Background: On May 28th, 2019 I had a complete thyroidectomy, removal of a large majority of the lymph nodes in my neck, and auto-transplant of a few of my parathyroids in order to get rid of the papillary thyroid cancer with follicular variants that had taken over my neck. Exactly 28 days later (4 weeks), after almost a month in and out of the hospital with some complications and a strong round of I-131 radiation, I had a completely clean PET scan. Although my journey with cancer did not start with surgery or end with a clean PET scan... those were my first milestones towards recovery and remission. And now, on the one-year anniversary of the hardest 28 days of my life, I want to add positive memories to those dates through "Dedicate Twenty-Eight 4 Cancer" to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Funds from this event will go towards providing things like free rides to cancer treatment, a 24/7 cancer helpline, a free place to stay when treatment is far away, and critical cancer research.
1. Get 28 people to participate in the "28 Days of Action" by completing one of the 4 challenges for 4 weeks (28 days)
2. Each person who participates will have an individual goal of getting 28 people to pledge $4 if they complete the challenge
3. 28 participants x 28 donors x $4 = 3136 “28 Days of Action”
Challenges: There are 4 different challenges that connect to my journey with cancer that participants can choose to do for 28 days straight in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. To show their commitment and build community, participants will post a picture to their Instagram story with the challenge's hashtag every day showing their progress.
1. #hydrate4twentyeight - Participants will drink 28oz of water or unsweetened tea 4 times a day. Hydration was super important for my journey to recovery because while I was quarantined in the hospital after iodine radiation, I drank around 30oz of water an hour to flush the radiation out of my body.
2. #dancebreak4twentyeight - Participants will take a dance break every day to dance to one of the songs that brought me joy during my treatment and recovery. During my time in the hospital, certain songs took my mind off of things, brought me rare calmness, or motivated me to keep going.
3. #meditate4twentyeight - Participants will meditate or do yoga once a day with a program of their choice. During the first couple months of this journey I wasn’t able to participate in a lot of yoga movements but when my anxiety would get high, the nurses were always there to do breathing exercises with me, provide aromatherapy patches, and help me relax. When I was cleared for activity, yoga was the thing that got me back into movement while continuing to help me manage my anxiety.
4. #walkstraight4twentyeight - Participants will walk for 28 minutes straight every day outside (or inside if the weather is bad). Movement was key to my recovery, especially when I was in the hospital. Getting out of my room when I could and walking the halls with my IV in tow to look out the windows not only got my stiff body out of bed but also gave me a glance outside. Once I was able to leave the hospital and was no longer quarantined, I promised myself I would not take walking outdoors for granted anymore.
Thanks for committing to joining me in my journey to add positive memories to these dates, while raising money for the American Cancer Society! I am forever grateful!