Saturday, May 3, 2008

5/3/2008: Pink Martini Night Fundraiser

Pink Martini Night is what it is all about for me. What an amazing evening of compassion and love to support me not in cancer, but in survival.

My family members came out in droves to be there for me in my biggest time of need. Close family friends who were there the day I was born came to celebrate my journey. Sorority sisters truly practiced what our foundation is based on by showing faith, hope and charity. Girls who I used to cheer with at Chantilly High School and George Mason University showed how deeply our bond went by stepping up when I needed them the most. My new and old co-workers were there with endless laughs. High school friends who I have not seen in over eight years were there reminiscing over memories and offering endless hugs. Even my dear friends from Lees Corner Elementary School didn't hesitate to show their love. Other friends who are so dear to me, and even acquaintances were there offering their warm words of affection. And even people I did not know who have followed my journey through my website were moved enough by my story to show their support. I think I may be the luckiest girl in the world. With this much love and support there is no way that I can lose this battle. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

One of the most amazing moments of the evening was that my dear friend, Kandi, who is also fighting breast cancer, traveled to come to my event with her husband and wonderful friends. You may have see her, or been lucky enough to have even spoken to her. She is breathtakingly beautiful and was wearing a lovely black dress and gorgeous pink wrap on her head. Despite her battle and the sickness she was feeling, she was there to show her support for me. It was the first time we had met face to face and I was choking back the tears. I cannot begin to express how much her friendship has meant to me.

I am amazed by my friends and all the hard work they put into planning this event. My good friend Andrew Waters came up with the idea for the fundraiser and solicited help from my brother Joseph Kwiatek, my sorority sisters Kere Knapp and Megan Sinks, my aunt and godmother Patty Campbell and my high school friend Ashley Wallace. Thank you to all my friends who volunteered their time to help with the event, promoted it, or who acquired donations for the silent auction. I am incredibly grateful.

My friend Chris Ciccone was at Pink Martini Night encouraging people to join Team Jen for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on June 7, 2008 in D.C. If you did not have a chance to sign up or donate, you can visit our website and join today! I plan to be there participating despite the fact that it is only a week after my last chemotherapy treatment. YAY! They have a 5k run/walk and even a 1 mile walk, so it is something everyone can participate in. This is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure's 25th anniversary, so it is sure to be a memorable fundraiser to participate in.

There were approximately 350 people who came out to Pink Martini Night. I am hoping I was able to at least say hello to each of you and thank you for coming. If I did not, please know how much I appreciated it. My body was not cooperating since I had my Herceptin treatment yesterday afternoon and am now fighting a pretty brutal sinus infection, so there were a couple of times I needed to take a moment and sit. I wish I could have spent more time with each of you. It was such a wonderful evening having all of my friends in one place. If only we had more time.

We are still finalizing the donations, but it looks as though we were able to raise close to $9,000 with your generosity. There are no words to express how this will help elevate my financial burden. Now that the financial stress has been lessoned I can focus all of my attention on healing myself. Just think … 29 days left until I am finished chemotherapy. Please know that it is because of YOU that I have been able to fight so hard.

I love you all dearly. Thank you, thank you, thank you …

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