Monday, April 13, 2009

Marcia L. Anderson Breast Care Education Fund

Can I tell you a story about my friend Marcia?

Paul and Nancy Anderson lost their sister Marcia 10 years ago. After Marcia passed, Paul and Nancy set up an education fund in her name. Marcia was a social worker and a nurse, and the fund allowed Marcia's siblings to continue to build awareness and support for breast health in Sonoma County.  

Paul and I spoke in January, as we do nearly every year, and I shared with him about my current advocacy shenanigans. I asked after Marcia's Fund and if it could perhaps support some of the national/international speaking I am planning to pursue this year. He told me to write it up and present it....

I remember talking on the phone one day with Marcia. I was saying that just about everyone in my life was upset with me for one thing or another, and that I had to set about the arduous task of cleaning up the pieces and putting things right. Marcia’s reply was, “Nancy, I can’t imagine anyone ever being mad at you.”  It was such a sweet, warm thing to say and made me feel unconditionally appreciated. I have retold this story many times and received many eye rolls in response. I now realize that the story says more about Marcia’s gentle, unflappable nature than it does about me.  Lets face it: everyone should have a Marcia in their corner.

After reading my prospectus Paul said, "It would be a pleasure to offer you the grant this year." And you know what? I had that same warm, appreciated feeling all over again. I am beginning to suspect that it is an Anderson trait after all.

Another great pleasure in this story is that the Sutter Santa Rosa Breast Care Center is administering this grant which allows me to continue my long standing relationship with them. 

CineNoma -a short night of local short films

Generally I am not wild about planning and executing fundraisers, but I am thrilled about CineNoma, a night of short films made by local filmmakers, and shot in Sonoma County. Collectively, these films have screened in more than 40 film festivals.   

Possibly, I am excited because all of the filmmakers are way talented -- and they happen to be my friends and, in some cases, my family. And well, gosh, one of the films is mine.

(artwork is temporary and incomplete; tentative date 7/18 location as yet to be determined)
Stay tuned once the details to get ironed out. Join us see some great flics, meet the filmmakers, buy some Binski's homemade pies and support a great cause.

The beneficiary is Amazon Heart Thunder, which donates to the Young Survival Coalition in the US,

Revvving Up!

Okay, many of you know I have been an advocate for women with cancer for some 12-odd years now. And yes I suppose the right word is odd.  The list is long and varied, some activities have been a bit scholarly, others a physical challenge, some requiring civic skills, but the most fun by far has been Amazon Heart Thunder. A few blog entries down, Kathy La Tour and CURE Magazine does a great job explaining just exactly what Amazon Heart Thunder is, but here's my version, short hand: Harley Davidson provides breast cancer survivors with brand new bikes to spend 10 days or so tripping down the coast of California or Australia relaying our stories and inspiring simply by being "bodies of evidence" of survival.  

This will be the last year for Amazon Heart Thunder as our intrepid leaders, Megan Dwyer and Mereidith Campbell have new horizons to explore and after 5 years, they are ready to move on. 

So in 2009, I am double dipping : I plan to ride both in OZ (as in Australia) in May, from Brisbane to Sidney, and California in October, from Marina Del Rey to San Francisco.

An Art Exhibition at Commonweal

Early December - January 2010, artist Lissa Rankin I will be showing in a 2-woman exhibition at Commonweal in Bolinas, California.  I so enjoy working with Lissa as an artist, but I think what will make our exhibition special is that she is an artist and an ob/gyn.  Her perspective as physician witness brings a fresh spark to the genre of cancer/survivor-inspired art.

Jacqueline Mallegni is curating the exhibition. Her take: "This is very exciting. I believe this will be a premier exhibition and the first to occur during a Cancer Help Retreat here at Commonweal."