Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Melahomies Are The Best!

My heart is full, my feet are sore, and my knees aren't speaking to me (which, when I stop and think about that, is a pretty good thing).

This Aim At Melanoma Walk has been AWESOME! The sheer awesomeness started coming together a few days ago. I was messaged by Judy King, who is with Jen Christy and both dear ladies are receiving intense treatments for their stage 4 melanoma. That had each wanted to travel to Charlotte, NC and join us but melanoma told each "no." Jen, particularly, wanted to come and was devastated when she couldn't. Soooooo, Judy, knowing how heart-broken she was gave me a beautiful suggestion of pulling Jen's picture off Facebook and making signs that we could tote around and make her "part" of the Walk. Well, I'm not arty or crafty so I sent out my own private message to several friends and one, Timna of Respect the Rays, jumped on the project. Pounced on it is more like it. Not only did she make fun signs with Jen's picture, she made a few with Jillian Hayes, Eric Martin, Steve Martin, Susan and Jillian Hayes, Bob Lockey, Leslie May, and Judy King. (Judy's sign isn't in the picture below, but it was made and I carried her around with proudly).


I was also sent to Charlotte with a box of "Facts and Faces of Melanoma 2013" calendars by Susan Hayes to give away. This was going to be fun!

Last night, several of us got together at the hotel. Mark Williams, Rich McDonald, Debbie and Randy Hennessy, Tara Gill, Allyson and Spencer Townsend, Donna and Jim Moncivaiz, and Mitch and I. I also met and hugged Pam Billek. Al Estep came down. Chelsea Price was coming in around 10 pm. I tried, I really did to wait for her. I had a surprise for her and I really wanted to give it to her before this morning. But it got to be 10:30 and past my bedtime. So, I say my "good nights" and leave. Who should be at the front desk checking in as we walk by? Oh yeah. God wasn't letting me go to bed before she got her...TIARA!

Then, Anne Bowman messaged me last night and asked if I'd open with prayer this morning. Anne, by the way, did an outstanding job pulling this together! I think she was pretty pleased.

This was the prayer: "O Lord, you have brought us together from many places. We come as Your children, and we come bound together by a common disease, melanoma. Some of us battle, some love us, and some have buried a loved one because of melanoma. We are also bound by a common  goal and that is to kick melanoma to the curb, to find a cure, and until a cure is found to find more and better options. Your hand, Lord, is on this Walk and we thank You. Now, please, touch our human efforts and bring forth mighty results. We're trusting You with this, Lord, and we thank You that You are faithful and will complete what You began! Melanoma is coming down! Amen and Amen!"

So, this morning, we were walking and I was carrying the sign with Susan, Jillian, and Charlotte's picture on it and the one with Judy King, and towards the end of the walk, Mark Williams and I are walking and he's carrying Bob Lockey's sign. Bob died not too long ago, and many of us really looked forward to meeting him. We knew his family was supposed to be at the Walk but we hadn't met them. Until the end of the walk and we just all kinda met up as we walked and talked and I took Bob's sign right out of Mark's hand, without asking, and handed it to his daughter Paige. God was working. They needed to walk with Bob and they needed that sign.

Jean Schlipmann, founder of Aim, came up from Texas and spoke. Jean gives GREAT hugs! When that woman squeezes, you know you've been squoze! Rich McDonald and Mark Williams wore their black tutus and were stunning! In a manly sort of way. Chelsea wore her tiara. Al Estep wore his signature hat and took photos with his head cocked so people would recognize him. I hugged Alicia Bowling who is One Tough Mudder! And we all met some of the best people on the face of the planet!

God smiled. The weather was crisp, but clear and beautiful! The park is beautiful! Friendships made online are now cemented with real hugs.

Melanoma changes our lives. Sometimes great good comes from it.

Today was one of those days. This event has been a life-changer I would not have had if melanoma wasn't part of my life.

To everyone who travels melanoma road with me, all my melahomies...those I've hugged and those I'll hug one day...I love you guys!

Thank You, Lord! You've got one grateful gal here!