This Wednesday, I will have the incredible opportunity to be featured on the show Outside The Lines (OTL) on ESPN around 120pm. No one is more shocked than I am to be featured on a sports channel, but my old D1 soccer connections (barely) qualify me as an "athlete" and we're running with that (literally). This show features inspirational sports related stories and my old soccer buddy Andy Tennant, captain of the Men' team when I co-captained the Women's, is kindly responsible for giving me this amazing opportunity to shed more (very much needed) light on MBC during breast cancer awareness month.
So I thought I would share a story about a recent inspiration of mine. This weekend, I was inspired by someone I have never met and who is no longer with us. My friend Shari's mom Judy is the inspiration behind the amazing Bake It Happen campaign and this is our 3rd year as the proud beneficiaries. Between sports games and her homecoming dance, my daughter Bella and I baked up one of the recipes (seen above - chocolate chip banana bread). These recipes aren't too complicated, but they're not basic either - so they are a bit of a challenge for someone like me for whom baking does not come naturally and who is pretty tired these days. However, as we made our gluten free substitutions (Bella has celiac) and coated the chocolate chips so they wouldn't sink, following every instruction to the letter - I had the chance to just think about Judy and what this all meant. Shari's words kept running through my head "My mom loved to bake and even toward the end with MBC she always had baked goods and food on the table to share with loved ones." Well, coming off a tough week of chemo - where I'm sometimes too tired to do anything - baking so much as frosted ice for others feels downright heroic never mind these incredible recipes Judy was whipping up. I just kept thinking of her and how amazing it is that she shared her love in this way, with those in her life, even near the end. My oven mitts go off to you Judy. The lessons I learned from her are the following: 1. We can always do more than we think. 2. There are many ways we can share our love with others. 3. We all have unique gifts and talents to give to the world, no matter what our situation. I believe we are each born into this life to make the world a better place in some way with our presence. Our challenge is to discover our own special way of doing that and Judy certainly found hers. But the really cool thing is, Judy had no idea how much she was inspiring her daughters just by naturally sharing her gifts and doing what she loved. She was just baking and sharing in her kitchen. She had no idea that this random woman (me - and so many others) would spend the weekend thinking about and being inspired by her. She was just doing what she loved. Yet, here we are - carrying on her legacy. It's kind of mind blowing when you think about it. You never ever know who you are inspiring just by being you and sharing your unique gifts with the world.
Thank you Judy for making the world a sweeter place. Thank you to her daughters Shari and Stacy for sharing her story and recipes with all of us. I plan to share Judy's story on ESPN tomorrow. I bet if someone told her that she would be talked about on ESPN for her baking, in her kitchen, all those years ago - she would have thought they were crazy. Isn't life just awesome that way? Always full of sweet surprises :). Happy Baking and tune in if you can!
From the BIH team:
Here is the link to the four delicious recipes featured in the campaign this year: https://www.bakeithappen.net/recipe
Remember, throughout the month of October, feel free to bake away and share these baked goods with the people in your life (coworkers, friends, families, teachers, etc). Every time you upload a photo of your bake it happen experience, with #bakeithappen, $5 will automatically get donated to The Cancer Couch Foundation our benefitting charity!!!
DON’T FORGET, we've added a DONATE button to our website! 100% of the monies raised will then get DOUBLED and be used to directly fund Metastatic Breast Cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering and The Dana Farber Institute.https://www.bakeithappen.net/donate.
Has raising money been any easier and more delicious than that?