Sunday, February 28, 2010

Distant Shore...

I was working around the house today, music on, cleaning, painting. Then the old iTunes throws me a curveball, these things always seem to happen. The song "Distant Shore" by Billy Bragg came on, and I remembered that it was the final song on one of many mix cds made for me by my husband, each of them themed in nature, this one titled "Cause I love you". I always found the song painfully sad, but today understood why he put it on that disc for me.

Everyone knows that there's no place like home
But I'm just seeking refuge in a world full of storms
Washed up on a distant shore, can't go home anymore

The natives are hostile whatever I say
The thing they feel most is that I might want to stay
By their side on a distant shore can't go home anymore

I escaped my tormentors by crossing the sea
What I cannot escape is memory
Washed up on a distant shore can't go home anymore

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Calm before the storm...

Good day, dear readers, thanks for stopping by. Its been a little quiet around these parts, but not for long. March is gearing up to be the busiest/best/worst month ever. Hopefully just two of the three. It certainly cant be any worse than last March, so at least we've got that working on my side.

I wasnt feeling very good today, which is probably ok- Im sure Ive been overdoing it, working too hard, and my body has had ENOUGH. I tried to take it easy this morning, but my brain doesnt slow down very easily. So, in an effort to not feel like a total slacker, Ive decided to post a little reminder of the events we have coming up. I hope to see as many of you as possible over these three very busy weekends in March.

March 13, 2010- Tartan Devils Football Club Benefit for BRICKS for Young Adults

Join the Tartan Devils Football Club at Pipers Pub, located at 1828 E. Carson St. on March 13th, 2010 from 12-3pm as members of the team shed their locks to raise money for BRICKS for Young Adults. Teammates will accept donations in support of their public haircuts beginning today and leading up to the day of the event. Joining them will be the owner of the Pub, wives and girlfriends of team members, AND yours truly, founder of BRICKS for Young Adults. Those with hair long enough to donate will send their tresses to Locks of Love. Offering her time and skills to the cause will be the owner of Lunasea Salon and Day Spa, located at 110 S. 15th St., also on the South Side.

March 20, 2010- BRICKS for Young Adults Cancer Stories Booklet release party

Release party for the long awaited BRICKS for Young Adults Cancer Awareness & Resource Guide, to be held at AIR, 518 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, from 3-10pm. This project supported in part by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund.

Details are still coming together but this event will include readings by booklet contributors and performances by local bands. With the help of the kind folks at AIR, attendees can bring a tshirt to screen with the BRICKS logo. Local healthcare comrades will be in attendance with info as well, such as the lovely Jude of Be Well! Pgh.

Stay tuned for more information, including a list of bands, confirmed so far are:

The Frantic Heart of It
Devil Deer

Booklet contributors are:

Katlyn Basilone
Robin Belinsky
Stuart Boslow
Ezra Caldwell
John Elliff
Luke Ferdinand
Joe DeFerrari
Charissa Hamilton-Gribenas
Jenn Gaugler (r.i.p.)
Rick Gribenas (r.i.p.)
Kristen Griener
Eric Meisberger
Jim Semonik
Louise Silk
Douglas Weaver

March 27, 2010- Ride and Talk with Ezra Caldwell of Fast Boy Cycles

BRICKS for Young Adults is teaming up with Urban Velo magazine and Bike Pgh to bring Ezra Caldwell to town. Ezra is a cancer survivor (WOOHOO!!!) and bike builder, who has an amazing story to share. He is also a booklet contributor and all around nice guy. Exact time and locations are still in the works, but there will be bike riding, story telling, and FOOD. Stay tuned for more info any day now...

Im really grateful to our friends and supporters, who believe in the BRICKS mission of raising awareness about young adult cancers, and connecting young adult cancer patients and survivors to resources and each other. Because of the generosity of more people than I can list individually, all of these events are FREE to the public. When I think of everything we have been able to accomplish in only 10 MONTHS as an organization, I feel really hopeful about the future. Please please please join us for one or all of these events, say hi, and support the cause!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

10th Annual Race To Any Place

From the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society web site:

Race to Anyplace is a stationary bike event that welcomes teams and individuals from Pittsburgh's industries, businesses, hospitals and the community. Join us on Saturday, Febuary 27, 2010, 8 am to 2 pm at the U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh.

More than 900 cyclists, with friends and family, will join in the excitement of the cheers, music, food, prizes and a wide array of sponsor booths and tables. Teams consist of any number from 2 to 12 riders, and each participant will take his or her turn competing on the Schwinn Airdyne or Schwinn IC Pro Spin Bike during this six-hour period.

All proceeds from this event benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

For more information, please visit

US Steel Tower - Upper Lobby
600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Date: February 27, 2010 - Saturday

Beginning Time: 8:00 am
End Time: 2:00 pm
Suggested Donation: $500 per team

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

REMINDER: Electronic Saviors TOMORROW!!!

Ive been talking about this for months, and tomorrow's the day- the Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer cd compilation release party!!!

Start Time:
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 8:00pm

Rex Theater 1602 East Carson St Pittsburgh, Pa 15203

Join Distortion Productions and Metropolis Records for the monumental release of one of the biggest compilations in scene history...Electronic Saviors:Industrial Music To Cure Cancer.

CDs, T Shirts and stickers will be available. There will be performances by Saviors artists The Azoic, Cyberstructure, , AGNES WIRED FOR SOUND and BOXED WARNING. Tickets are 10 in advance and 12 at the door. This is an all ages event.

BRICKS for Young Adults will have a table and Distortion will be taking donations to aid Jim with his medical bills. All proceeds of Saviors CDs will go to the Foundation for Cancer Research and Wellness in Harrisburg, PA.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hate cancer? Love dancing?

Then THIS is for you.

a crucial danceparty for everyone - no haters
this month: a Benefit for BRICKS: supporting young adults facing cancer

your hosts
Mary Mack

very special guest

5121 Butler Street
2nd Floor (no smoking on our floor)
Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 10:00pm
all proceeds benefit BRICKS

Get out of the cold, learn more about BRICKS, and dance!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pitt Bone Marrow Drive

If you live/work near the University of Pittsburgh, please take a few minutes out of your day to check out this VERY important event:

PITT is hosting a bone marrow drive in honor of two members of our community -

Seun Adebiyi (PITT '06) is 26 years old and a recent graduate of the Yale Law School. He is trying to make history as the first Nigerian delegate to compete in the Winter Olympics, where he would compete in the sport of skeleton. In June 2009, Seun was diagnosed with two rare and aggressive forms of cancer: lymphoblastic lymphoma and stem-cell leukemia. Most likely, Seun's only chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant, but he is facing grim odds. African-Americans comprise only 8% of the registry, and receive transplants in the US only 17% of the time. Seun's goal is to recruit 10,000 new donors for DKMS.

A member of the Pittsburgh community, 16 year old Amy Katz, is fighting leukemia. In 2003, Amy was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). CML is a type of leukemia that is rare for someone her age. The only known cure for her cancer is a stem cell transplant. Her doctors have searched the worldwide registry for a stem cell donor and have failed to find a match. But the search continues and your blood might contain the right type of blood stem cells that could help Amy or many, many others just like her who are also searching for a donor match.

Every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and every 10 minutes, blood cancer takes a precious life. Many could be saved by a bone marrow transplant.

70% of patients depend on a complete stranger; they need you to be the one to give them a second chance of life. Only 3 out of 10 patients will receive the transplant that can save their life.

On Tuesday 2/23 from 10-5:30 and Wednesday 2/24 from 10-5:30 we are hosting a bone marrow drive!!!

It's a fairly simple 10 minute process. You fill out some basic information and we swab your cheek with a QTip. If you are found to be a bone marrow match, read about the two ways you might be asked to donate at

Help Seun and Amy find their matches! Take the first step and get swabbed!

If you or anyone you know would like to donate go to


For more information visit

Make a donation to help cover the tissue-typing cost of all the new donors we will register! Visit

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Guest Blogging

Just a quick note today to let everyone know that a recent blog post of mine has been reposted on another cancer resource blog, Being Cancer. The part he wrote about me/BRICKS is a little off, and I'll be in touch about that, but its a really nice honor to have someone else find what you've written to be worthy of reposting.

Theres a lot of info on Being Cancer, so be sure to spend some time there checking it out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February is Cancer Prevention Month

Sounds a little obvious right? Like, wouldnt EVERY month be cancer prevention month?

In honor of this designation, here are some tips for reducing your risk, courtesy of the Prevent Cancer Foundation:

- EAT WELL. Research shows that diet and physical activity can influence your risk for certain cancers. Eating well balanced meals and reducing alcohol intake are not only just a smart idea in general, but can truly reduce your risk when it comes to cancer.

- BE ACTIVE. Again, this step obviously contributes to your overall well being, but has also been shown to greatly reduce the risk of particular cancers, such as colon cancer.

- STOP SMOKING. A huge challenge for so many people, but the health benefits of quitting are HUGE. Smoking or exposure to second hand smoke can be responsible for cancers of the lungs, throat, mouth and esophagus.

- GET SCREENED. Early detection is the best way to beat cancer. Know your family history, get regular check ups, and learn about performing self examinations. KNOW YOUR BODY!

There's clearly no easy way to be sure one can eliminate any possibility of ever getting cancer, but there are ways to help reduce the risk, and its never too late to make important changes to help improve outcomes. Lifestyle interventions, especially for young adults, can lead to longer, healthier lives.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow day...

Today was to be the last day of what I affectionately referred to as my "Week of Meetings". Mother Nature had other plans though, and stepped in to give me a snow day. Instead of working my butt off all day, I decided to take a break and go for a walk through the nearly two feet of snow we got overnight. So instead of words or links or info, here are some photos.

This is how my backyard looked when I woke up today.

And this is how my street looked....

..and my car!

More news and info very soon, for now, its only SNOW!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Support Imerman Angels!

The Pepsi Refresh Project is awarding grant money to all sorts of organizations- why not help a deserving, cancer related resource secure some funds!!

From the Imerman Angels Pepsi page:
Jonny Imerman is a two-time cancer survivor. During his fight he had loving support from family and friends, but never met anyone his age who was a cancer survivor. Seeing a need, Jonny founded Imerman Angels, connecting cancer fighters with someone who has survived the exact same type of cancer.

Imerman Angels provides ONE ON ONE peer support for cancer patients and survivors, a MUCH needed resource for those dealing with cancer as a young adult. They are in the $50,000 award category, help them get enough votes to win!

(And who knows, maybe youll see BRICKS in a future round of voting!!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tartan Devils Football Club Benefit for BRICKS

Join the Tartan Devils Football Club at Pipers Pub, located at 1828 E. Carson St. on March 13th, 2010 from 12-3pm as members of the team shed their locks to raise money for BRICKS for Young Adults. Teammates will accept donations in support of their public haircuts beginning today and leading up to the day of the event. Joining them will be the owner of the Pub, wives and girlfriends of team members, AND yours truly, founder of BRICKS for Young Adults. Those with hair long enough to donate will send their tresses to Locks of Love. Offering her time and skills to the cause will be the owner of Lunasea Salon and Day Spa, located at 110 S. 15th St., also on the South Side.

Please come out, support the cause and drink a pint. Or three. Or just buy me one as I say goodbye to my long, black locks in favor of a short pixie cut. This promises to be an amazingly fun time, contact me for info on how you can sponsor a haircut!