My dear friends, this week’s post is not for the faint of heart.
A friend of mine in Tampa, who battled an inoperable brain tumor for nearly two years, died Sunday. Michelle brought so much light and love and positivity to everyone she met — long before her fight and all throughout it — so it’s no wonder she took her final breath on Valentine’s Day.
I’ve struggled to put coherent sentences together to express how deeply saddened I am for her devoted husband, Ryan, and the entire Fighter community. In ~23 months, Michelle and co. raised nearly $200,000 for brain cancer research and awareness. Petite as she was, her spirit could not be contained.
We met in 2012 through a volunteer organization, High Hopes in High Heels. She was already a Board Member and quickly inspired me to join its leadership. One of my first memories with Michelle had us both snort-laughing and crying over ridiculous stories and inappropriate jokes. She then led our team to reinvent the Children Cancer Center’s Teen Prom, an event celebrating the brave adolescents battling various forms of cancer. This was years before her own diagnosis, and still, Michelle gave countless hours and effort to make the event a huge success.
Whether we were cuddling puppies at a Yappy Hour for adopted canines, toasting with rummy bears on the beach or crashing a wedding, Michelle’s presence was always warm, wacky and welcoming.
Michelle’s network of family and friends around the country have posted continuous messages of hope and positivity. If you’re able, consider donating or purchasing from the Fighter store. In any event, Michelle’s spirit will continue to live on as we aim to BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.
Rest in peace, sweet angel.
Images courtesy of Facebook & Kaylin Amabile Photography
Happy New Year! At what point is it no longer a “new year”? I hadn’t officially said it to you all … but isn’t it a little late to be wishing you well? Can you ever have enough well wishes? These are the things running through my mind at odd hours in the night. And here’s what else I can’t stop thinking about:
- Photo Doggies for Anthony: Have you seen a ton of cute pet pics all over your FB feed? This viral event has more than a million people supporting a young boy’s desire to see doggy photos between his leukemia treatments. The power of social media can be used for good! Who knew?
- Florida Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: In other breaking news, Florida is finally on the front page for something positive! As of yesterday, the sunshine state has lifted its ban on same-sex marriage — and millions can rejoice in the legal recognition that love is love.
- Kurios: Cirque du Soleil: I had the pleasure of enjoying my first-ever Cirque show last night with this new-to-the-U.S. production. Breathtaking, dazzling, simply stunning … there aren’t enough amazing adjectives to describe what we saw.
- “Uptown Funk” –Mark Ronson f. Bruno Mars: I can’t think of a song in recent history that gets people moving as much as this one. It’s so incredibly catchy, with a crazy hook and contagious lyrics. Here’s hoping this dream duo continue to collaborate!
Well friends, I’m visiting San Fran this weekend to find an apartment! I’m excited and anxious and hope to find something in a flash. It’ll all work out in the end, I know, but here’s what I’m focused on until my flight.
- Miracle Treat Day: Grab a treat from Dairy Queen this Thursday, and they’ll donate a portion of proceeds to cancer research. Helping others has never tasted so good.
- Hornblower Cruises: My office is having its summer outing this afternoon, aboard a mega yacht for more than a thousand people. Toot toot!
- Robin Williams: His death is heartbreaking, but not unheard of. The depression he suffered only magnifies how talented a performer he truly was. Rest in peace, Robin.
- “Dude Looks Like a Lady” – Aerosmith: Tough as it is to narrow down my favorite movie of his, “Mrs. Doubtfire” will always have my heart. The soundtrack alone was just perfect.