That first year together with the help of so many generous people, we raised $5000. Hmm, a good amount and I started to realize that it may take me 10 years to reach the $50,000 goal, but 10 years of swimming didn't seem so bad to me.
The 2nd annual Macyswim included my goal of the triple English Channel attempt. Now the 2nd annual Macyswim for a Cure didn't quite go as planned, as you've read in previous posts. However, the fundraising took a major move forward. At the end of the swim year, we had raised the total to $20,000.
When I began to think about the 3rd annual Macyswim for a Cure, I thought that maybe just maybe this was too much for me to take on. Maybe my goal was too high. Besides I was trying to figure out how to fundraise without the help of my mom. My dad assured me that if I wanted to take a break from fundraising that everyone would still support me. Heck raising $20k pretty much alone was an amazing thing and I should be proud of that and that my mom would be proud of it too. But I had set a goal, I had to sit down and see if I was ready to put it on hold and focus more internally. Ultimately I thought about my aunts, my mom's sisters, they don't get to take a break and decide whether they wanted to fight cancer. There wasn't an option for me and they had the courage to continue on. If they can do it, then so can I. I started with the 3rd annual Macyswim for a Cure letter. Again I've sent it out to all the people my family, my mom, friends. Pretty much any one that I had a snail mail address. Now rather than my mom helping me write the letter, stuff envelopes, and all the fundraising help. I enlisted the help of my father. He spent a whole Sunday stuffing envelopes. He didn't even watch one football game. YEA DAD!
Thank you to all that have donated so far. And I've found that people have been doing some amazing things for me in the process. First there are the monetary donations, which in these economic times mean so much to me. Even the small $5 donations are helping move us closer to the $50k mark. Secondly, people have become so creative. I've received wonderful motivational messages returned to me in the envelope provided. These notes help me to realize that I did make the right decision to continue fundraising. And lastly, I had a friend who received my letter and she showed up at my house with a cooler food of homemade single serving meals. She knew that my mother constantly traveled to Portland to spend a weekend cooking and ensuring that I had good nutrition to help achieve my goals. My friend stuffed my freezer. And I have to say that her chicken pot pie is delicious. God I love butter!
If you didn't receive a letter don't worry, you can still donate. Just visit my donation page and it is all set up for you. I intend to continue swimming until $50k is raised, so we are in this together and we are almost halfway to our goal.Tags: MacySwim for a Cure