Wednesday, September 10, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEN!
Charlotte Smarty Pants
by Jen P:
On this special day, I remember my best bud, Jen Bunich and wish her a happy, happy birthday up there! Not a day goes by when I don't think of her and miss her dearly. When I reflect back on how Charlotte Smarty Pants has evolved, I can't help but ache in my heart wishing she was here with us enjoying this special ride. She would be so proud of us. And you, our CSP readers, for all of the incredible support you have given us whether it be through a comment on a post, a Smarty Mom nomination, a referral to your friends, or just living Smarty. Trust me, she sees it all. So on this day, I'm reaching out to our Smarty friend, Keely Lane, Captain of the Jen Bunich Team for Lungstrong. On February 4, 2008, CSP was forever changed when we lost Jen to non-smokers lung cancer. The entire Charlotte community was shocked by the intensity of this disease. We have decided to direct our philanthropic efforts to LungStrong in Jen's name. Meet Keely:
"Dear Smarty Moms & Friends,
I'm here to tell you about a topic that should scare the Smarty Pants right off of you! Did you know that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women? Let me say that again....lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women. Additionally......it kills more women each year than ALL gynecological cancers COMBINED. Yes...more than breast, ovarian, uterine, etc. COMBINED. This fact was brought to light in a most unfortunate way when we lost our amazing friend and Co-Founder of CharlotteSmartyPants.com, Jen Bunich. When Jen died suddenly from stage 4 lung cancer, with very few symptoms, we were beyond shocked.
Why IS lung cancer such a killer? Well....there is a 'smoking' stigma associated with the disease. People think that lung cancer is caused by smoking, and since smoking is a choice the federal government has been unwilling to fund research for a disease that they think can be prevented. But the fact is....just as many non-smokers as smokers are getting lung cancer. Because there has been so little funding for research for lung cancer, there is no early detection system in place; therefore by the time people realize they have lung cancer it is often too late because the cancer has already metastasized. Think about it.....we have pap spears to detect uterine cancer, mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colon cancer, skin screenings for skin cancer and so on...but what is there for lung cancer - NOTHING!! It is time to take a stand and raise money for research to create an early detection system and treatments for lung cancer.
Charlotte Smarty Pants is joining forces with LungStrong - a local organization putting on a race at Lake Norman on October 18th, 2008. Funds raised from this race will go to Lungevity - a research organization out of Chicago, as well as Presbyterian Hospital's Cancer Ward. This will be the second year of this event and we plan to continue this effort each year and even take the LungStrong organization to a national level. As a Smarty Friend, I call on each of you to join the Jen Bunich Team in honor and remembrance of our friend. I've set a goal of $25,000. Yes...it's a hefty goal, but with your help we can reach it. You do NOT have to be a runner - you can walk, volunteer or even make a simple donation.
Jen left such a mark on this world as an amazing mom, wife, daughter, friend, and co-worker - let's now let her lead us to a new level of awareness of lung cancer. In her name and honor, I'd like to see an early detection system and a CURE!
Your Smarty Friend and Jen Bunich Team Captain - Keely"