In the last week of September, we kick off our Charitable Give Back Online Sales Event, Shimmer & Blush. With a goal to increase awareness and raise funds for those affected by childhood cancer (Shimmer) & breast cancer (Blush). 
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is recognized every September by childhood cancer organizations around the world. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
Meet Jeanette Finney

On January 9, 2013, Jeanette Marie Finney passed away peacefully at age 52, following a two year battle with breast cancer. She was born in Camden, New Jersey, and the youngest of three children. She served eight consecutive years in the Air Force, then transitioned to the Army for another five years. 

After finishing her military service, she earned her bachelor’s degree and accepted a lead project manager position for ICF International. Jeanette was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011; she continued to work with ICF International during this period.  A year later, cancer continued to spread, ultimately metastasizing to her brain.

Besides being a dedicated fitness fanatic and having a healthy food epicure, Jeanette was a true Christian example and a devoted mother to David Finney Jr. She worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for her son. She always preached: “Do what’s right and do what’s good. Be kind and help others. The world can always use one more kind person.” Her life was a living example of her favorite bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 – “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” 

She cared deeply for her family and friends, and she did this not out of obligation, but because of who she was. She was always the first to offer help and regularly brought meals to homeless shelters and friends in need. She loved her community and devoted her life to giving back to others. People remember her as a beautiful, kind, and positive person. Her joy for life and indomitable spirit kept her pushing through the pain.

Meet AJ Slye

Andrew John “AJ” Slye was a 2012 graduate of North Stafford High School.  A favorite amongst his classmates and teachers, AJ was a great student and a tenacious athlete on the baseball diamond and football field.  He was a young man with strong character, piercing blue eyes, and an infectious smile.  Upon returning home from his first semester at Salisbury University, AJ was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare form of blood cell cancer.  His fight to beat cancer began at the University of Virginia Hospital, transitioned to John’s Hopkins Hospital and unfortunately ended on February 27, 2014 at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Over 14 months, multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant reduced AJ’s body from a strong, fit football player to a thin, battle-weary shell of a young man.  But cancer did not touch this warrior’s heart which steadily grew stronger.  Through every setback he faced, his trust and faith in God became deeper and his resolve became ever-increasing.  His spirit and that infectious smile incredibly united and inspired an entire community.  The SLYESTRONG#6 Foundation was created to honor and remember AJ and to give back to a community that supported and joined AJ in his heroic fight and eternal victory over death.   

While St Jude, AJ had ups and many downs.  He would never let the downs get to him.  One day the doctor came in with yet more bad news.  When he told AJ the news, AJ just smiled at him and said, “We got this!”  The doctor said, “AJ, we come in here day after day and tell you more and more bad news.  We have thrown everything at you.  Yet, you ALWAYS have that smile on your face.”  AJ said, “I can either go through this and be miserable, or I can go through it with a smile on my face.  Either way, I’m going through it and being miserable isn’t going to help anything!”

Also, while at St Jude after he experienced a relapse of his disease, AJ met a man named Teb.  Teb came to our room one day as a request from a friend of ours to prayer over AJ.  I wasn’t sure how AJ was going to take that.  He and Teb became very, very close.  I believe that Teb was sent by God to lead AJ to Him.  AJ’s faith grew so deep so fast.  It was definitely a miracle. 

Ryan was eight years old when he was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Few children diagnosed with this rare, aggressive pediatric cancer live longer than a year.
Ryan did six weeks of radiation and was on a chemotherapy clinical trial at NIH. Ryan and his family were able to make tons of memories, including trips to Myrtle Beach and a, Make a wish trip to Legoland.
Ryan loved football and Lamborghini’s. Ryan was blessed to have the opportunity to attend a few Redskins games and meet some of the players. Ryan’s dream was to see a Lamborghini in person; this dream came true when Lamborghini of DC invited him and his family to their dealership to see all the Lamborghini’s on the lot.
Doctors discovered that the cancer had spread throughout his body. Ryan spent eight months battling DIPG and making memories with his family. He passed away on Feb. 26, 2016, at age nine, holding his parents’ hands.
“He made a huge impact on this community and I promised him before he passed that I will defeat this Horrible monster that killed him. I will forever love him.” – Michelle Calvin, Ryan’s mother
Meet Carly Allphin
Grief. Grief on this level is something that I have never experienced before. There is a gaping hole in our lives all the time. I feel it every hour of everyday. When we are together as a family, it always feels like someone is missing. When we sit down at the dinner table, I can l hardly look at her empty chair. When we drive in our car, Carly’s seat is empty. When Andy and I sit down to watch a movie at night, she’s missing. When I don’t know which shoes to wear, or which lipgloss to pick or where to hang a picture on the wall, it’s a huge reminder that she’s gone.
I talk to her everyday. I sit in her room and lay on her bed. I go through her closet and touch her clothes. I water her plants and dust her room. I feel the closest to Carly when I’m in her room. I talk to her the most in there. It’s always accompanied with tears, but I know she can hear me.
I go to the cemetery often. I never thought that would be the case, because I know Carly’s not really there anymore. But her body is. I love that broken, beautiful body that is in the ground. I lay on top of her grave and I cry and I talk to her. I am worried about when the snow comes and I won’t be able to do that anymore.
I wear a bracelet or a necklace or her shoes or one of her shirts everyday. I have to have a piece of her on me all the time. It keeps her alive for me.
Even when I’m busy taking care of our home or our other 5 kids, there’s a weight and an emptiness that never leaves. It’s always there. This huge hole in my heart that cannot be filled. In all honesty, I don’t really want it filled.
I know she’s here with us often and I know she loves us. But the sorrow that comes with missing her is so painful. I love her. She’s my perfect angel. And I know we will be reunited as a family someday. And that’s what gets me through the grief one day at a time.
– Krista Day Allphin
Meet Kelly Chapman

Kelly Chapman began participating in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in 2006 after seeing an ad on TV. She was inspired and wanted to make a difference in finding a cure. We honor Kelly today for her years of dedication to join in the mission of walking to finding a cure!

Kelly writes, “I have met many wonderful people during my walks in the Boston, Washington DC, Phoenix, and San Diego areas. I have walked approximately 840 miles during the events and many more in training,”

The events were canceled for 2020 due to COVID; Kelly is fundraising to walk in Dallas, Texas, next year. Feel free to donate directly to her fundraising link: www.the3day.org/goto/kchapman2021

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