Monthly Archives: May 2012

Next Generation Inspiration

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I was asked to speak about social services to 7th and 8th grade classes. I don’t remember having career day when I was in school and I’ve never been a speaker at one either so I didn’t know what to expect. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!

Young people are amazing. They are so inquisitive and full of energy. I realized today how much I miss working with young people. At first they were very quite but after I mentioned that I spent time living in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer the questions started rolling. It became a perfect third goal opportunity (help Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries).

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Line Dance Night for TEAMHOPE

I have the tickets in my hand!! July 13, 2012 from 5pm-12midnight join me for Line Dance Night at Symphony Hall in Newark, NJ. Tickets are $10 and $5 will go to The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as part of my fundraising efforts to raise $3200 by October 2012. NYC Marathon HERE I COME!!

Come out for a good time and burn a few calories while your at it. Dance, eat and laugh the night away for a good cause. Click here for more details and email me at jfaulks@gmail.com to purchase tickets.

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Cancer Fact Friday

Today’s info comes from The National Cancer Institute at The National Institutes of Health

What are the most common types of childhood cancer?
Among the 12 major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (blood cell cancers) and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for more than half of the new cases. About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias. The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The most common solid tumors are brain tumors (e.g., gliomas and medulloblastomas), with other solid tumors (e.g., neuroblastomas, Wilms tumors, and sarcomas such as rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma) being less common.

This fact hit close to home for me. As I mentioned in an earlier post my brother had cancer (lymphoblastic leukemia) when he was 3 and 4 years old, he’s now 19. And my goddaughter had a brain tumor (glioma) and died last year at the age of 9.

Early detection is very important. Stay aware!

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Mommy Joys

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My 9 month old son has been showing an interest in books for quite some time now. My husband and I have been reading to him since he was in my belly. Now he’s mimicking what we say and it is so exciting. His favorite toy right now has numbers, 1…2…3!! And he makes sounds as if he’s counting. Just the other day I noticed him playing with the toy and making the sounds without hearing it first. I can’t describe the excitement as I witnessed my baby “counting”.

Oh the joys of being a mommy. Everyday is amazing!! I LOVE being in this club!!!

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NYC Marathon HERE I COME!!

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It’s official! I am a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s TEAMHOPE for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon. Between now and October I have to raise $3200 for a bib in the race on November 4.

Why run for TEAMHOPE you ask? I wanted to challenge myself to complete the NYC Marathon after watching it last year and feeling the comradery. And for 2012 I am committed to raising awareness and money for cancer research and treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States—and has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers, yet it receives very little federal funding and attention.

My Aunt Shelly is part of the 6% of those diagnosed who survive more than five years. She continues to inspire me and other young people like me to face tough situations and attack them with faith and grace. So I am running to celebrate her and other survivors and the family members of both those who have survived and those who have not.

Help me raise awareness and money for research and treatment by donating today. Follow this link to visit my personal web page.

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Rejection

“[Rejection] you never know where it will lead you…”

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Robert Hammond co-founder of Friends of the Highline spoke about rejection and using it as motivation. He stood in front of the Class of 2012 with a stack of rejection letters that didn’t stop him from seeking a job/career that he would love. he became comfortable with the interview process but was still hurt as rejection letters continued to tool in. He soon realized that maybe he wasn’t going to fit in the corporate world and knew he needed to create a career for himself.

Way to stay motivated. Over these last 5 years I’ve learned the importance of finding what motivates you and making it happen for you. Along the way you will find people who will support you, criticize you and help you move along. Find what motivates you and even 1000 rejections won’t keep you from succeeding.

“Rejection is a great teacher. Sometimes you have to seek it out to find your opportunity.”

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Cancer Fact Friday

I came across some mixed news the other day in the February/March 2012 (yes I’m a little late) issue of Heart and Soul magazine. A few interesting facts about cancer were published so this Friday is a bonus; here are this week’s facts:

good news
“The rates of cancer cases and deaths are dropping in this country [USA]. According to the American Cancer Society, since 1999, cancer death rates have declined across all racial groups (except American Indians and Alaskan Natives, where rates have stabilized). The downward trend is contributed to more affective screening, improvements in early detection and treatment and lower smoking rates.” (p14)

not-so-good news
“Though the biggest drops in death rates are seen among Blacks and Latinos, those two populations continue to have higher death rates than whites. Experts cite decreased access to care and less timely diagnosis as contributors to the racial disparities in mortality rates.” (p14)

Let’s get screened, create more awareness and demand access to affordable healthcare (a human right) for ALL.

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When you see something, say somethig then do something

Lesson 8 from my Recognition Ceremony taken for the NYC MTA “when you see something, say something” then do something

My family is full of community activists, spokespersons for the under served and motivators to the discouraged. I’m so happy to be following in their foot steps. Without my family’s support and encouragement I would not have been able to receive my Masters of Science Degree in Nonprofit Management and a Post Master’s Certificate in Organization Development in two years with a new baby as a new wife while working full time. WOOHOO!! To my family. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

As I learn the ropes of community development and being a mentor and motivator for those that surround me, I’ve become more comfortable with being uncomfortable and taking risks to help others. I have been inspired by my peers to go beyond saying something and continue to learn how to do something that is effective.

So my next task, with my degree in hand, is to be more active in my community. I am ready to be a change maker. Our community belongs to us and we have to make it what we need it to be.

It’s time for me to make some move and DO something!!

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Cancer Fact Friday

Last year I lost my Goddaughter Assatta to brain cancer at the age of 9, my younger brother Michael survived lymphoma after undergoing treatment at the ages of 3 and 4, a couple of my aunts have died from breast cancer and each year I hear of other people in my family or community who have been diagnosed with some form of this deadly disease. This year I am committed to raising awareness and money for cancer research and treatment. I will be running races for organizations that are committed to doing the same and sharing my experience as I go.

For the remainder of this year I will post facts about multiple forms of cancer each Friday. Together we will be informed and ready to fight this ugly disease.

Today’s fact comes from cancer.org:

“Although uncommon, Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children, exceeded only by accidents.”

Makes you think huh? Stay tuned for another fact next Friday.

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