Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Have A Sexy Day" Launch Party in Support of Colorectal Cancer Research

Article from the Milton Champion

‘Have a Sexy Day’ fundraising campaign launched

Sophie’s Run saves woman’s life

Once again the battle against colon cancer is being waged on the Milton front.
And this latest round comes with an ironic twist.
It was about two-and-a-half years ago that Julie Bernard (Julie Heather Photography) signed on to help good friend Nicole Chuchmach with Sophie’s Run, doing so as the official photographer for the near 800-km journey from Milton to New York City.
Eager to support her hockey teammate — who lost her mom to colon cancer and was the centerpiece of the 2008 cross-border fundraiser/awareness campaign in Sophie’s memory — Bernard’s aim was to help educate others on the warning signs of this very preventable and treatable disease.
Two years later, the shutterbug would be benefiting from that knowledge herself.
In fact that’s something of an understatement, given Bernard’s ordeal.
Though just 33 at the time, she began experiencing some abnormal symptoms last summer and — taking Sophie’s Run message to heart — didn’t hesitate to get herself checked out.
What quickly followed was the removal of two polyps--one adenomas polyp — with the potential to become cancerous — during a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. This prompted the need for a full colonoscopy, where a hyperplastic polyp, not likely to turn cancerous but still a concern, was discovered.
Given that these procedures wouldn’t otherwise have occurred for another decade or more — had Bernard not been so proactive — the outcome could have been far different.
“My doctor said, ‘You can count this as the luckiest day of your life,’” she recalled.
“Essentially being part of Sophie’s Run saved my life.”
Bernard’s first call after her frightening ordeal was to Chuchmach, and together the two felt some type of follow-up to the 2008 run was in order.
“With the lesson I learned from my mother’s mistake (not getting checked out sooner), raising awareness about this will always be a part of my life,” said Chuchmach, who now shares some very emotional parts of her life during an event planning course she teaches at George Brown College. “I always knew I wanted to do a follow-up (to Sophie’s Run) but just didn’t know what that would be.”
Enter family friend Mark Demborynsky, who was closely linked to Sophie’s Run and had just launched his own clothing line — PierVision — within the past year.
His new venture and desire to help out provided the ideal marriage. Thus the ‘Have a Sexy Day’ campaign was born.
“It just seemed like the perfect fit,” said Demborynsky, who came up with the catchphrase that now adorns t-shirts being sold in support of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. “The idea is that spending time with your family or loved ones, or basically just doing anything you love to do, is a ‘sexy’ day. And if you’re smart about your health, you’ll have many of these ‘sexy’ days left.”
The ‘Have a Sexy Day’ expression — noted Chuchmach — also serves to try and diffuse some of the embarrassment attached to colon cancer, the second-leading cause of death among all cancers in Canada.
“There’s such a stigma about cancers below the belt, but the number of people dying from them won’t go down if we don’t start speaking about it,” she stressed.
“I was so touched Julie’s story and another friend got herself checked out because of the run and they found stage three (colon cancer). She’s got a good chance for survival, but if she’d waited it might have been too late.”
Added Bernard, “When people say they don’t want to talk about this (colon cancer), I say ‘Would you rather be embarrassed talking about it or die from it?”
The ‘Have a Sexy Day’ campaign was recently launched to a full house at Ned Devine’s, and will continue locally with a wine tasting fundraiser at Casa Americo on Main Street Monday next week at 7:30 p.m. The t-shirts can also be purchased at info@haveasexyday.ca.
“I’m pretty confident this campaign is going to bring some of the buzz back about the importance of getting your butt checked,” said Chuchmach.

NHL Alumni, Adam Bennett with Team "Have A Sexy Day"
Some of the great prizes up for grabs!
Kevin and Deanna
Jason and Darryl
Darryl, Adam, Darcy and Mindy
Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Boyce and some Big lil fans
The gangs all here!
Darryl meeting fans and giving autographs.
Mark, Nicole, Darryl and I
Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Boyce came out to support the "Have A Sexy Day" Team
Mark and friends
Ryan and Darryl
HUGE Leafs fan with #47 Darryl Boyce
Kristin, Darryl and Sean
Olympic skating suit worn by Catriona Le May Doan. Neat prize! :)
Gen, Janine and Janaya
Me n my besties. Thanks for the support!
In their own world!
Nicole gets a lift. Gen tried!
Hard to get "normal" poses!
New friends. And old
Hockey girls
A little serenading... ahhh!
Christian and Phil
Martin, Taru and Doreen
Jax and Ashley
Amy and Nicole
This is ME! :)

~ Let this be a lesson to you all. Get your butts checked, people! It's the SEXY thing to do! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adriano Belli and Joe Eppele join the World Deaf Athletics Championship (WDAC) committee and friends for a night of bowling and fundraising

With preparations underway for the upcoming World Deaf Athletics Championship, fundraising and sponsorship efforts are underway. Recently, Streetsville Bowl played host to a night of bowling where big hearted Toronto Argonauts Adriano Belli and Joe Eppele took part. 

I recently joined the committee for the WDAC as the Director of Marketing and Promotion which I take personally to mean taking pictures of our events and making sure to invited friends along. Never having had a tie to the deaf community, I'm finding this to be one of the most enjoyable communication challenges of my personal and professional life. I now know how to sign-- "Nice to meet you", "I Love You", "Beautiful", "Thank You" and I can sign the alphabet--almost always getting it right. As a fast talking East Coaster, I have learned to slow down and pay extra attention--and I sure hope I can help bring attention to an incredible event!

Check out the Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144512882270203

PEI + England + Toronto = not competitive at all!
Toronto Argos Joe Eppele lacing up for a big night of bowling
Adriano Belli learns a new language
Saying "I Love You" in ASL
WDAC event President, Rohan sees eye to eye with Joe Eppele and Adriano Belli
Joe and Adriano with some bowlers at the WDAC event
Maybe he should stick to football?
Joe keeps trying...
Joe and Adriano with "Team Panda" 
Joe and Olga
So in sync, these two...
Two peas in a pod!
Finally a technique that worked!
Using some of his new sign words
Olga and Nadia
Adriano's newest technique...                  
...and it's a strike! For real!
The WDAC committee with Joe and Adriano
Joe and Adriano with two teammates...
who get a lift!
A family affair... 
Our incredible student interpreters 
CFL fan and Adriano
Adriano and Joe showing WDAC committee member, Kevin, some love
Old friends and new. All for a great cause!
Tina gets some love
Cathy fits in well
Rohan gets a lift
50/50 draw winner
Some of the bowlers. Thanks for your support!