Posts tagged mathias

Blood Donation: An Easy and Important Way to Give Back

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Donate Blood: It Saves LivesIt’s always been important for me to do some sort of charity regularly but I made a deal with myself to go outside of my norm and give back in different ways this year and do it at least monthly. So with that in mind, I read a Facebook call out that blood donation was needed and that they were especially in need of type O.

I happen to be Type O+.

Type O+ blood is important because it is the most common blood type (1 in 3 people have it) and therefore is needed most. It is what maintains the country’s blood supply. So, I checked online to see if I could make an appointment to donate and sure enough, there was an appointment available nearby. Here’s where I went: Inova Blood Donor Services

You can choose to donate plasma and platelets, but I opted for a whole blood donation. There was a dude there donating platelets and you could tell it was quite a process and takes some time.

After filling out the paperwork, I was taken into a little office and asked some general follow up questions. Then my blood pressure was taken and my finger was pricked to get some blood to check my iron levels. All was good, so I headed to the blood donation lounge chair area. There, the person taking my blood looked for a good vein – found one and got me all set up and the blood flowing. I’m not that squeamish around needles – my strategy is as long as I don’t look while they are sticking me – I’m good to go.  I did have two babies after all!

Here are a few things to know before you go…

  1. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, work out beforehand. The person who took my blood explained that many times if a person comes in after a workout, they are dehydrated and it’s not only harder to get blood from them, the patient could end up not feeling so good.  Good to know, since I did indeed go in after a boxing workout!
  2. Bring ID. You will have to fill out some quick paperwork and they will need to see your ID.
  3. Make an appointment. I do believe that they will take walk ins but if you make an appointment, the entire process is not that long. At least when I went yesterday – from start to finish it took less than 30 mins.
  4. Bring your own Post Donation Snack if you have Restrictions. They strongly encourage you to stick around their cafe area and enjoy a snack and a drink. It’s to ensure you don’t faint or have other strange side effects from the donation. The ‘cafe’ was stocked with high sugar, processed foods though. I just happened to have a protein bar in my purse that I ate. The fridge was full of fruit juices and water. I opted for water.  Not a judgement, just a good to know…
  5. Post blood donation, take it easy. Drink lots of water and refrain from strenuous exercise or lifting heavy. Ha!

Blood Donation MattersThat’s it – 30 minutes from start to finish. I feel fine today and feel even better because I know I am helping someone, somewhere. If you can, donate! It’s an easy way to give back on a regular basis.

BTW: I donated in honor and memory of Mathias Giordano. Their family has set up a Team Mathias sponsor code 8164 so anyone can donate in his memory & for all the kids who have been affected by cancer.

 

Celebrating Mathias: 2nd Annual Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run!

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Team Mathias

This past December, Mathias Giordano lost his cancer battle. Tomorrow he would have celebrated his 14th birthday. I have not been able to get him out of my thoughts since first hearing about him and what an amazing young man he was from my friend Gwen. Gwen and I, along with her son and HB ran the 5K this morning to remember him and raise money for childhood cancer research.

It was an amazing feeling to start my day with a 5K run to support Team Mathias in the Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run 2015y

 

I was so proud of HB. I thought she was going to back out of coming with me early this morning but no. She stayed true to her commitment and did great. This is now the second race we have done together. I can’t even describe how much it fills my heart with so much love and pride that she is open to tackling the races with me.  I think one of the reasons that I continue to be moved by Mathias is my own kiddos are around the same age – and after seeing how hard Scott’s cancer battle was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for those younger.  During the pre-race speeches, I teared up thinking about him and his family. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance.

 

Partnering with the Team Mathias was Be the Match®, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. They conduct research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network

My last 5K was in March for Scope it Out Colon Cancer Awareness and my 5K pace was 9:36. This race I finished with a 8:45 minute pace. So I’m pretty pleased with that improvement. Boxing and Cycling are really helping my overall lung capacity for sure.

11301561_10152972810248741_263347669_nChildhood Cancer Statistics – Important Facts

Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Furthermore, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.

  • Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
  • Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
  • The average age of children diagnosed is six.
  • More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
  • 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
  • There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
    • That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.

Team Mathias 5K
Team Mathias

Rest in Peace Mathias

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Hours after I published my last post, I saw the post that crushed my heart…

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our hearts shattered into a million pieces as of 5:00 pm , Sunday night. December 7th will be the date that our beautiful, handsome , strong, brave, athletic , smart, loving , caring, incredible , perfect…MVP decided to be cancer free & leave this earth. He was surrounded by love , as Chris , Troy & I were holding his hands & telling him how much we love him . #MathiasStrong

I wish the family healing, peace and love while they grieve and learn to live their new normal…

Mathias - Rest in Peace

I’m on Team Mathias

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Zumba with Friends - Live Fit and SoreA few weeks ago, I tried Zumba. According to Wikipedia, Zumba is an aerobic fitness program featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music.

I went with a few of my boxing buddies and we had a blast. After the first class, I realized it had been way too long since I did something totally outside of my norm and laughed.  I am no dancer and after the first song or so, it didn’t even matter. It’s just about moving – and dancing for an hour or so.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to replace my strength and conditioning work but I am going to add it weekly for now. As a way to just go a bit crazy, dance and laugh for an hour.

This past Saturday, after my boxing session, I went to a 2 hour Zumba charity event, where proceeds went to the St Judes Children’s Hospital.  I was able to dance for a hour and half before I just couldn’t do anymore. When I got home, I was spent. Boxing and then dancing for 1.5 hours can take it out of you.

Even though I was tired on Saturday, it was worth it to help raise money for St. Judes. I’ve been feeling rather sad about a local boy’s cancer battle…

Mathias Giordano is a 13 year old boy in Leesburg who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone, in July of 2012. Over the past 28 months, he has endured biopsies, port placement, 30+ rounds of high dose chemo, 3 major lung surgeries, an amputation of his right leg below the knee, and 27 rounds of radiation. Not to mention a few clinical trials.

Needless to say, Mathias is a strong warrior who has fought with so much grace and dignity. His courage and spirit inspire everyone who is lucky enough to meet him. His smile lights up the room and his positive outlook is truly amazing.

Mathias continues to battle the ugly beast of cancer with poise. Taking one day at a time and trying to live life at its fullest. While he is fighting for his life he is determined to make a difference and spread awareness for pediatric cancer in our community. He wants people to know that kids get cancer too and that they can’t fight alone.

A recent update from Momastary:

Mathias’s family fought and fought but now they have been told that the only thing to do is keep Mathias comfortable. They have decided to do a hell of a lot more than that.    

From personal experience with my husband’s colon cancer treatment, I know how horrible cancer is, but when it involves children – it really hits me harder.  My heart is breaking for Mathias and his family.  I am not a deeply religious person, but I have been sending prayers and good thoughts to them each day – and I did buy a raffle ticket to lend some support to cause. If you want to keep updated on Mathias you can join his facebook page: Team Mathias 

Life so short and precious which is why I decided this month was the month of giving and FORGIVING. I refuse to waste any more time holding onto anger and resentment. It’s not worth it when there are brave, little souls battling bigger issues in life…

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