I'm donating my birthday towards SECOND CHANCES on behalf of my charity, Blessons Scholarships for Women. On Sunday, August 13th, 2017 I will be participating in my first Ironman 70.3! In celebration of my 10 year Vulvar Cancerversary and another year of health, I ask that instead of attending a birthday fundraiser happy hour this year, giving me any gifts, taking me out for drinks and/or dinners, please consider donating towards my Team Blessons fundrsaising page instead. There is nothing more that I would want for my birthday, than to be able to fund more second chances through scholardships for women who have suffered challenging life lessons and has prevented them from finishing their higher education.
Thank you for all your continued support,
Blessons wrote -
Who are we?
Life isn't about what has happened to you, It's about how you choose to react to what has happened to you. Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone. We don't want to inspire others by being perfect. We want to inspire women by how we deal with our imperfections as we face challening life lessons. Our organization is Blessons Scholarships for Women. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization (Tax ID #81-332-6940). We use the word, "BLESSONS". Blessons are what happens when you see the blessings in the lessons that your challenging life lesson(s) has taught you.
We all have a story. We all have our own challenging life lessons. We all have our own issues and fears. Not everyone has the emotional or financial support from their family when it comes to finishing their higher education. Due to facing many obstacles in life, many women especially, have had to put their higher education on hold due to cancer, mental health, abuse or who are first generation immigrants and must assist in the family's income to survive. These women learn how to survive such challenging life lessons on their own because that's all they can be, is STRONG. Not for just themselves, but for the people that depend on them financially as well. This had become a growing issue in our communities across the country and leaves women with an unfortunate decision of not finishing college because it is no longer a priority. College can't be a priority because SURVIVING is. We can all make a difference by providing educational assisitance, including scholarships. Educate a women and she will change the world.
Houston Half Marathon - Jan. 2017
Tokyo Marathon - Feb. 2017
London Marathon - April 2017
Ironman Steelhead 70.3 - August 13, 2017
Dublin Half Marathon - September 2017
Uno 5k - Carrera de los Muertos - Nov. 2017
"What's Your Blessons Story?"
Khit Masoud's Story:
I grew up in a very religious and old fashioned middle eastern family, I always knew my life wasn't all about an arranged marriage to my first cousin and popping out kids. I always wanted to make a difference and teach women like my mother who I would see depressed as she raised 7 children at home as her only duty in life. She didn't even finish high school because being married off was more important in those days. I ran away from home at 16 where I was born and raised in Northern California. I took my family to court, was legally emancipated in 1998. I wanted to be free from the cage that was once my home where I had lived in for 16 years. I wanted to be free to go to college, make something of myself that wasn't cleaning, cooking and raising children as my only options in life.
As the oldest of 7, it was really hard to take this risk of never seeing or speaking to any of my family members once I brought shame to the family. In my heart, I knew that I had to make this sacrifice, not just for me but for my sisters, my mother and all the other women in this world who feel that they have no freedom to live their own lives without approval from the family. I want to teach all the women that they deserve to be loved the way they want to be. They deserve to be treated the way they want to be. By sharing my story with the world that I can leave home at 16, finish high school while working two jobs, living on my own and getting into college to make something of myself without depending on a man to support me, was one of my biggest goals. Working multiple jobs, only having me as my only provider made it really hard to get through college when providing my own food and roof over my head were priorities before college homework.
Life challenges has taught me what it's like to have slept in my car, slept on friends floors, live off 29 cents hamburgers and top ramen to survive those tough lessons. After trying the first few years in college, I eventually couldn't keep up with my grades to maintain the financial aid for school in completing my first Bachelor's degree. I ended up not going back after I lost my aid due to my grades and not having the resources and support to stay in school while working 2 full time jobs. Since then, I have been working on my first Bachelor's degree while making it through life on my own with no family support. I have always wanted to finish my college education.
At 26, 10 years after running away from home, I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called Vulvar Cancer. I was sleeping on the couch at a friends place at the time. In 2007 I had several surgeries and treatments to fight the cancer. I went through cancer on my own. I have been through many types of emotional & physically abusive relationships. I have had to do what I needed to do to survive and not ashamed of the choices that were made to survive.
When I moved to Chicago in 2007, after all my surgeries, I wanted to start over. I enrolled into HWC, spent 3 years there while bartending full time and volunteering at a NFP organization that provided 1on1 cancer support. Through that organization, I learned how to make a difference by using my legs and started running for charity and growing their charity team. I learned that the power of healing by sharing my stories, my experiences, my BLESSONS would also help me make peace with my own lessons and help me view the blessings that those challenges has taught me. I was able to make a difference for so many cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers because no one should have to face cancer on their own like I did.
When I received my Associates degree from HWC in 2013, I couldn't believe how much closer I was to getting my first bachelor's degree. I have had so many challenging lessons since then. It's been a journey to get myself through college. In Jan 2016, I was finally able to go back to school. I'm a Senior at EIU right now enrolled in their Adult Learners BGS online program.
I'm always trying to reduce the stress in my life because my body just doesn't take it like it used to and cancer feeds off of it so easily. That's why I run and tri. I participate in many endurance sports for many reasons, but mostly to reduce stress while making a difference. I have changed jobs and career choices in moving forward to reduce stress. I have learned to let people go who are toxic, changed my diet and added yoga into my life. I even adopted a dog as my emotional support animal.
Since 2011 I have completed 104 races including 11 marathons; Bank of America Chicago Marathons 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 , TCS NYC Marathon 2015 & 2016 , 2016 Sketchers LA Marathon, 2016 Boston Marathon, 2016 Berlin Marathon, 2017 Tokyo Marathon and the 2017 London Marathon, while fundraising for charity and totaling over $100,000 to date since my first race.
Being strong and being in survival mode is all that I have known. Taking care of my health first is something that I have been working on for years. I have decided to take this opportunity to create my own NFP organization that raises funds for scholarships called Blessons Scholarships for Women. Website is www.blessons.org. I want to continue making a difference by raising awareness for women in seeing the blessings in the lessons that our challenges teach us. No matter what happens in your life, no one and nothing can take away your education & strength. Knowledge truly is POWER.
Please help us in supporting our mission in providing free mentorship and educational assistance to women who have had their higher education put on hold due to challenging life lessons including; cancer, mental illness, abuse or who are first generation immigrants. So many women today, in our very own communities need support in getting back to college. We want to help women in achieving their dreams, build self esteem, build their confidence and return to their passions. These awards help women make peace with their challenging life lessons that have prevented them from going back to school. We want to our women to become their own Ambassadors of Strength. They are the examples to anyone that may not believe in themselves to overcome whatever challenges they are facing today.
Thank you all for supporting the Her Blessons Project!
Founder & Executive Director