Monday, August 6, 2012

It's been real....

...but I think it's time to shut it down.

I've been thinking about packing up this BRICKS thing for a while now, and I've decided it's time to call it quits. I realize this opens up a whole can of worms and you all probably have a bunch of questions, so let me try to address them straight away.

Who, locally, will be there for Young Adult cancer patients and survivors?

Well, this is what makes my decision easy. The Cancer Caring Center has started a great young adult program, and Gilda's Club continues to work hard to keep their young adult support group going. It is with great confidence that I say any of you who need their services will be in good hands.

What about Blood & Cupcakes???

This year will mark our FIFTH annual Blood & Cupcakes replenishing blood drive to benefit Central Blood Bank. We've decided to partner with the Cancer Caring Center this year to maximize our reach and capacity, as well as pass the torch for organizing this big event. I may decide to host a drive again, maybe even next year, but with a new theme and a new attitude. Don't worry, I'll let you all know when it happens!

I thought there was going to be a second BRICKS booklet?

True- that was the plan. I've been trying for nearly 2 years to gather enough submissions to make the effort worthwhile, but no dice. I got a handful of really great stories, maybe with their authors' permission I can post them here, they are definitely worth sharing. Despite my efforts there just wasn't enough interest, and without adequate funding it would have been hard to dedicate enough time and resources to completing it. I'd love to see another organization pick up this idea and run with it, I still think it has value and that the first booklet was a wildly successful project.

What about any money BRICKS raised over the last couple of years?

Some of that money has been used to mail out booklets free of charge to any person who asked me for one. What a gift it has been to be able to send them to the people who asked for them without them having to spend a penny on even a little bit of shipping! Some of the money will be put towards supplies for this year's blood drive. The rest I intend to write a big old check for and give to the Cancer Caring Center's young adult program, so they can continue to work for the young people dealing with cancer in our community. If any of you take issue with my choice, I would invite you to go into their offices and have a chat with the very small staff who works amazingly hard- they are some of the most dedicated women I've ever met and deserve more support than I can give them.

Now that you're not going to be a slave to BRICKS, what will you do with all of your "free time"?

Great question! Last month I was nominated and accepted for the Board of Directors at Metro Family Practice, a non-profit community health center located in the Wilkinsburg neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I very much believe in Metro's mission to care for and serve all people regardless of their ability to pay, which is why I've chosen to use my insurance dollars there as a patient for the last 6 years. I'm honored to begin my three year tenure on the board.

Aside from that, I'll continue working my day job at The Midwife Center for Birth & Women's Health, where I've served as the Client Services Manager for 5 of my 6 years there. Again, it's the commitment to serving women's reproductive health care needs regardless of their ability to pay that keeps me there, as well as the Center's commitment to empowering women to understand and control their health care decision making. Through both of these positions I can stay involved in health care in Pittsburgh, and hopefully connect young people to preventative and diagnostic services that they may not easily have access to.

Long term, I'm also applying to the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, and hope to begin classes there in the fall. I'll continue tight rope walking, wrangling my chihuahuas Eskimo & Pugsley, and watching my son enter the grand adventure that is HIGH SCHOOL.

There really aren't words to express my gratitude to all of you who have supported BRICKS for Young Adults over the last few years. I am eternally indebted to your kindness, generosity, enthusiasm, skills, love and friendship. This is certainly not the end for me, just a change. I hope you'll continue the work and be well.


  1. You are an inspiration. I am amazed by the range of your passions. You are like an unassuming pilot light, always on, always ready to ignite and burn hot and bright to forge your next great idea into your next great life mission. It is an honor to be your friend. xoxo Melanie

  2. We are honored. We wish all of the best for you! Robin, Rebecca, Chris, Stephanie and Wendy

  3. Hi there - I just came about your site today for the first time. It's great what you have done with the site and I just wanted to say "Good Luck" with moving on from this. I'm sure your husband is very proud of all that you've done and will continue to do.