I’ve talked about him before and I’ll continue talking about him forever. He was one of the strongest, most faithful, kindest people I’ve ever met. He was basically a Dad to me, he helped raised me, stepped in when my “Father” walked out when I was a little girl and he taught me so much. My Uncle Dean. Blake knows him, even though she’s never met him (in this life anyway), she sleeps with my “special puppy” and snuggles him all day, every day. The “special puppy” is a dog he gave me when I was little, honestly, I don’t even remember what for – but I slept with that stuffed animal until I was in high school. #Judgementfreezone HA! So it’s the most incredible and special thing to see her now play with him and literally treat it so carefully because she knows how special it is to me.
My Uncle Dean suffered 12 long years with Multiple Mmyeloma. Cancer. I hate that word. I hope you’ve never had to experience watching someone go through a fight with cancer, but if you have, I’m sorry. It’s the most disgusting disease. I watched him go from strong, doing things every day and without a worry, to losing almost a foot in height, watching his bones deteriorate and struggle to do normal daily tasks. Honestly, do I think it was fair? Nope. But I’ll tell you what – he taught me more than I think anyone could have and he had the strongest faith I’ve ever seen. He taught me love, strength and the ability to ask for help, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
He was also the “cool Uncle” – when I was a little girl, he used to clean pools for a living and he would take me to work with him some days and let me swim in the pools while he cleaned, he’d let me listen to the music my Mom didn’t 😉 (sorry Mom) and when we were in middle school, he drove us all to school and he would let me and my sisters take turns steering the steering wheel from the passenger seat while he drove in the neighborhood. Safe? Nah, but my point is – he was the best and I’m just grateful that I got the time I did with him. The doctors originally gave him no more than 2 years to live, y’all he lived almost 13 years – he killed it, he freaking struggled and hurt, but he killed it and honestly – I am so grateful every day for him being here longer because as selfish as it is – I needed him, we all did.
This is why I’m such an advocate for raising awareness around cancer research and help for cancer. He even had help from the American Cancer Society, so any way that I can help and give back, I try my best to do. There are some goals I have in the future to do and honestly – one of them I’ve got to work up the courage for. Before he died, I had him write down a list of people in his life that he thought would be interested in supporting me in something. That is – doing a beauty pageant (just saying that makes my entire body full of anxiety, so out of my comfort zone, HA!), but with the platform of Ccancer research, doing everything I can do to raise awareness and funds to support research and help with those struggling. I still have that list and one of these days, I’m going to get the courage to do it – for him. When I’m not pregnant 😉 HA!
There are tons of ways to turn the things you love into fundraiser, and ACS is making that even easier with their Raise Your Way site. You can literally turn anything you are passionate about into a fundraiser. For the time being, here’s a couple of ideas and things I want to get working on for fundraising ideas:
- A Dinner Party – you can ask businesses to help, do raffles + raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society
- Hair Tutorial Party – this is something that is just up my alley, so I hope to hold a night of fun, teaching and learning but also raising money from ticket sales, raffles and donations for the American Cancer Society
- Neighborhood Walk – a fun walk together with friends, family, friends of friends, etc. where we can come together, raise money with different businesses and raise awareness with all profits benefitting ACS.
If you go to this link, here. You can follow the steps to “start a fundraiser” with the American Cancer Society’s Raise Your Way platform. It’s pretty simple and you can choose where you want your donation to go. The American Cancer Society is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to eliminating cancer. They attack cancer from every angle, raising funds for research, treatment, programs and different services. Join the fight, check out what things are happening near you or start your own thing! Let’s do this together.
Ready for a pic of my uncle and I?! And baby Jess. 😉 Here you go: