Friday, January 30, 2009

Australian Bunny

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Nope, I never met her – I’ve only seen pictures online. She had luminous red hair and an enveloping smile – perfect skin, great eyes, you know, the kind of thing we women notice first. Her smile is what got me; what made me wish I could have met her just once. But I want to talk to you today about Sean. He’s the one who made contact with me and made me think about husbands of these breast cancer warriors. They aren’t often in the pictures of us as we stand trying to weakly smile with no hair and tired bodies. They are in the background, driving us to chemo, holding the babies our arms can no longer support, trying not to cry in front of us. They have names like William, Ham, Sean, Wayne, Stuart – the names of the everyman. They are your neighbors, these men. You stand next to them in line at the market and the bank, all across the world. They can’t wear their battle as we do, they don’t have hair loss that screams out what they are going through. Their scars are on the inside, but they soldier on even if we aren’t there anymore to praise them. Thank you, Sean, for introducing me to Bunny and to yourself. We are fighting for people like your sweet wife and children, but make no mistake – we fight and pray for you as well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jenny Lynn

ATLANTA, GEORGIA. Jenny Lynn was one of those rare kind of ladies one is sometime fortunate enough to meet; rare because she actually was a lady! She reminded me so much of my mother, who also lost her life to breast cancer. Gentle and poised, neither a harsh word nor a hair out of place. When I travel, when I meet people and talk to them about this great Foundation, I bring a part of Jenny Lynn with me in my heart. She stayed with us just long enough to meet her beautiful grandbabies, we are so thankful for that.This disease touches us all, we have all lost so many 'Jenny Lynns'. Thank you to everyone who makes a donation in her honor, for giving us all the gift of hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope is in the air

WARSAW, INDIANA – When you live in a small town, it’s very easy to feel as if you are ‘on the outside looking in’ for large events. While we were not able to go to our nation’s capital today, I used my lunch hour to take two of my children to the county courthouse. We discussed how wonderful it is to live in America and how blessed we are to have the freedoms we enjoy. No matter your political position, it would be hard for you to ignore the word that seems to be on everyone’s mind today – HOPE. For me, it is a word that I use daily – sometimes even hourly. Now is a great time to remember that we are so close to being able to give so many this great gift of hope. Hope that our nation remains steadfast on the path set forth by our founders and hope that we can, as a people, find a cure for a disease that so threatens our children.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The true definition of a gentleman

When I first met Dr. Sledge, I was two months pregnant and terrified. I had been told I had breast cancer and that I had to terminate my pregnancy. Working for Vera Bradley gave me tremendous advantage over that terror; however, through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. It helps fund some of the work being done by Dr. Sledge, so I went to him to get his medical opinion. It was a long drive and was utterly draining. When I walked in to see him, he was not at all what I expected. He was quiet and sweet - his tone was gentle and calming without being overly optimistic. He never indicated that this would be an easy journey; quite the opposite. After presenting both benefits and risks, he announced that he would save my baby and me, too. Almost 4 years later, I am so proud to announce that he was just elected to be the President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Congratulations Dr. Sledge for saving so many lives. We love you!

Read the story at »

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Among the flowers

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - Well, I can scratch this one off the bucket list: riding on a float in the Rose Parade. What an experience! Cynthia Nixon is just as lovely, poised and gracious as she could be – the Vera Bradley Foundation was so fortunate to have her telling people about our work. The float also featured other cancer survivors. Devon was on the float and what a survivor she is! Strong and beautiful, she is the type of lady who says ‘bring it on, you don’t scare me’ to her diagnosis. She just never ceased to amaze me during my time with her – I found myself saying, ‘wow I should try that’ about everything we discussed! She also does exactly the same thing I do – when she has a quiet moment with one of her children, she pulls them close, smiles and breathes them in. I love that! Rena was another survivor on the float, a consummate lady. She really showed us all how you can have grace and courage while daring to remove her wig and ride the float with her newly grown chemo-hair. She just has a quiet radiance that I was honored to witness. Her new baby son, a miracle boy with the exact same story as my little Noah, is most certainly a special little boy. I look forward to keeping in touch with my great new friends, and hope to keep you posted on their progress.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Walking in her shoes

My new friend Jemima (makes me wish I could have another daughter just so I could give her that cool name!) lives and works in the UK. She and her mom do a walk every year to raise money for cancer research across the pond from us! When I asked her to send me a pic of her shoes as we are launching this fun-paign to celebrate cancer friends in their footwear, she said “I can do better than one pair!” Her whole shoe wardrobe is on a website, how awesome! I selected the Wellies, because they are my favorite.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In the News

Heidi travels coast to coast spreading the word about the Vera Bradley Foundation and creating awareness for breast cancer research. Check out the places she has been, and where she's going next!

Decatur Daily, October 16, 2009
Woman recalls losing mom to breast cancer

Reuters, October 12, 2009
Bright Starts Proudly Honors 2009 Pink Power Mom Winners

Woman to Woman: Talk You Can Trust, October 3, 2009
Heidi Floyd and Alex Floyd

Free Press Release, September 13, 2008
Paint a Piece in Memphis, TN helps to raise money for the Vera Bradley Foundation

Emily Hughes Official Website
Skate for Hope Photo Albums

Lutheran Women's Missionary League
Heidi's Highlights