Friday, August 7, 2015

Let’s Help My Friend Mandi

K, I need some help.

5 years ago I was in a job that I despised. Every day I came home and would lock myself in my room or the office so I wouldn’t take the stress and anger of the day and rage vomit it all over my family. I needed a new start, but I was afraid to leave. I had been with the company for nearly a decade and I had always considered it my forever job. One afternoon at a barbecue with friends I spilled all this to my friend Mandi.

Mandi didn’t have any hair at the time. She was moving slowly and recovering from a vicious round of chemo. I imagine that the only reason she sat and listened to me bitch about my job for so long was because she was happy to hear about someone else’s problems for once. Looking back on it now, I feel kind of dumb. Poor healthy me with my decent job complaining to the person with cancer.

A few months later I got a text message. “Come interview for this job.” Mandi is the Director of Online Marketing for Western Governor’s University. She brought me in, had the team interview me, and was kind enough to get me out of the daily rage cycle that was my old job. Not only did she help me get out, she taught me tool belt of skills that have led to the very fulfilling career that I have today, both as a blogger and working in Online Marketing.

I took this picture.

By the time I started working with Mandi at Western Governor’s University she was NED. That means No Evidence of Disease. She was always quick to remind me that it didn’t mean she was cured, but that it was a good thing that her oncology team was no longer able to find evidence of the Stage 2 Breast Cancer in her body.

A few weeks before I left Western Governor’s University for an amazing position I never could have qualified if Mandi wouldn’t have given a guy with no experience a chance, Mandi’s cancer came back. This time it was Metastatic, Stage 4 Breast Cancer, and it was all over the place.

That was almost a year ago. Mandi doesn’t have any hair again, but she’s got resolve. There is no cure for Mets (that’s the nick name they give Metastatic Breast Cancer). There is only pushing it back until it finds a way around the way you pushed it back, and then finding another way of pushing it back.

She doesn't have hair, but she has an adorable dog.

This has all been very sad. Mandi and her husband Mike are dear friends of Stevie and I. It is a really hard topic to talk about, and honestly I am having trouble even writing about it. Even in privacy Stevie and I have a hard time talking about the reality of it all.

Mandi, on the other hand, keeps on keeping on. She isn’t just doing treatment and nothing else. She was the honorary chairman for the Susan G Koman Race for the Cure this year. She writes an amazing blog that helps people all over the country, and she has been checking items off her life list (don’t call it a bucket list).

Mandi has filled her life helping the people around her, including me. So I would like to ask you all to help me do something for her.

One of the items on Mandi’s list is to go to Europe with her husband. With the physical and financial cost of treating cancer, this is not an easy goal to achieve. They are currently raising money to help make this happen and I want to help put them over the top. That is where you come in. Let’s make this five dollar a Friday an awesome one.

You can donate any dollar amount to Mandi and Mike by clicking the donate button in the side bar of her blog here


You can fund individual pieces of their trip from their registry here.

Send these two to Europe! DOOOO IT! 

Please, help me say thank you to my friends. Without them I wouldn’t have the life I do now, and, fun fact, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Mandi let me start it at work so I would have my own website to break instead of hers. Thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for helping me make this happen.

And thank you, Mandi. We love you guys.


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