April was another incredible month for Rising Strength. I feel blessed to have had so many great experiences doing the things I love. The month started with sharing my story to the Belmont University Women’s Soccer Team in Nashville, TN. While speaking to the girls on the Belmont soccer team it was hard not to see my ETSU teammates. I wanted so badly for each of the girls to know how important they are and how much their safety matters. The feedback from the talk was great and coach, Heather Henson, is going to look into getting the team into a RAD program like the one the ETSU Women’s soccer team took after I spoke with them. Thank you Heather and Debs for helping keep your girls safe!
While I was in Nashville, I was also able to volunteer and speak at an Oral Cancer Foundation Walk. The Oral Cancer Foundation was cherished and loved by my mom, who passed away from oral cancer after a nine-year battle on August 27, 2011. Being a part of such an incredible organization has meant so much to me. Meeting the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to finding a cure for oral cancer, while also providing support for patients and survivors has been such an honor and privilege.
The fundraiser that I have been working on in honor of my mom is called “Carol’s Fight”. With the support of my friends and family, “Carol’s Fight” has raised over $1,000 towards the Oral Cancer Foundation. After the attack, I felt that I needed to find purpose and do more to give back. Along with raising awareness for the violence that occurs against women and promoting self-defense, I am passionate about supporting the OCF. Thank you to my sweet and generous friends who have supported Rising Strength and Carol’s Fight.
One of my mom’s dreams was to go to Carmel, California. Unfortunately, because of her constant battle with cancer she was unable to see this breathtakingly gorgeous place in person. I was able to fulfill this dream and spread awareness for Carol’s Fight with my wonderful friend Laura Rosenberg, who ran the Big Sur 21 miler with me. My ETSU soccer teammates Jen Altimier and Erin Billingsby woke up at two in the morning to take us to the race and cheered us on. I am without a doubt one of the luckiest girls out there to have so many incredible people in my life. Thank you!