As most of you already know or have seen the pictures on my facebook page I recently represented the great state of New Jersey and Region 1 (NJ, CT & RI) as a Senior LIVESTRONG Leader at the annual LIVESTRONG Assembly in Austin, Texas. 

The 200 LIVESTRONG Leaders from 26 countries are highly engaged constituents identified by the Lance Armstrong Foundation to be representatives within their communities, where they support and promote the Foundation’s mission to serve people affected by cancer and empower communities to take action against the world’s leading cause of death. 

During the Assembly, we were trained and educated on the goals and priorities of the Foundation and learned our role in supporting the organization’s mission here at home. We were also able to meet and share best practices with other LIVESTRONG partners who run programs in cities across the nation and around the world. 

I was given the opportunity to sit on a panel and discuss how I work with our community organizations and hospitals to ensure they have the material and information about LIVESTRONG free One-on-One support, Navigation services and programs.  It was a great experience to share my successes and challenges over the years and I received great feedback afterwards.  It is a great feeling knowing you were able to help others.

Upon returning home, I have recently joined the New Jersey DHSS – Office of Cancer Control and Prevention work group on Advocacy and participated in my first meeting with them this week.  Focus of this group is Advocating in NJ for specific bills, awareness, etc.  I can see there will be a lot to learn and a lot I can offer.

I have also started to work with Camp Kesem UPENN.  Camp Kesem UPENN is a student-run summer camp for children who have or had a parent with cancer and they are a LIVESTRONG Partner Program.  I will be assisting them with raising awareness about the camp, fundraising and visiting the camp in August.  I am also in discussions about joining the Camp Kesem UPENN Advisory Board.

On the awareness front I am working with the Lakewood BlueClaws to hold a LIVESTRONG Theme night in late July.  I met with their Director of Special Events this week and we all agree we can do a theme night.  Now we need to select a date and do the planning.  This gives us an opportunity to reach between 7000-8000 people and let them know about LIVESTRONG and their free services.

In the area of fundraising I focus my effort on my participation in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Philly August 18-19.  Currently I have raised over $2,600 and my goal it to raise $10,000.  I formed a team called Jersey Shore Area for LIVESTRONG and I am working with other NJ LIVESTRONG Leaders to try and raise $20,000.

All of us in attendance made new connections that we will build up over the next few weeks and months to help make a difference in our communities.  I plan to continue to advocate and fundraise on behalf of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, as well as educate the residents of New Jersey about the Foundation’s many free resources and programs that help improve the lives of people affected by cancer. 

LIVESTRONG! 

Websites:

LIVESTRONG:  http://www.livestrong.org

Jersey Shore Area for LIVESTRONG: http://jerseyshorearea4livestrong.wordpress.com/fundraising/

New Jersey DHSS – Office of Cancer Control and Prevention:  http://www.nj.gov/health/ccp/

Camp Kesem UPENN:  http://www.campkesem.org/upenn

Lakewood BlueClaws: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t427

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