Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Gala Girl!


My dear friend Amy was quick to offer to help me!  She lost her mother too so she understood exactly what I was going through. Amy is also one of my partners in crime!  She will be on the dance floor with me all night long.   I am very lucky to have such a great group of girls to help with The Pink Gala.  

Amy Farrow is a Brentwood native who now lives in Franklin and has been married to Scott Farrow for 21 years.  They have 2 children:  Annabelle in 7th grade at Brentwood Academy and Shane in 4th grade at Oak View Elementary.  Amy graduated from Brentwood High School and Samford University and is a CPA.  Amy is the CFO of The Gardner Schools and very active at her church, The People’s Church, as well as other community service events including activities supporting the TN Baptist Children’s Homes in Brentwood.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet my Gala Girls!

When I first started to think about a fundraiser in memory of my mom, I knew I needed help....lots of help!  So over the next week I would like to introduce you my party peeps!

The first Gala Girl on board was Nancy Nanney!  I can't tell you how thankful I am that Nancy agreed to help me.  She listened to my ideas and to how I wanted to brand the event.  I knew I wanted to use a pink boa as my version of the "pink ribbon" and Nancy was able to give me the logo that was in my head.  I am so proud of The Pink Gala's logo, not to mention the sponsorship brochure, rack card, invitations, poster, t-shirts and anything else I asked her to do. 

I am lucky to call Nancy a friend.....

Nancy Nanney is the Print Production Manager for the Williamson Herald, Art Director of Southern Exposure Magazine and a freelance graphic designer. She is married to Chip Nanney, and they have two sons, James Dexter (7) and Dawson (5). Nancy loves graphic design, Apple computers & gadgets, bellydancing, zumba, reading, traveling, playing handbells and watching Mississippi State University athletics. Nancy originally hails from Booneville, Miss. Nancy fully endorses the idea of the Pink Gala and says, "My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so this is a cause I totally support."

Thanks again Nancy....for helping me get my "Pink" on!

Party 'til your PINK

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October....Did you get your PINK on?

How was your October? Did you get your PINK on?

October marked the month for National Breast Cancer Awareness, you may have noticed (if you haven’t already) the color PINK was all around. As someone who never needs an excuse to wear the color pink, I especially love October and wearing pink for a cause. We saw Breast Cancer Awareness promotions everywhere… at the convenience store, at the bank and even on the players on the field of the NFL football games. I loved it and I couldn't get enough.

But why pink? Well, in 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave out pink ribbons to those participating in the Race for Breast Cancer Survivors in NYC. From there, the pink ribbon buzz spread and the pink ribbon was endorsed in part with National Breast Cancer Awareness month by companies and organizations nation-wide. Today it exists as the international symbol for breast cancer awareness. As a widely recognized color for femininity, the color pink is an appropriate choice to promote breast cancer awareness, considering more than 1 in 4 cancers in women (approximately 28%) are breast cancer.

Here are some other important statistics to know about Breast Cancer:

  • About 1 in 8 women in the United States (between 12 and 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in 2010. Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases occur in men.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.
  • Compared to African American women, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer, but less likely to die of it. One possible reason is that African American women tend to have more aggressive tumors, although why this is the case is not known. Women of other ethnic backgrounds — Asian, Hispanic, and Native American — have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer than white women and African American women.
  • About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
  • In 2010, there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

*Statistics provided by
*History provided by

So come on girls....get you pink on all year long!
Party 'til your Pink

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Mom's Story: The Diagnosis

My mom, Rebecca Evans, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She found a lump in her breast while doing a self exam. I remember the phone call from my dad so clearly. She had breast cancer in both breasts and in almost all of her lymph nodes. Her doctor told her to get her affairs in order and prepare for the worst and then to get ready for the fight to save her life.

Now if you knew my mom you knew she wasn’t going to go without a fight. She went through chemo therapy, radiation, a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery and months of being sick and exhausted. All the while she continued to teach high school English and Spanish and keep up with my brother who was 6 at the time. She was really worried that she wouldn’t be able to see him grow up.

I remember the changes, the loss of hair, the scars she hated, the lack of energy and the struggle to do the things she enjoyed doing. She fought every step of the way and during the process helped other women who were going through the same thing.

I hope to continue to help women fight breast cancer in memory of mom through The Pink Gala.

Perfectly Pink,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I am planning The Pink Gala

I am going to share with you the story of why I wanted to have a New Year's Eve event.

January 2010

It is with a great deal of emotion that I start this New Year. I lost my mother on Christmas Eve after her 22 year battle with breast cancer. The past week has been a blur.....well really the past 2 months. This holiday season was a very difficult one for my family. I wasn't able to do the special things I normally do with my children during the month of December and never really finished decorating my house.

The week before Christmas was spent at the hospital hoping my mom would get enough strength back to be able to spend Christmas at home. She fought a hard fight but the cancer just wouldn't let go. On Christmas Eve morning I made the difficult decision to bring my mother to my home to spend her last hours surrounded by her family. I sat my children down at the dining room table and told them that "Binky" wasn't going to make it through the day and that I wanted to bring her home. I made sure they understood that she would die here and if that was something that they would be okay with. Each sweet child (ages 8 thru 15) said it would be very sad but they wanted her here too.

So with the Doctor's help we made the arrangements for her to be transported by ambulance with the help of hospice when we arrived. Once she was settled, she opened her eyes for the first time in over 24 hours. I told her where she was and all the grandchildren came in to talk to her. Each one handled it differently but my sweet Tanner was overwhelmed with emotion. He held her hand and cried while he told her how much he loved her. She was able to slowly say in a muffled voice "I love you too" Those were the last words my mom spoke.

We took turns sitting by her bed and holding her hand. I continued to prepare for Christmas morning and tried to finish up wrapping the gifts that I had hidden all over the house. It was just about seven o'clock and my brother called my name in a panic. The hospice night nurse had just arrived and I hurried downstairs. Mom was I knew it was coming but nothing prepares you for that moment. I had to call my dad down and tell him she had passed and then we had to tell the children.

I can't tell you how blessed we were. It was the most difficult moment of my life and one of the most precious. As we started handling the business end of everything, we had the support of a wonderful nurse who promised to stay with us until everything was taken care of and she was so comforting and sympatheic, I don't know what we would have done without her.

The first call was to the funeral home back home in Kentucky. They took care of contacting a local funeral home to come and pick up my mom until they could get her the next day. Once that was arranged, we waited for the hospice RN to come by and pronouce her dead. The men from the funeral home arrived and were so thoughtful and caring. They assured us they would take very good care of her. It was so hard to watch them take her.

Okay now what....I took a deep breath and told everyone to get their Christmas PJs on and head to the living room. The annual Christmas Eve tradition of watching Christmas Vacation wasn't going to be missed. Mom wouldn't have had it any other way. We decided to wait to start calling family and friends until after we opened our gifts on Christmas morning. We wanted that night just to ourselves.

As difficult as the next few days were, I have never felt so blessed to have the support of family and close friends to ease the pain. Somehow we made it through and life is slowly getting back to normal. As the New Year rolled around I decided that no huge resolutions were in order this year. I just wanted to say "I love you" more and "I'm sorry" less. I also decided to live honestly. No more agreeing to things I don't want to do out of obligation or guilt. I want to be authentic in my life and in my relationships. I am going to simplify and find joy in the small things that happen during my day. I will be grateful for the many blessing I recieve and say thank you every chance I get.
Over the next few weeks I will tell you about my mom's journey with breast cancer.  It is a story of hope and I am happy to share it with you.

It's perfectly pink,