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I am Free to Breathe!

A big hello to everyone! I have missed crafting and blogging - it has been over a month since I have made anything, and exactly one month since my last post. But I have been thinking about all of my cyber-friends, wondering how much fun they're having and what they've been up to. I suppose those of you with kids have gotten into the swing of the new school year, while others brace for the chill of winter that is coming our way.

So where have I been?

The last year has been such a whirlwind! Most recently (last Sunday, 9/26), we held our first ever Free to Breathe 5K fun run/walk to benefit National Lung Cancer Partnership. Despite a few glitches (which included finding out at 5pm the day before the event that my water guy couldn't get the water!?#$!), it was so much more fun and successful than I ever could have imagined when I started this journey. There were a total of 330 people there, and together we all raised over $33,000 for the lung cancer research and awareness programs of NLCP. For anyone who is interested in participating in one of the 30+ Free to Breathe events taking place nationwide, please visit their website FreeToBreathe.org.

I am posting tons of pictures of the day, and may update this post as more come in. Lucy Schultz did such an amazing job capturing the day, which was gorgeous all-around.

Here I am!
I think that I was getting ready to hang our banner,
because I don't remember getting that close to the ground for anything else.
It was go, go, go the whole morning!

This little girl is the granddaughter of one of three lung cancer survivors
who attended our event. Cutie!

Here is Bridget in the red hat; she's one of the NLCP staffers that works year-round helping all
of the Free to Breathe organizers. She flew in from Wisconsin,
and I absolutely could not have done it without her help. She's amazing.

Here's the Canaligator, the mascot of our Red Sox affiliate minor league baseball team,
along with my hubby and some friends.

Fellow crafter and rockstar volunteer, Jessica!!!
She arrived before the sun was up to help out!
Blowing up 200 balloons is a LOT of work!

Here I am awarding a prize and trophy to the team captain of our top fundraising team.
This team had nearly 50 people walking together!

This is Joey, a 9 year old boy with an amazing voice.
He sang the National Anthem to get us off to a perfect start!

A Survivor and her husband approach the finish line with a high-five for Canaligator!

This is Kodiak, the whitest and fluffiest dog in the whole town. {love}

Mrs. Massachusetts is from my town,
and she came to generously offer her help at the registration tables!

Dr. Pasi Janne, a medical oncologist from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
and world famous lung cancer researcher, addresses the crowd.
As the Chair of the NLCP Scientific Executive Committee,
he spoke about how critical research and grants are in advancing treatment options
for patients. Such an honor to have him there.

As I slowly come up for air, I am reminded to tell all of you that my husband lost his primary election race for State Senate about two weeks before the lung cancer 5K. Many thanks to those of you who wrote to me through here or Facebook with notes of encouragement. I am so proud of him and the campaign that he ran; he always took the high road and it was a great experience. But don't be mistaken, I don't miss the stress that much. ;) The post-campaign life has been exciting for him so far - he has been moonlighting as a political analyst on the radio in Boston and today he heard that he might be on TV! I should have been a scrapbooker, because he sure does give me lots to work with.

And workwise, AHHHH. It was a critical year of grant submissions and learning - learning very quickly. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people.

Lastly, today's my wedding anniversary. I could not have done any of this without you, Eric!!!!!!! I will spare the rest of you from any gushiness on here - I don't really "do" touchy-feely, despite countless episodes of Mr. Rogers in my formative years.

So what's next? I realized this week that my blogoversary is on October 10th, I am thinking of doing a giveaway! So stay tuned for that, as well as some catching up on Paper Dolls posts and lots of holiday cards! Fun fun fun! Fun fun fun!!!!