Blessing in Disguise

“It’s the scars that make you stronger,
It’s the hard times that make you wise,
It’s the sweet things only time brings,
That arrive like a blessing in disguise.”

You know the story, but eleven years ago, I was fearful and afraid, unsure if I would wake up from surgery, or what my life would be like afterwards.  Yet, things have worked out very well and after another amazing night at our sixth annual Playing for the Cure: Brainstormin’ event on Friday night, I can one-hundred percent say my diagnosis was a blessing in disguise.

As I stood at the podium and looked out to the crowd, all 300+ of you, I was overwhelmed, humbled and proud.  This was our largest crowd ever and I am so glad to see this event continue to grow and help others.  It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed that I heard and met so many people and families affected by a brain tumor and for you to come and be a part of this special event was fantastic to see.  I got to meet many of you and hope you know that you are now part of a special community with individuals who truly understand and get it, so I welcome you into the CTBTA family.  We’re gaining momentum and with special thanks to all of the media outlets that supported this event, especially the Hartford Courant, WTIC-1080, WTNH and WFSB, we will continue to expand our footprint and reach and raise awareness.

On behalf of the CTBTA, I had the distinct pleasure to honor and remember the life of June Rice by awarding three inspiring brain tumor survivors with a “June Rice Courage Award.”

Darcy, Steve and Cesar – I hope you are as proud of yourselves as the CTBTA and I are of you.  You have demonstrated such strength, resiliency and bravery and are an inspiration to everyone.    Thank you for allowing us to share your story and spread hope.  Continue fighting, and know we are always here to support you.

Kim, Melissa and your entire family – what a pleasure it was for us to honor June.  You made your mom so proud with your heartwarming speech, there was not a dry eye in the room.  Though her and I never met, I am grateful that we have connected and hope our friendship will last eternally.  As you vowed to me, you and your family have my absolute support and friendship today, tomorrow and always and we, the CTBTA, are here to support you all.

To all of our sponsors, especially the Yale Brain Tumor Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital , thank you for your tremendous show of support.  I am, and will always be, eternally grateful to you for returning me to good health and helping me find my voice in the quest to work alongside brain tumor centers in the state to help others and ensure that no family goes through what we endured in 2008.   A giant thank you to our Platinum Sponsors, Carla’s Pasta and Specialty Packaging; our Gold Sponsors, iHeart Media and Harte Auto Group; Silver Sponsors included Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Beirne Wealth Consulting, Women on Wealth, BMO Harris Bank, People’s United Bank, Al Mac Motors, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Edge Technology Services; thank you to our Bronze Sponsors including Russo, Russo & Slania, Guida’s Dairy, UKS, Blum Shapiro and Unitas Club; and Friends of Brainstormin’ Stop & Shop and Webster Bank.  Events like this succeed because of you, and we hope that you will continue to support us until our mission has been fulfilled.

Friends, old and new, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  Erienne and all of the members of Blanket Statement, thank you for joining us and being a part of this memorable occasion, you were amazing.  We also want to thank Carla’s Pasta and Shoreline Cafe and Catering for donating all of the food, and to Beach Donuts for supporting us.  Last but not least, to our partner and friend, Ed Crowley and the staff at Stony Creek Brewery, I appreciate all of your support, enthusiasm and compassion for our cause.  I look forward to sharing the amount we raised with you soon, and planning for 2020 very soon, but until then, let us rejoice and celebrate this achievement.

“It’s the sweet things only time brings,
That arrive like a blessing in disguise.”

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