Guest Blogger, Kristy Meyers talks about her “Lunch in NYC with Ethan Zohn” an auction item she bid on and won at the Blue Jeans Ball in January.
It’s about people…
I know it’s one of the core beliefs of the Ulman Cancer Fund, and it’s a frequent statement said by my friend Jennie Burke. It was the whole reason I had come to January’s Blue Jean Ball – Jennie was being honored as Volunteer of the Year for UCF.
The Blue Jean Ball was a time to celebrate Jennie, and to celebrate the life of Holly Fitzpatrick, a giant in my circle of friends whose live was cut way too short due to her battle with cancer. The night did not disappoint, and we all had an AMAZING time.
Going in, I knew the Blue Jean Ball is a fundraiser – a night of celebration built around the idea of raising the money to sustain, and hopefully grow, the incredible work UCF does. I wanted to figure out a way I could show my financial support, either through an auction item or just a straight donation.
Perhaps it was a calling to stretch and do a little more. Perhaps it was the lure of the prize. Perhaps it was too much to drink. Perhaps it was a little bit of all three. I ended up with arguably the biggest live auction prize of the night – a weekend in New York City, including a meal with the night’s honoree, cancer survivor and Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn.
Last weekend was the weekend for the big trip. The night of the Blue Jean Ball I had decided it would be a girls weekend. It’s about people, right? My friend Amy and I took the train up from Maryland to NYC, and our friend Angela came down from Maine to join us.
Friday morning we had a lovely brunch with Ethan. For those who were at the Ball, he was as gracious and kind and grounded as he portrayed that night. We all marveled at the incredible work UCF does, and Ethan told about inroads he’s making in NYC to ensure young adults fighting cancer have resources. We swapped stories about our lives – our families, our work, our connections.
I came back from NYC grateful to UCF for adding two amazing weekends to my life experience, but also wondering how UCF would weave itself more heavily into the fabric of my life. It didn’t take long for me to find out…
I returned home late Sunday night to an email from my mother-in-law telling me that a family friend, a 26-year-old survivor of tongue cancer, had a cancerous tumor appear on her spine. In just a matter of days Jamie’s journey has led her from North Carolina up here to Johns Hopkins to have surgery.
I’ll turn to UCF to see what role the organization can play, through equipping me to carry a message or through some other way. It’s about people after all, and I know UCF will be there to help.
We would like to thank Kristy for sharing her story and Ethan for being available to Kristy and her friends for lunch in NYC and for continuing to support the mission of UCF! We will be reaching out to Kristy’s friend Jamie as she recovers from her surgery at Johns Hopkins to see how we can help her and her family through their cancer journey.