Sweet 16 Tumorversary

I would like to thank all of my brain buddies who were able to attend ​my ​SWEET 16 Celebration #GMFsweet16. It was an amazing celebration and the turnout was beyond INCREDIBLE.  Some  extra special moments : one was when my high school journalism teacher surprised me.  She  immediately rushed over to the party after flying in from out of state to be sure she didn’t as she said “miss the important celebration”. I had no idea she would be attending and it was only when this person snuck up behind me and put their hands over my eyes and I turned around to look….it was MARY BETH  aka MB  or Mrs Reed, my teacher now friend.  My neurosurgeon Carrie Walters stopped by to share her love and she is in the photo’s.  So many attended​.   ​I​’m​ told ​it was over 200​ and forgive me if I don’t mention​ you personally because ​ ​everyone​ is equally important.  Thank you to Damian Hartze for hosting our event at his restaurant The DIRTY PELICAN. He is a high school alumni who graciously helped us raise money and celebrate. Many of my high school alumni who have supported me on my journey were there​​. ​ It’s crazy and ​so heart breaking ​after supporting me on my journey all these years now some​ of their family members have been touched by this wretched disease.    One thing is for sure we stick together and walk the walk​ making the journey a little easier to travel.   I can count on them and they can  count on me for ​sure​.   My husbands softball team mates and their families​ attend​ed.  This disease does not discriminate​,​ not to long ago one of the teammates who had been supporting us on our journey was diagnosed and died.  If you take a peak at the photo album the team mates put together a basket in his memory it is the RAIDER basket ​. ​ M​y sister and her boyfriend came in from out of state.  My daughter even attended which really made me happy.  Two of ​my ​cousins​ were there​ and they got to say hello and thank you to the surgeon who most of you know was the same Doctor who operated on our GMA in 1992.   My cousin hadn’t seen her since then.  Always there for me through thick and thin and through the years MY dear friend Brigitta who has known me since I was 14.   She has been an amazing force behind why I am here today.  I can always count on her and her moral support.   Many! of my brain buddies attended and submitted baskets in honor or in memory of their loved one.   One of my brain buddies who was a HUGE! supporter of gray matters foundation & was a devoted BRAIN BUDDIE.   She earned her wings  only a few days earlier but her husband Scott Lavery their family​ & their friends attended.   I still believe she attended in spirit  FRIENDS TO THE END  Cindy LOU!   We truly are about #supportnotstatistics​ .​   Thank you to my board members who helped  Sue Swift  and Greta your help with the ticket sales and set up was appreciated.  Thank you Carrie Treadwell having you there to celebrate with your daughter meant a lot thank you for attending.   Flo and Paul  Jones as always you are faithful to show up at “every” event we have we appreciate your love and faithfulness.  My best friend SHELLIE WELLIE who made a gift basket in my honor and shared our personal journey through the years.   Awww and Stefan Moore founder of CRT who opened his heart and shared the story of the loss of his daughter.  He wrote a letter that shared the loss but described and shared the beauty of the life she lived.   Scott and Becky who represented the Snyder family.   Thank you for the picnic basket  and all the extra goodies you brought on behalf of your family  in honor of your father.    Awww and my beloved Mr. Sanders although no longer here on earth he was represented when his daughter MY FRIEND  Janice  and her husband Tim Paul not just attended but also donated several baskets to help raise money for my cause. ​  ( not in attendance but a force behind preparing the baskets and always helping are Mr. Sanders grand children also  Chris and Sophie)  There were countless​ Brain buddie families​ ​who’s attended .  Many of the families said they wanted to show to support me because  I had touched them by helping their loved one who has since died​. They​ ​wanted to ​ show​ ​and share their love and say thanks​. ​ It was amazing!   Even our favorite MRI tech Carl showed to celebrate.  It was awesome because those of us still getting our scans at Stjoes hospital were excited to see him​.    It​ gave us a platform to give him the recognition he deserves.   I had friends from my banking days attend.   There are a few of the BANKING BUDDIES who have stayed close to me through the years. Jules aka Julie Cooper and her husband attended​. ​ Sandra K attended​. There is a special story about Sandra K​ ​,​ she was the coworker who took the phone from my hand to speak with the doctor that called me to tell me while I was sitting at work ​I HAD A BRAIN TUMOR.   She helped me ​take in the news that life changing day.  I was so happy to publicly ​be ​able to thank her for what she did ​for me​. ​ ​Since ​being diagnosed​  myself 2 others​ at the bank from my office ​ have been diagnosed with brain tumors.  Greg now a survivor  and his wife Michelle​ attended ​. Scott​  the other banking buddie​ ​BT survivor was not able to make it but supported GMF with ​a ​contribution​ towards that event​ and has supported us GREATLY over the years and continues to do so.   Red Balloon at www.redballooninc.com attended and without them and the social media support and education we would not have been so successful.    ​I can’t say it enough how much ​they have ​helped in our success.    I can’t forget to mention the amazing guitar donation from @CARRIE UNDERWOOD.   The winner of the guitar went to a brain buddie who lost her best friend to the tumor.   I happened to have been with the friend when she took her final breath so this connection was even more special.     She wrote on the ticket her friends name with a message this is for you AMY who knew that would become the winning ticket.  Thank you to my mom and dad ( & step mom )who attended.  It’s not often they get to attend so having them show was nice.

I saved the best for last My Husband. He was and is always so kind and supportive towards my passion and mission for  THE GRAY MATTERS FOUNDATION.  He helped set up and plan the  NIGHT OF EVENT.   He made the raffle fun and made so many laugh.   He has a tough job because when everything is  taking place he  always makes sure I am ok and not pushing it.  The evening would not have been as wonderful as it was if it were not for him helping me stay organized and pulled together.   ( I know its hard to believe but it takes a lot to keep my schedule on track and he is for sure a big portion of why I am successful.  He is my TOUR MANAGER LOLZ )  It’s all about TEAM WORK! that’s for sure. ​ It was a great night. I could go on and on. ​  There is one thing about life with the sweet always comes a little bitter​.  ​Since the party 2 near and dear to my heart have died.  It reminds me I must keep doing what I do.   People need to know they are not alone.   Thank you for being part of the  beauty in my life .​  Lot’s of Love your Brain Buddie, Lanette