|Posted by soldiers-mom on April 16, 2015 at 10:50 AM||comments (0)|
This year has started out on a few ups and downs! I had submitted our application for the annual Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer Event but sadly, for reasons that I can only guess include my not having my own non profit status, we got turned down!
April Fools?... I can only wish it was....
Dear Friends and Noise Makers,
I have been waiting to hear about my request to Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer Awareness for this year since December. I had several messages back and forth with an employee of the Falls department of tourism and had no idea what to expect for this year.
Yes my hopes were high that this year, 2015, we would be attending the 5th annual Illumination and perhaps have a vigil etc to go with it this year. After all, 5 years was a milestone.
I am so very sorry and disappointed to tell you that this year my request was denied. There are no reasons given and the decision is final. My heart sank when I read the message and my stomach flip flopped.
I have been thinking about how to deal with this. How do I recover so to speak from a disappointment, not only to me, but to all of the amazing supporters who have been beside me either in person or online during the event and in the weeks leading up to it. I feel as if I have let you all down.
Yet, I am so proud and so happy to have been able to make this innovative and original event happen for you all in the past 4 years. Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer was the first organization to Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer and it was done with every single survivor, every single person we have lost to this disease, every single friend, family member and caregiver have ever been touched by this disease. It was done for 4 straight years with a heart filled with love and with so much compassion for our community.
I am blessed to have been able to do this for you and one day maybe in the future, it can be done again.
Sadly it will not be this year but I am already thinking about a new idea to help us MAKE SOME NOISE!
Thank you all for your support and your undying devotion to helping me keep Making Some Noise for Lung Cancer.
With my love and deepest thanks.
I have been thinking and coming up with ideas for an event to replace the Falls but let's be honest.. NOTHING would ever top that event. But I kept thinking and planning until...
I was approached by fellow LC advocate and dear friend Deb Violette who created and runs the Free ME From Lung Cancer Foundation based in Maine. Deb offered to submit an application, on my behalf, to the Illumination Board to see if having a registered Non Profit status would make a difference. AND, VOILA!!!! It did! The annual event will continue this November, making this the 5th consecutive year that the Falls will be lit in white for Lung Cancer on November 16th!
Hello Noise Makers and Friends!
I have some wonderful news to share.
Debbie Violette of Free ME From Lung Cancer has been a miracle worker and in conjunction with Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer has been able to secure a time to Illuminate Niagara Falls for Lung Cancer once again!
Monday, November 16, 2015 at 10pm the Falls will once again be lit in WHITE for Lung Cancer!
Thank you so much Debbie for stepping up and helping me to continue this tradition!
With my sincere appreciation and love,
I do have some additional ideas for this year, since it is the 5th year and I thought doing something additional would add a special touch to the event!
So, stay tuned and I promise to make a HUGE attempt at keeping this site up to date and keep you all in the loop as we continue to MAKE SOME NOISE for LUNG CANCER AWARENESS!!
|Posted by soldiers-mom on January 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
I had a message over on Facebook from Ashley regarding Aurora's project.
Here is the update!
I would give her an award just for that smile alone!
The message from Ashley is this.
Apparently the judging was by category and my daughter won FIRST PLACE for Extension of School Subjects. She is so happy and i am glad I think my daughter did an AWESOME job and a very hard subject for her grade level and age.
And thank you for MAKING SOME NOISE!!!
|Posted by soldiers-mom on January 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM||comments (2)|
Every now and then a post will show up on the Make Some Noise Facebook page that really gets my attention. Just before the new year a member who had recently lost her father to lung cancer posted to say that her daughter was going to be doing a school project for the annual Discovery Fair. Her chosen topic?
I have been keeping up with the progress on this amazing young lady and her project and would like to introduce you to 8 year old Aurora. Here is the post that originally caught my attention. This is written by her Mom, Ashley.
Ashley posted….It is Discovery fair time coming up shortly after the new year starts and my daughter is doing her project inspired by her grandfather, LUNG CANCER. We are going to explore how one is detected, how one gets treated and give detailed facts on what people need to be aware of.
· MAKESOME NOISE!!!!.... For Lung Cancer Awareness Ashley this is so wonderful!! Please feel free to keep us updated on her project and post pictures if you can! x x xChristine
Ashley….Oh i will We are going to do the aspect about facts but also the data i have recieved in email on how it develops and what to watch for It is not due until Jan. 17th but i want to get started on it.
MAKESOME NOISE!!!!.... For Lung Cancer Awareness So awesome!! If we can help just let us know~ Christine
Ashley……My daughter and I are almost done with her science project i sure hope that you like the outcome When we are all finished i will share pictures with you I wanted to put as much info as possible and i even printed some articles that you shared on your page about the recent developments that she is going to share with her classmates and judges. We should be finished with it later today. We are excited for you to see the outcome of it. "
MAKESOME NOISE!!!!.... For Lung Cancer Awareness I'm so excited and so proud of her!! AND YOU! Thank you both for taking this on and doing all of this work!! Xoxox
I received these photos of Aurora’sproject and am so proud of the wonderful job she has done!!
Ashley has very generously shared some more photos and information with me about Aurora and her Pappy who shared a very special bond.
It’s easier to tell that story through the photos Ashley sent me.
This is Aurora and her pappy when she was just over a year old
Aurora and her pappy on the boat they loved to be ontogether she was two years old
Christmas morning, 2009,
New Years Eve 12-31-2011
These were the last pictures of them together before he passed away. They were taken on his 67th birthday, January 23rd, 2012.
Aurora’s Pappy passed on March 10, 2012.
I find this story to be so bittersweet. I am so very sorry for the loss of yet another person to this hideous disease but yet I am so proud of Aurora for sharing her grandfather’s story through not only this post but through her school project.
Our children are our future, and we need to educate them so they can in turn share that knowledge with their friends as well as make informed choices for themselves later in life.
Ashley, to you I say THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing your father and your daughter with us.
Thank you for raising Aurora to be such a caring and loving little girl.
Thank you for taking the time to help her with this amazing project and for taking the time to keep me up to date on her progress!
Aurora, I am sure your Pappy is looking down from heaven and smiling at you.
I know he must be so proud of all of your hard work on this project!
I am looking forward to hearing all about your grade in the coming days!!
In my book you got an A+!!
|Posted by soldiers-mom on January 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
I wrote this piece a few days ago for the Facebook page but thought it would be good to share here, too.
Tips and Hints.
I realized it has been a while since anything has been posted about HOW to best handle the overload of information that comes at us when faced with any type of cancer diagnosis. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some thoughts, some tips and some helpful ideas .
The first and best piece of advice I can offer to you is to document everything!! I will break this down for you into sections just to make it a little easier to conquer!
That initial time when you hear those life altering words, “You have Cancer” is such a mind numbing thing. Nobody is ever really prepared to hear this and the shock just over takes the thought process. I don’t think it is even remotely possible to make sense of anything at this stage. I know when my own Mom was diagnosed things just became a complete blur and as hard as I tried to be calm, cool and collected, inside I was just drowning in emotions. This is all totally normal!
Once you have had time to process this news a bit you can begin to prepare for the next appointments. Begin by asking someone to go with you to this visit. It is so helpful to have two sets of ears!! Make a list of all of the questions you have, and yes you will have many! You can even make 2 copies and give one to the doctor to read over and work together on getting the answers. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not fully understand something. It’s even a good idea to ask the doctor if they would let you bring a small recorder to the appointments to record the conversation to review later on.
This next thing is very important and can be very, very helpful, especially for second opinions! Ask for and get copies of EVERY SINGLE TEST you have done, including the routine blood work, MRI scans, CT scans, PET scans, etc. I keep all of Mom’s notes and results in a 3 ring binder with dividers to keep things organized. I make notes between appointments of anything she complains of, any changes I see or hear and make sure to have those ready for the next visit. A lot of times these things turn out to be of no major concern but you just never know!
Be sure and keep an updated list of ALL medications, including vitamins, herbal supplements etc that are being taken. Keep it UPDATED with any changes in doses and/or medications. Include the chemo on this list! It’s really, really important to let the oncologist know about ANYTHING you take as there is always a chance that these things could have an adverse effect with the chemo!
I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is to document everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. In the event you need to get another opinion you will have all of the test results, treatment plans, and past issues at your fingertips and you can a make copies to hand to the new physician to get them up to speed as well. This saves so much time!!
As overwhelming as a cancer diagnosis is, things DO settle into a routine and it DOES become easier to manage things.
|Posted by soldiers-mom on December 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
September 14, 2005
My life was forever changed.
Yes it's been 7 years since I began my Lung Cancer Advocacy Journey. Well, 7 years tomorrow. As you probably see from the date and time above, it's actually been just a couple of months longer but the real "journey" began after December 10, 2005.
I can't really believe it has been 7 years since Brad left this earth. I can't believe how much has changed, how much I have changed. It's been one hell of a ride so far and it's not over yet!
He is gone but never forgotten. He is at peace and out of pain.
Brad... 4/13/74-12/10/05 Too young.
|Posted by soldiers-mom on December 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
I chose to make this a separate entry from the Illumination because it really warrants it's own space on this blog.
On November 12, 2012, the Monday before the event I received the following email message:
Good evening! I just saw your Illuminate the Falls story. I lost my wife Keasha to lung Cancer in December 2011. I will be in town on Thursday to attend the Buffalo Bills/Miami Dolphins game with a lung cancer survivor. We, Team Draft, are coordinating a survivor at all 14 games this week. I would love to catch up with you on Thursday before I go to the game.
BTW. I played for the Bills in 2009.
Founder, President, and CEO
Chris Draft Family Foundation
I knew of Chris and Keasha and I knew of their story. I had actually shared it on the Facebook page. I was so touched by their story and I remember thinking I KNOW he will do great things. It is through the loss of loved ones that motivates so many of us to pick up this cause and run with it... I never, ever dreamed that I would be contacted by Chris and asked to meet him while we were both in the Falls area but that is exactly what happened.
On the day of the 15th, I got to Canada around 1pm after a 5+ hour drive. I was so excited and so nervous to be meeting Chris for lunch! My friend Gary came and met me at the hotel and was able to accompany me to this meeting. Chris and I decided to meet at the Hard Rock Cafe on the American side of the Falls.
We arrived at the Cafe and got a table. I was still in awe of the fact that this guy wanted to meet ME. We talked about Make Some Noise and how the Illumination event came to be, we talked about Chris and Keasha and Team Draft. We talked about lung cancer and the changes that have come about as well as the changes happening now and the future of awareness and treatments; just everything! We talked about the stigma and how the negative portrayals of Lung Cancer just need to stop.
Chris was in the area to host a Lung Cancer Survivor at the Buffalo Bills game that evening. This was part of the NFL and Team Draft's A Survivor At Every Game. Chris explained to us how showing the positives with our Survivors is such an important step in convincing the researchers and the funding to focus more on Lung Cancer. It makes so much sense!!
We talked about the PINK and how the Lung Cancer community needs to pay more attention to utilizing that force rather than bashing it. Yes, I am as guilty of this as anyone else. It's the PINK that actually got me to start the Make Some Noise organization though and it is the PINK that was responsible for the Illumination event to be born. So I decided after talking to Chris that I will rethink how I look at that movement and I will try to harness some of that incredible energy to help move Lung Cancer Awareness forward!
After lunch we all walked across the street to the Falls. Always such a breathtaking experience to see but more so with all of the new found ideas and passion running through my mind for this cause! Chris asked me to tape a little PSA type segment for his web site and although I never in a zillion years ever thought I would do that, I did it! It's not too bad for spur of the moment, LOL While we were doing that, Gary had my camera and snapped some awesome shots of us! I reciprocated and got some of Chris and Gary as well. ( Hey I was still just a little star struck )
Here is the link to the video I did..
I feel so blessed to have been able to meet Chris and trade ideas back and forth and I do hope that we will be working together on more awareness in the future! Thank you Chris Draft for all that you are doing and for inspiring me to do even more!
To learn more about Chris and his foundation, please visit:
|Posted by soldiers-mom on December 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
The 2nd Annual MSN4LC Illuminate the Falls for LC was a wonderful success!!
I was joined by several of the Noise Makers on the Canadian side this year and there were also Noise Makers on the American side, too!
At 8pm the falls slowly faded from the vivid colors that had been gracing them all evening and the pure white lights took over. It was almost spititual. A quiet fell over our group and tears and hugs replaced the levity of earlier. As we all stood there watching the mist glowing with a ghostly yet magical white hue, we remembered all of those who have been taken from this world by lung cancer. We paid tribute to all of those who are here fighting today.
As the first illumination came to an end, we all went our separate ways for the evening. I wanted to get some photos from my room as I had a beautiful view of both Falls. And, much to my surprise, at 9pm, as the second Illumination began to unfold, we were treated to an amazing fireworks display. I had not known that the fireworks were going to be happening at this time of year when I planned this event so it was just an added bonus to what had already been a beautiful evening.
Thank you so much to Gary, Ray, Jason, Makayla and Barb for sharing this evening with me. And to all of you who witnessed the event from the American side, Thank you for being there!! AND, finally, to all of you who joined us online, a huge thank you to all of you for being with us and supporting this event~
This is my favorite picture of the night. Makayla looking to heaven for her Grandma <3
|Posted by soldiers-mom on November 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
I have been busy this month,Lung Cancer Awarness month, working on raising awareness and educating people about the truths of LC and trying, like so many others to eliminate this unfair stigma that is attached to this disease.
Not too long ago I recieved a message on the Make Some Noise Facebook page from a gentleman by the name of Paul Lonardo. Paul wanted to introduce me to a book that he helped to write about a woman by the name of Lauren Terrazzano. I went to Amazon.com and ordered a copy that day.
The book arrived a couple of days later and I began to read. WOW..
Lauren was a writer for Newsweek and just such a remarkable, vibrant woman! Her accomplishments and accolades were incredible! As I read, I found myself feeling so angry and wondering why this talented and much loved woman had to be taken from this world. And at such a young age.
Lauren's story is told by her father, Frank. It is a moving account of an only child, a daughter so cherished and loved, not only by her family but by everyone she came to know. Lauren was a hero for the underprivileged, a champion for children and disabled. People like her do not come along very often and this loss is one that has been felt by so many people.
I am very thankful to Paul for contacting me and to Frank Terrazzano for sharing Lauren's story, not only with me but with the world.
If you are looking for evidence that LUNG CANCER does not discriminate, this book will serve that purpose.
Lung Cancer is the #1 cancer killer, WORLD WIDE. It strikes everyone, young and old, rich and poor, from all walks of life and every ethnicity. It is not a smoker's disease. It is EVERYONE's disease.
|Posted by soldiers-mom on October 18, 2012 at 8:10 AM||comments (0)|
The Birth of “Illuminate the Falls for Lung CancerAwareness”
By Christine A. Dwyer
A year ago I was watching football as I normally do on Sunday afternoons. During the half time show a mention was made about the Buffalo Bills doing an illumination of Niagara Falls in pink for breast cancer. I got thinking about all the press and publicity that breast cancer gets and I got a little jealous and a lot motivated.
Hey if the Buffalo Bills can do this for breast cancer, why can’t I, along with my Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness do this for LUNG CANCER.
Never one to back away from a decent challenge I set out to make this happen.
I had no idea who to call and no idea how this would ever come to be but my mind was made up and my heart was set on this. So I began composing my thoughts and writing my pitch and compiling Lung Cancer facts and information to back up the intense need for raising awareness.
I sent my requests off and actually never dared to dream I would ever hear anything back. I really figured that this would be filed in that infamous circular file, or lost in transit between offices etc. I had actually moved on and almost forgotten about the request completely!
Early in October I got “THE CALL”. When I heard the gentleman on the other end telling me he was calling in regard to my request to illuminate the Falls in white for lung cancer I was so afraid he was going to tell me it was not possible. Much to my amazement he told me just the opposite . I wish I had words to describe the feeling of sheer amazement that came over me!
Next we needed a date. I was in the car, I had no calendar with me and was trying to envision the month ahead. Finally we decided on November16. The 16th happened to be a Wednesday that year, mid week. It was also, coincidentally mid month exactly if you looked at the calendar! It felt perfect to me and so the date was set!
I had just over ONE month to get the details in place, get the word out about this event, contact press and get some publicity! I came home and got to work. Facebook is a hugely useful social media outlet for things like this and I set up an Event page and began to post about it on my personal page as well as the Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness page. Soon the news feed was full of people and organizations sharing the information and details of the event. I have to say, being one person behind the MSN4LC page as well as the only person behind this monumental event it was overwhelming~!
November 16, 2011. I was at the falls, on the American Side.
I can tell you that there is not a feeling in the world that compares to seeing those beautiful Falls lit up in ANY colors, but when those lights went to pure white?
This year, November 16, 2012, from 8-8:15pm and again from 9-9:15pm the Falls will again be lit in pure white light to raise awareness for Lung Cancer. This is the second annual Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer Awareness made possible by Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness.
Visit the Facebook Event Page at;
|Posted by soldiers-mom on October 18, 2012 at 8:10 AM||comments (2)|
The Birth of “Illuminate the Falls for Lung CancerAwareness”
By Christine A. Dwyer
A year ago I was watching football as I normally do onSunday afternoons. During the half time show a mention was made about theBuffalo Bills doing an illumination of Niagara Falls in pink for breast cancer.I got thinking about all the press and publicity that breast cancer gets and Igot a little jealous and a lot motivated.
Hey if the Buffalo Bills can do this for breast cancer, whycan’t I, along with my Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness do this forLUNG CANCER. Never one to back away from a decent challenge I set out to makethis happen.
I had no idea who to call and no idea how this would evercome to be but my mind was made up and my heart was set on this. So I begancomposing my thoughts and writing my pitch and compiling Lung Cancer facts andinformation to back up the intense need for raising awareness.
I sent my requests off and actually never dared to dream Iwould ever hear anything back. I reallyfigured that this would be filed in that infamous circular file, or lost intransit between offices etc. I hadactually moved on and almost forgotten about the request completely!
Early in October I got “THE CALL”. When I heard thegentleman on the other end telling me he was calling in regard to my request toilluminate the Falls in white for lung cancer I was so afraid he was going totell me it was not possible. Much to my amazement he told me just the opposite.I wish I had words to describe the feeling of sheer amazement that came overme! Next we needed a date. I was in the car, I had no calendar with meand was trying to envision the month ahead. Finally we decided on November16. The 16th happened to be aWednesday that year, mid week. It was also, coincidentally mid month exactly ifyou looked at the calendar! It felt perfect to me and so the date was set!
I had just over ONE month to get the details in place, getthe word out about this event, contact press and get some publicity! I camehome and got to work. Facebook is ahugely useful social media outlet for things like this and I set up an Eventpage and began to post about it on my personal page as well as the Make SomeNoise for Lung Cancer Awareness page. Soon the newsfeed was full of people andorganizations sharing the information and details of the event. I have to say, beingone person behind the MSN4LC page as well as the only person behind thismonumental event it was overwhelming~!
November 16, 2011. I was at the falls, on the American Side.
I can tell you that there is not a feeling in the world that compares to seeingthose beautiful Falls lit up in ANY colors, but when those lights went to purewhite?
Again this year, November 16, 2012, from 8-8:15pm and againfrom 9-9:15pm the Falls will again be lit in pure white light to raiseawareness for Lung Cancer. This is thesecond annual Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer Awareness made possible by Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness.
Visit the Facebook Event Page at;