It’s official: I’m a Cancerian, but not by choice. My sun sign is Aquarius, but I share many Cancer traits: I’m innately creative and imaginative, and I love to surround myself with beautiful things in my home and workplace. Friendships are important to me, but family is even more so. When my niece was diagnosed with cancer just days before her 15th birthday, I did what any family member would do: persevere. There was no time to think. I didn’t dare “pass go,” as in a Monopoly game. In truth, all I wanted to do was crawl up in the board game and surface when the nightmare was over.
The Uneasy Gallop
Even though my small-town fundraiser was a success, it was mostly about awareness – a step in the right direction. As a friend reminded me, when my niece fell ill, I was never focused on the endgame, only on the here and now. The intent was to take one step at a time, not the whole staircase. Even one year after Charlotte’s passing, it’s still one foot in front of the other. The pace has picked up to a fever pitch because the math is simple: when only 800+ children a year are diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, research is a four-letter word.
Char and Happy Memories
Raise Money and Look Good Doing It
I would not have believed it if anyone had told me a year ago that 90% of my wardrobe would be sold for cancer research. But Covid and Cancer are game changers. It turns out that occasionally being unfriended on Facebook was a blessing; it changed the social fabric of my life. Cancer has a similar effect: we all know someone who’s been touched by cancer, but when it happens to your family, the journey turns inward. I’ve never been one to sit back quietly and wait; that’s why I decided to turn my closet into a fundraiser. Benevolent, well-meaning people have always inspired me. The idiom “you get when you give” resonates with me, and I knew it would impact my Hallmark town of 11,000. As for my “things,” I no longer live in San Francisco, so my days of black-tie events have reached a standstill. How many Manolo pumps can one wear in a wine country town? As for my jewelry obsession, I knew the collection would turn water into wine, and it did with the help of my local parish, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Bling Rings – Sold!
Turquoise was Charlotte’s favorite color – Sold!
MIB Agents is a leading pediatric Osteosarcoma nonprofit dedicated to Making It Better for the community, patients, caregivers, doctors, and researchers. Because of this sobering fact, they have a tough job: Less than 800 cases of Osteosarcoma are diagnosed annually, and it’s been 40 years without any new treatment. That is why research is key.
In her short life, I’m proud of my niece, who was a junior board member of MIB Agents. Her dad has recently joined the Board of Directors. At the sale, one of my friends suggested doing this event annually to honor Charlotte’s memory (now known as an Osteo Angel). My sister loved the idea, so perhaps we will take the show on the road one day. Donations are still pouring in. As of now, we have raised over $30,000.
Cancer is challenging, but everyone has the power to tackle it and make an impact. There were a lot of doers on “Team Char.” Each donation made a positive impact on the lives of children fighting cancer.
“Make It Better” Interns | Sarah and Flora
My favorite Herrera gown sold before I passed go.
“Make It Better’” Extraordinary Volunteers
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church Women