Sunday, October 21, 2012

Confessions of a Reluctant Fundraiser

It's here, it's here!

The 2nd annual Zumbathon for Pulmonary Hypertension!

Or, as I've affectionately dubbed it "Shake it for PH!"

It will be Friday, November 9th at the Valley Ballet in Canton, CT. Doors open at 6:30, Zumba starts at 7:00. Full information and how to register or donate is HERE.

Can I let you in on a little secret? I hate doing fundraising. I really really do. In fact, there was a time that I wrote on this blog that fundraising was not for me. I still kind of feel that way, but the drive to move us forward in this disease has trumped that. Truth be told, there is so much good coming from pushing myself out of my comfort zone, that it is really worth it. But, first, my confessions.

I hate asking for help. I am really uncomfortable saying "I need this!" I think it's mostly because I'd much rather be giving the help. It's hard for me to be on the other side. It's hard for me still to admit that PH is so freaking serious that massive action has to be taken if I, or anyone, am to survive it.

But I am indeed here. Until someone hands me a cure, I'm here, and I'm in it deep. Since PH is a rare disease, it pretty much stands to reason that nobody else is going to step up, unless those of us most directly involved in the community do it ourselves (hint-hint).

As I approach people and have to explain it for the first time it starts with,

"I'm doing a fundraiser for Pulmonary Hypertension. Have you heard of it? No? Well, PH is a rare disease of the pulmonary arteries. The hypertension is in there, not your whole body, and it backs up pressure to the heart. Which has to work too hard, then it enlarges, and can ultimately fail. It is progressive and there is no cure."

Pause. Watch them process.

Then say, "I have it."

Watch them process that.

If you want to have a little fun, lighten the mood if you will, you can always throw in, "AND, I take Viagra!" (Actually, I take Cialis, but same thing... more or less.)

With people who already know about the disease it's a little different. It's asking for help of people who already know you're sick. And here's my other dirty little secret. I don't like doing that either. I wish they'd just magically help on their own. But... life isn't like that. Not because they don't care though. Everyone is pulled in a zillion directions, with a zillion possible things to tug on heart strings, demand attention, request or require support. Let's face it, our world is kind of messed up. So it's up to me, it's up to you if it's important enough, to lead the charge.

Okay, I can do that.  And what I can DEFINITELY do is throw a party!! So, in just a couple of short weeks, we will "Shake it for PH", and we will do so in style.

Five instructors. 50+ participants. One very very fun night, for a great cause!

And... I would be so remiss not to mention that doing this makes me appreciate the goodness in people too. And that TOTALLY wins. First, PHA makes this so easy, with awesome help from their event staff. My husband will take the day off from work and, I can already tell you now, knock himself out doing whatever is needed. His direct co-workers have all donated. They don't even know me. A classmate of mine donated. He's spoken to me once. A friend from the dance studio is working so hard creating the best event t-shirts ever. My Zumba instructor is coordinating music and instructors. The owner of the dance studio is donating her space. Several friends are stepping up in big ways to secure donations, sell tickets, etc. Two friends and one sister will travel from out of state just to be by my side. All of this humbles me, and makes me so grateful. Big time.

As I've said before, if I have to be here, it's worth being here.


  1. Great work to spread awareness.

    Up here in Toronto Canada we have hosting our 4th annual fundraising event called "Let Me Breathe" on Nov 10, 2012. We are also hosting a 6 Minute Walk for Breathe event on Nov 25. Busy weeks ahead!!

    1. Our events are so close! Are you feeling as frazzled as I am?? :)

      Good luck to you!!

  2. You do an awesome job at all you do for the PHamily! I do know what you mean, I am used to helping others , and asking for help in anyway is uncomfortable for me. You are correct, we are the best ones to PHight for the cure!! I do want a t-shirt, how do I get one? I so wish I was there to shake a lil with you all ;) Hugs to ya :)

    1. Thank you, my dear! I'll message you about the shirt. :)