Donna's Blog - (Newest Stuff At The Bottom)
People ask how I'm feeling. I translate that into "how am I managing with the struggles of everyday?" My answer? I'm not the only one who struggles. Every single person has a cross to bear. Just this week a friend told me her husband has cancer. She is drawn and haggard from her constant bedside vigil. A few weeks ago I was annoyed that someone had taken my handicapped parking space at work. Annoyance turned to shame when I found out the "individual" had a prosthetic leg and found navigating the ice harder than I did. Another friend told me her husband was an alcoholic - sober now for a few weeks but she's sure that won't last. And someone very dear to me is struggling with putting her father-in-law into a care facility - and he's fighting very step of the way. Big or small - struggles suck. So, when someone asks how I'm doing, I really try to count my blessings rather than my struggles...
Did you hear the fantastic news? MS Researchers in Calgary have found a hormone pregnant women produce called prolactin. Prolactin creates mylen and may be THE answer to our prayers! Pat yourselves on the back Team! It's YOUR fundraising money that went from the WALK to the Alberta MS Society - then on to the Canadian MS Society - and then directly to the researchers who discovered prolactin!! Well done MK guys and gals!! Whoo-Hoo!!!!
If you know me at all, then you know I'm... how do I put this?... extremely passionate about You - the Team, the fundraising and the cure (believe me - it can't come soon enough!). I get so excited that when I start talking about the Munnkys and what we've accomplished, my hands take on a fluttering, flapping life of their own! So, whenever and wherever I get the chance, I inform people about the WALK and the MK's. Friendly strangers get the whole spiel when the opportunity presents itself (I've even taken to inconspicuously leaving MK pamphlets behind in frequently visited spots... I know - I'm bad).
I eat, sleep and dream of new ways to excite Edmontonians to get involved. Every day I attempt to effectively share my passion about the WALK and our record breaking Munnky team. I try my hardest to motivate people to recognize Multiple Sclerosis as the serious disease it is... even if it's one sympathetic stranger at a time. I'm only one voice but it's a loud one! (What I need is to meet that one person who will be a conduit to the ears of the public - anyone know anyone like that? Please let me know!)
This year is not only about me raising a whole swack of dough, it's about verbally and emotionally connecting with large masses of people to create excitement and raise awareness!
Geez, after reading this I sort-a come off sounding like an evangelist or, at the very least, like Darth Vader..."...Give yourself to the Munnky side Luke..."
Holy Cow Batman! - It's been a month since I last blogged... where has the time gone?? I've been busy rounding up monetary sponsors - or at least trying to. I'm finding out quite quickly that personal appearances with a donation request letter in- hand trumps a random mail out. I guess that's because I get to share my energy with these people, in person, and show them my true desire to have them on board! I've been a little slower in getting out the request letters for donations of gift cards and prizing for the Team, but like I promised my bestest friends at the beginning of this year, the Team and what we do is all about the fight to end MS. It's nice to have some giveaways and prizes to show our appreciation to you for your continued allegiance to the fight, but I'm putting most of my power behind my fight to end MS by raising lots of research dollars.
Till next time my friends....
Holy VIP's man!!! Did you check out who's a registered MK? Non-other than Mr.Agnihotri himself! For those of you who don't recognize the name - Bharat is the MLA (that's Provincial) for the Edmonton-Ellerslie Constituency (the spitfire who was recently in the news for ticking off the Speaker of the House) - AND one of the nicest guys you'll meet! Bharat started out as an invited VIP Guest Speaker for this year's WALK and when I went to meet with him - didn't he end up wanting to join our team! How flippin' cool!!! Yea!!
Now if we could only get Billy Talent on board.... hmmmmm
January 17/08 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! YAY! 2008 WILL BE a fantabulous year in every aspect - I can feel it in my bones!
OOPS - Kinda lost track of time....
June 10/08 - This is my blog - right? it's a place where I can type freely - writing down my thoughts as they come? So here goes for today.... (remember - it's free thinking)...
I am both happy and sad with this year. Sad because for the first time, in how many years, we've lost (not retained?) our place in the MS Society's history book as the Highest Fundraising Team in this beautiful Province of ours... BUT (please read on) freaking ecstatic about the overall commitment and drive and passion the team showed this year! Do you know that this year we had our lowest number of teammates - ever! (WALK participant numbers are down all across the country) But it was our highest pledge average year - ever! In 2005 our average was $195 per person and it has jumped to $587 this year! (click here to see stats) OUR TEAM HAS RAISED OVER $50,000 THIS YEAR!~! That's phenomenal!
Know what else is phenomenal? Friends like the Semrok's who continually amaze me with their cleverness, ingenuity and drive! This year Sammy Semrok raised over $2000 - read that again! - yes, $2000! That's amazing for a grade 4 student! - A child of only 9 years old!! No, she didn't get a big fat cheque from a big sponsor - she worked HARD for every penny! Wanna know how? She worked her butt off making stunning beaded ornaments, which she sold at a Christmas craft table at church. Sammy and her little sister, Holly (age 6) have attended every "Munnky In the Mall" gig to sell bags of candy and banana's for donations. Together, they have held cookie sales at their school and little Holly has collected bottles to raise her pledges - for a grand total of almost $1,300! - yes, this from a 6 year old child! Every penny they have raised has gone to the MS Society.
Of course, there's a powerful guiding force behind them - their Mom - my sister in friendship - Pat Semrok. Let me tell you,this is one amazing woman - honest, fun, dedicated, joyful, creative, smart, calming, organized, steady, helping, loyal, hard-working, always smiling (always able to make me smile in the face of real and imagined problems) and my biggest go-to-gal for advice, support and home made cookies! I have been truly blessed to have Pat in my life. I love this woman! Pat herself has exceeded her personal bar every year, too. Not only is she my closest MK conspirator... ahem, I mean...Co-Captain, she's gone from raising $408 in 2005, to a huge $3,500 in 2008!
Then there's the MK's who've stuck with us from the beginning and have never wavered in their quest for, and support of, a cure. I have added a little special something to their names on the 2008 Team List to signify who these wonderful individuals are.
Last, but certainly not least, is my family. Chris, even though we playfully refer to you as the "Figurehead", you're my rock, my support, my greatest ally - my best friend. We're like a pair of well-worn, leather gloves - comfortable and warm and safe... but useless if one isn't there.
Chris, Trevon, Bailey and Tanys - you are pretty friggin' amazing. The fact that you accept three months of my shifting focus from our family to the MK family and don't complain too loudly. You've listened (most times patiently) to my excited MK updates every day (and sometimes more than once a day) ie: "We've got three new team mates today!". You've lugged Harold from event to event, made yourselves available for every fundraiser and helped with the preparations for these events. You show such empathy towards others with disabilities and you've gained willingness and confidence when speaking about MS. You've all crafted your own ways of raising pledges and continue to be more creative every year. I just want to thank you and tell you, in front of everybody reading this, how proud I am of you.
To my family and friends: Your dedication to ending MS is shown to me every day. It's not just about the WALK, the MK's or the race to raise money - it's about the things you do every day to help me. Offering your arm to help me walk, carrying my cup of tea so I won't spill it, opening heavy doors, getting me a cart at the mall so I can shop, understanding when I need to rest. Thank you for all you do - You are all Ambassadors to MS.
Sheesh... I can be quite long-winded eh? :o))
Jan 23, 2009 - I'm baaaaaaaaack! And HAPPY NEW YEAR AGAIN!!! Holy-pre-holy I gotta get my butt in gear and start putting this PHENOMENAL team back together for the MAY 31 WALK! Keep your eyes open - it'll be coming soon...
FINAL ENTRY: July 26, 2009 - Well dear Reader... It's so hard to do this but...
The Munnky Krunchers have had a great run - this will be our 5th year, but I’m sad to say, my final. As expected, MS is taking its toll on my health and I cannot continue the fight against it with the intensity it deserves, and on this grand of a scale, anymore.
I sincerely pray that you, the core group who have strutted, sauntered and jogged with us for a cure - will continue to do so either as a solo WALKer or maybe on a team of your own? The momentum we have started MUST continue towards a cure for MS - you've all worked so hard!!
I'll be watching from the sidelines. Thank you my friends. I love you.
It's not about fame and fortune - it's about the friends we've made and the fun we've had.
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