I'm thoroughly enjoying a two week chemo break and especially a full week in Vegas at the World's Firefighter Combat Challenge Competition. It's been a week of humbling surprises. My relay team made up special IBTC t-shirts to sell to help raise funds for my never ending medical expenses and travel fee's. They are FLORESCENT yellow and are very noticeable. What a great act of compassion and thoughtfulness. And then to add to the shock, I showed up on Monday for preliminary races and was surprised to see a team walking around with fluorescent pink t-shirts with "Running as One for Jeanie Allen" printed on the backs. WOW!!! A Canadian Fire Dept. from New Brunswick did this up special in support of my fight, and I was truly humbled and so appreciative.
Little did I know I hadn't seen anything yet.
Friday night was Lion's Den Awards attended by HUNDREDS of firefighters and their families. This Canadian Team decided to pull another surprise on me and announced that they were raffling off their Team shirts and that all proceeds donated would go to help support my cancer fight. These hundreds of brothers and sisters, most who had never met or heard of me before this week, reached deep in their pockets and made me absolutely speechless at their generosity. I made an impromptu speech in gratitude, but I don't know what I said as I was truly in shock and crying.
I am a single Mom living on disability and limited part time work, trying to support my family, and still fight the fight. I just want to live long enough to raise my kiddo's. The funds are truly a prayer answered. Now, besides travel expenses for medical treatment, I can also consider some natural treatment options and relieve major financial stress. Rest assured to all the generous, anonymous supporters, the funds will be spent with thoughtful intention on how to get the most out of every penny.
I've outlived my prognosis by 8 months, but treatment options are getting more and more scarce. It's darn scary to think about so I am persistent in focusing on what I can do, and appreciating my physical health whatever that is, and living every day as the gift that it is.
When this cancer vacation is over and I return home tomorrow, I will be right back to facing the immediacy and harsh reality of trying to find another treatment option to keep this cancer at bay.
But I have TONIGHT left to play in Vegas......
On a side note, the competition was fabulous in the Female Firefighter Relay division. The Itty Bitty Titty Committee Relay Team ran strong and came away with a hard earned third place finish in the 22nd World Firefighter Challenge competition. It was SO MUCH FUN racing with my favorite gals and reconnecting with old and new friendships. Now it's time to put the racing behind us and EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY!!
And you know what they say.. "Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas":) !