October 13th was National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. It is a day that has been organized to educate others beyond the powers of Pinktober. Currently 155,000 people live with metastatic breast cancer. Of that number, 40,000 die each year from the wrath of this disease; a statistic that has not changed significantly in the past twenty years. Did you know that only 2-5% of research money is used towards funding metastatic breast cancer research, yet 95% of deaths occur among those who have advanced or metastatic disease? (www.mbcn.org)
The facts are startling, but I want to share a story that is equally as startling; one that will warm your heart and make you a believer of the new generation set to take over our world.
Allow me to introduce you to four children, Parker and Reese Fetherston and Sophie and Ethan Tubbin. These children are examples of how every parent hopes their child will turn out: kind, caring, athletic, generous, and leaders. They approached me a couple months ago, wanting to have a fundraiser for breast cancer. Excitedly they described the carnival, food, and silent auction that would be in store for the entire neighborhood. I thought to myself, “Wow, that is quite an undertaking,” but quickly found a date for this event to occur. Unbeknownst to me, it happened to be Metastatic Breast Cancer AwarenessDay.
It was a picture-perfect day. The kind you imagine in your wildest dreams: sun, a slight breeze, and temperatures in the 60’s. The Fetherston and Tubbin’s back yards conveniently butt up to each other and were decorated with balloons, posters that read: “Molly’s Army: we got your back,” a table of silent auction items, seating areas for adults and children and numerous carnival activities for the kids.
Tickets cost 25 cents and each activity required one to two tickets. Make-n-take frame decorating, basketball toss, cookie decorating, ball toss, bean bag toss, trampoline jumping were just some of the games. Dinner, home-grown vegetables, and pink candles could additionally be purchased. My kids and niece were thrilled with their bags of prizes won from various carnival activities.
To look around and see over sixty neighborhood friends coming together for one cause was overwhelming, but to think two elementary and two middle school kids organized this event with significant thought and attention to detail is to be commended. The four worked together tediously creating and re-creating list after list of elements to make this neighborhood event a success. I could not be more proud of four children than I am now. Let’s not forget about the examples of generosity that have been led and reinforced by their parents, Greg and Heather and Matt and Maria for supporting their children’s ideas and then assisting them into reality. My Army is an example of four children that are going to make things happen in their life and others. They exemplified leadership at its finest by helping to support a common cause with creativity and remarkable dedication.
I am delighted to write that their event raised over $400 thanks to some extraordinary children and a neighborhood of support. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network will be receiving this money. This organization provides education for metastatic breast cancer to patients and loved ones and advocates for improved outcomes in the clinical setting. I can’t think of a more deserving organization that is focused on finding treatments to extend lives until a cure is found.
It takes leaders and voices to be heard for change to occur. March forward, Army, with your influence and loud voice. Left, left, left right left….
Thanks, MBCN for educating me so I could educate others with my voice and actions.
Molly, you are a great advocate! How heartwarming to know that children can set an example for adults, work so very hard and carry it through. What special young people! I hope others will see this and be inspired. When I first joined MBCN, I gave a fundraiser and it raised money. What was even more important to me was that people learned about my disease. Such events are fabulous educational opportunities. Much thanks and congratulations! Deb Tincher, Board Member, MBCN.