Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Walking in her shoes

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - When my mom got cancer, there was a bit of a country music song that my dad would sing to her. It went, in part, like this ‘They say time takes its toll on a body, makes the young girl’s brown hair turn grey. But honey I don’t care, I’m not in love with your hair. If it all fell out, I’d love you anyway”. Hearing him sing that to her wasjust a part of what would be a continuing journey for my love of this particular genre of music. Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting (via phone only, alas!) a wonderful country radio star named Lia. She and her Promotions Manager, Heather, are sweet, gracious, funny (really really funny - I get Heather’s emails, and I laugh out loud) and best of all, compassionate. Lia was so excited to hear about the research that the Vera Bradley Foundation is funding that she has invited me to be on the air a few times. She’s also putting a link on her website to our holiday hope campaign to get even more dollars to this life saving cause. Thank you, Lia and Heather, for sharing our passion and walking with us to find a cure!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays


Merry Christmas, my friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Waking in her shoes

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - It started with just one person. One of the people represented in this pic decided to do something very nice for me while I was going through my cancer treatment; something nice for one of my children, actually. In a wonderful gesture, several people at Vera Bradley ‘adopted’ my little family during Christmas while I was sick and sent my children gifts because we were having quite a tough time. My daughter requested a very unusual toy and he went to great lengths to find it for her and have it delivered in time. When she opened it, she cried and hugged it; I was able to send him a picture of that moment. That man now has a whole department working for him, and they all follow in his footsteps. All of them volunteer to help with the annual Vera Bradley Classic and one of the sweet ladies in the photo brings her mom (also sweet, of course) with her to my speaking engagements! Thank you, thank you, thank you, wonderful merchandise management team! They are, in no particular order, Anah, Chris, Emily, Chris and Elizabeth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let's talk float

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – So as you all know, Vera Bradley will have a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade featuring breast cancer survivors. Yes, yes, I know it’s the coolest thing ever! I just wanted to share with you how really cool the back stories are. First, I was twittering as soon as I learned I was going to be riding on this float. Through that twitter, I got in touch with a Pasadena Hospital/Cancer center and found a patient with a story almost identical to mine. Need a refresher? So there will be four breast cancer survivors on the float: two from Pasadena, one from Fort Wayne (me) and one celebrity. Send in your comments to guess who our celebrity will be!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walking in her shoes

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - Even before I started working with the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, I did everything I could to help fund cancer research and services. For many years, I have met wonderful people who are on the same path. We walk, run, golf, dance, stand on floats, whatever it takes to make sure we can raise funds for a cure. My cancer friends are from every walk of life, every nationality, every race, every religion, you name it. Other than wanting to cure cancer, there is just one more thing that links them all; not one of them ever wants to have his/her picture taken. Ever. I have received great responses to my shoe posts, and so I came up with this idea. I will ask my dear ones to take pics of their favorite pink shoes, and I will do a blog post about who they are and what they do. I am proud to say that my sweet friend Lita will kick off this new idea.

Lita has been a friend of the Foundation for years. Her mom had parties in her state to raise money for us even before we thought about taking this nationwide. When the unthinkable happened and Lita’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, we had to do the ‘distance prayer chain’ and send her good wishes and presents through Lita’s trips home. What you see below are Lita’s feet. They are attached to one great lady, and I can tell you with unwavering certainty that she gets her goodness from her amazing mama (who by the way is just finishing up her treatments TODAY, yay!).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'Tis the season for gifting

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - It’s last minute gift time, wow this season goes by so quickly. There are a few fabulous options out there, but if you want to consider something a little different, take a look at the Vera Bradley Foundation site. There is a holiday donation form that will send out an immediate e-card to anyone you name once you make a donation in memory/honor of someone.

I have done this for a few years in a row now, and let me tell you that I am still shocked at how much people love this. It not only shows that you are thinking about them, but that you really care enough about them NOT to give them the standard kind of gift. Let’s face it – none of us really needs another itchy sweater, but we all can use more HOPE!