Fight Against Cancer and For the Environment

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The Cancer Epidemic

Posted by Jenny Marcell on March 2, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Hi -



My name is Jenny, and I am one of the 'Kindergarten Girls', as Kay and Anne have so kindly labeled us! Anne and myself and two other very dear friends (Jill and Cathy) grew up together, and while I wasn't a TRUE kindergarten friend, since I didn't know those three crazies until middle school....we spent 6 years together in school, and have all remained close (Jill and I had some college years together, too), and in the past year have really reconnected and found out why we always had so much fun as kids! We are all alike - sarcastic, fun-loving, caring, and kind... and STILL have a ton of laughs together!



So Anne told us about this fundraiser that she and Kay had been dreaming of, and wanting to plan, and I said - absolutely, I will help! Now, I'm coordinating the silent auction for the big gig, along with the other Kindergarten Girls.... which is totally fun for us, and the results of what they are trying to achieve will be so incredibly helpful to people who are impacted greatly by this horrible disease!


In my official capacity as auction coordinator, extraordinaire – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - DONATE PEOPLE!!!


This will be an absolutely awesome and fun-filled, love-oozing, great day, that will do some good for those that absolutely need help during the hard times of a potentially life-threatening illness!


Besides being a good friend of Anne’s – I also have a cancer story to share… not my own, but of several loved ones in my life!


I am the second of four children, two younger brothers, and an older sister. At the age of 26, my older sister Becky (my only sister) was diagnosed on her birthday – April 10th – with Malignant Melanoma… This devastated my family, as you can imagine, and 6 ½ months later, my sister died. We encouraged her to follow the traditional treatment methods (chemo, radiation) even though the prognosis was not good at all. Survival rates for that type of cancer were less than 10% back in the early 90’s. She merely wanted to live out the time she had with friends and family, and enjoy everything she could knowing she had little time left. But, we pushed – and so she did all the treatments, only to make her extremely sick and bloated, and unhappy. She had absolutely beautiful long, curly bright red hair – her trademark I believe she felt… and it all fell out. She died sick, bald, and nauseated and in pain! I will regret forever wanting her to live through that, just because we, her family, didn’t want to lose her!!! I vowed that somehow I’d do what I could to help find other treatment options, or alternative drugs, or something that could prolong life, without causing such agony to those who are fighting so hard to continue living!


Ironically, my son Zach, who is almost 11, was born on her birthday – April 10th… He never met his auntie, but he knows all about her, and what a beautiful person he shares his birthday with! We recently re-modeled his bedroom, and one of the first pictures he wanted to hang was of Aunt Becky!


I have also had two dear friends that had cancer – both Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and thankfully both are survivors – one for 9 years now, the other for 3 years… My one friend would throw her wig off in the car on the way to lunch, just because it was itchy and she just didn’t care anymore what others thought.  Spunk and positivity matter!!! She’s now happily married, with two beautiful children, and still cancer-free!


So, my reasons for committing my time and efforts and of course at some point my cash, are to help in any way I can to rid us of this disease…. To educate others on harmful things in our lives that might ultimately make us sick… And to find better and less invasive ways of treating those so unfortunate to have to suffer thru the ugliness of cancer!!


With love and caring for all who took the time to read this!!!


Jennifer Marcell

(Kindergarten Girl)

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Reply Kay Winchell
11:26 AM on March 2, 2010 
It will be such an honor to meet you. I am so happy that you put your message out for the world to see. I struggled for so many years with the decisions that I felt were put on me to make with my Mom's treatment. She also did not want to have things done that we selfishly decided to force her into, to maybe have a few more months with her. I will never forget her telling me that she had lost any dignity that she ever had because of the surgery we put her through that we knew would do nothing but relieve some pain and prolong things.
It took me 10 long years to have enough "guts" to bring this to the surface and finally deal with it. The "Funny Farm" helped me through it.
I have been led to take action and help with educating people and helping people to heal from this horrific trauma. So the first step that Anne has so graciously helped push me into and be my partner in, was to have the "Funny Farm Fundraiser"!
Anne and I are both honored to be able to do this!
I don't know the "Kindergarten Girls" yet but I want to say the BIGGEST Thank you to all of you for everything you are doing!
I can't wait to meet everyone!
Reply Anne Tarantino
12:53 PM on March 2, 2010 

Thank you for wonderful input on the blog. Although I tease you incessantly about......well everything I know how hard that time period was for you. My heart still goes out to you for the sadness you still feel. friend, I totally admire you for your kindness, generosity and for the person you have become and that shows with the effort you are putting into this in honor of Becky!
Love you Jen!