I have just returned from a weekend of spoiled and blissful treatment while attending the 1st annual Volunteer summit for the Melanoma Research Foundation held in Washington, DC. Yes, Washington, DC. I LOVE Washington, DC and I love to travel so I jumped at the opportunity I had to get away from my world in NY. I was most interested in learning about Mile For Melanoma, a fundraising program as part the MRF Foundation, so despite tons of doubting self talk going on inside my head, I hopped on the train and off I went.
As soon as I walked to the elevator and met 2 conference attendees, I immediately knew all those self doubting thoughts in my head were wrong...this was where I belonged. Not only was I now putting faces to the email names, I recognized I was sitting among giants. I was sitting among cancer brothers and sisters. I was sitting among my own kind. People just like me who live with cancer, people who know what it feels like to be a warrior and a survivor. I sat among beautiful battle scars, stories of life and death, brave choices and encouragement. As each person introduced him or herself ..it didn't matter if we were from Los Angeles, CA or Kennebunkport, ME...we all were connected. We all had been touched by the ugly monster called Melanoma. We instantly became soul mates.
|Steve Silverstein (MRF chairman of the board), Mary Mendoza (MRF national director of volunteer services), myself and Tim Turnham (MRF executive director)|
Tim Turnham, Executive Director of MRF hared a brief history as to where MRF started: