As I’ve spent the last few of weeks preparing for the upcoming Wine & Cheese Fundraiser, I’ve felt extremely overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support I have received from so many. It is not easy for me to ask people for donations or support…in fact I hate it and it’s the one thing about Sofia’s Hope I wish I didn’t have to worry about. I find it embarrassing, draining, and stressful!!!! But many don’t understand why. I’ll try to explain it here…
Believe it or not, I am naturally a very shy person who like Sofia has never liked being the center of attention. I would much rather blend in to the woodwork and go on my merry little way. Unfortunately, this cause is just too important and I can’t pretend it away and do nothing. And what does that mean? That I have to muster up a lot of courage and spend a lot of energy to pick-up that phone or walk in the door to ask for support. Thank God for email and text as I turn to those as my first line of defense. Don’t know what I would do without them!!!
Also, every time I walk in to a business I have to introduce the charity, the mission and explain that I started in it honor of Sofia, etc., etc. It is never easy telling people the story, seeing their reaction (or non-reaction, for that matter) and continuing with my request for support. If they can’t support me, I feel defeated and a little pissed because how can they not support this cause, right???? But when they do, then I’m happy but overwhelmed with their generosity. Either way I end up sitting in my car in the parking lot crying and then putting myself together for the next stop.
And I actually thought this year would be easier but it’s really been even harder. Perhaps it’s because it’s all comes in the heels of September and all the work I did for Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. If I wasn’t speaking at a local school, I was preparing for it, following-up with thanks you’s, etc. And while I don’t regret doing any of it, re-living Sofia’s story over and over isn’t easy. Seeing her friends, how grown-up they are, how much they miss her, how they are so willing to help and support Sofia’s Hope for her…again overwhelms me and breaks my heart.
But like I told the students at one of the schools, while a little piece of my heart breaks every time I share her story, it also strengthens me because doing so will lead to greater awareness which will lead to greater research funding, better treatments and less loss of life. It’s knowing that while I may only be making a little difference in the world of pediatric cancer, it is a difference. And it’s what I remind myself of every time I feel like giving up and why I keep going!!!