As I have gotten involved with Relay for Life, it made me think more about awareness and how to share the information that would have been helpful to me at the time of my CANCER diagnosis.  With this, came the idea to form a nonprofit organization to be able to build and provide information in one place, help with awareness, provide resources and more.  Hence, a new nonprofit corporation has been formed – MarCIA Courage In Action. We are still in the process of setting up the logistics and will have an official launch party when we can, but we wanted to give you a quick preview on what’s been going on and acknowledge what a great TEAM I have. In less than three weeks after the idea was formed, we had a name, mission statement, Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, filed in the state of Maryland as well as federally requested an EIN, applied for 401(c)(3) status and reserved a website address. We currently have a “working” website and have brainstormed about how to create awareness, where to allocate funds, what information we want to capture on the website and fundraising ideas. Some examples include:

  • If you wanted to set up a meal train, how does that work? 
  • Did you know if you are on chemotherapy and also have septic water, you need to flush your system more often? 
  • What is integrative medicine?
  • Did you know you can donate unused airline miles to help patients get to/from treatments? At Hopkins, patients come from all over. There is one lady that I have met that comes from South Carolina every 2 weeks. 
  • Where do I go if I need a ride for treatment and no one is available and I can’t afford Uber? 

These are questions that aren’t answered by your doctors; your doctor is treating your disease. Yes, you could probably google and get answers, but you would have to go to multiple sites for it and honestly, you may not even know the correct questions to ask. My nurses have given me some of the answers but I have also gotten them from friends and neighbors, family, and most recently, my massage therapist :). I recently learned that only 4% of funds raised for cancer research goes to pediatric cancers.  When I was telling my daughters, my oldest said to me, “but that’s the future.” She’s right. Those are our leaders and politicians, teachers, doctors, actors/actresses, sports players, etc. 

These are just some examples of my vision. We would also like to be able to help others, by providing that ride to treatment and if necessary, have someone sit with them and hold that hand if they are scared or just need to feel a touch.

Sometimes, I wonder what gets me up every morning. Some of the answers are obvious: 

#1 is my family and friends. I also have a mantra wall I read almost every morning and night. Most importantly, I really want to make a positive change in the fight against this disease.  As I mentioned earlier, it gives me strength and courage to do that. It’s a journey or a battle – all depends on how you want to view it.  

One quote of note from Marcia’s mantra wall is:

Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You can not withstand the storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.'”

Marcia was and will always be the storm.