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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pink Ribbon Journey

Since my last post, I've been busy preparing for all things Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Staying busy for this cause is easy because it's the right thing to do, giving back to the community that gave me so much.  But it also helps keep my mind from going to that dark place of fear that my cancer will return.  Fighting cancer is tough, but oddly, surviving it can lead to some pretty weird and lonely times too.  And, it's no picnic trying to convince your kids that everything is going to be o.k. when you really don't know yourself.

On Sunday, October 4th, I walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Boston.  I felt pretty overwhelmed and at a lost for words during this special event -- my brain literally hurt because I'm never speechless.  I can't believe that I finished my treatment in July and that I walked all over Boston (the walk was just over 6 miles and I clocked another 5 walking around town to see friends and doctors).  My awesome team, Gin's Wicked Walkers are truly my heroes - especially the woman to my left, my mom!

12039156_10153078556992617_2779497640719286220_o.jpgOur team is on its way to raising $4,000!

I am so honored to have been joined by this smiling, happy, beautiful group of people. Their support has been so critical to me and their positive and creative spirit in finding ways to raise money for critical breast cancer research, programs, and services was inspiring.  When you give people the opportunity to show up for you, the results can be pretty amazing.

If you feel like there is something unsurmountable in your life right now, just take each day literally one step at a time.  Yes, life is messy, it can be painful, but it's also a gift that's too precious to waste.  You can truly accomplish anything, especially when you surround yourself with positive people AND ask for help.  Asking for help also usually means allowing the person(s) to take care of that task for you so you don't need to be involved - I, the control-freak am still working on this, but am getting better!

Please allow me this Public Service Announcement by saying, Go Get an Annual Exam!  I've met so many women that have never discussed their female/sexual health with a primary care doctor or gynecologist.  Please make an appointment and get yourself checked out.  I am the example of early detection and since I can't scream off a mountaintop, please picture me screaming at you, right now, do it!

I'm now focusing on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at the Washington Monument on October 18th.  This walk is about me honoring the memory of a longtime friend who died in February after a 5-year battle with breast cancer.  Amy was that perfect mix of beauty and toughness that made my fellow high school classmates and I admire her more than I think she really ever knew.  It's because of her that I decided to have a survivorship dinner for myself (and to raise funds for the walk).  It was a lovely gathering of women who represented the critical relationships I needed to get through the muck and mire of life.  I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to reflect and celebrate.  Having the support of my team at home made all the fundraising events and trip to Boston possible - Steve, Jack, and Anna are my fuel.

12079423_10103441872526670_5743923922943439351_n.jpgSurvivorship Dinner, Cork & Table, 9/23/15It's important that I walk to honor Amy's memory because she deserves to be cherished and remembered.  She is my Angel Warrior and I take each day, each step at a time for her.  Please consider supporting the Washington, DC Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.  Or, even better, join us for the walk!

This October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, please take care of yourself and those you love.  Support the Fighters, Admire the Survivors, and Honor the Taken.

xoxo --Gin

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.

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