Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Going Digital

     I've donated 2 card collections to silent auctions this year, and I think I'm ready to start working on one to auction online. My goal is to finish it by the end mid november, and post it on ebay after Thanksgiving.  This one will have a different format. The cards I've received have been beautiful, but very few have come directly from people dealing with ACC. I think the next piece would be more powerful, and hopefully auction for a higher price if it the connection to survivors was clearer. I'm planning to list the names of the artists, and their connection to ACC on the back of the frame. Names or images could be included in the card as well.  The themes will also be more cancer specific.

I'd like to hear any suggestions for improving this project. What would make it easier for people to be involved?  Are the themes to open?  Would it be easier to send a digital image instead of a paper one? would more examples, or inprogress pictures be helpful?

Submission Date-by November 16th

Themes- survivorship, warrior, Adenoid cystic Carcinoma (ACC), cancer, courage, strength,                hope, community

Colors-red, white, grey, black, silver, other colors as accents

    I know I'm terrible with deadlines, and forgetting to mail things, but I'm good with email. Looking for inspiration, I've seen some creative graphics online. Photographs combined with Quotes. or a graphic used as an avatar, or logo.  I'd like to try creating a collage using these types of images.  I would print them as photos and then frame them, like I have my other projects. The background photo could be a person, a landscape, even a piece of artwork you've already created.  The file would need to be large enough to print clearly as a 4x6. Any text should still be legible scaled down to wallet sized photo.

     Copyrights do become a concern, so the images would need to be original work from the sender, or created using royalty free images. You could use your own photograph, or scan in a drawing. It just can't be something you found on the internet that was created by someone else. It would also be important to include a message stating that I have your permission to use the image in the collage to be auctioned for ACCRF. I'm planning to contact the artists who have created the images I've already seen to get their permission to include them.  I'm also going to contact groups that also donate to ACCRF to see if I could include their logos in the project.

contact me if you have any questions, or ideas.

jpg files can be emailed to atc4acc@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

5K, 10K, step by step

     This weekend, the Kellie's Krew 5K/10K, race was held in Dunn, North Carolina. There were hundreds of runners at the start line. They've trained, and set goals for personal best times. They have this look on their faces of both excitement and determination. I'm not a runner, and I wasn't in North Carolina this weekend, but this was still an important event to me. There is this other side to these events,  private and less visible, but very important. I was suprised to see that the picture in their local paper wasn't of the runners, but of the survivors.


     The night before the race, there is a meet and greet for people affected by Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC).  Kellie's krew was founded to raise money for research and patient support.  Most of the survivors have only met each other online, and travel state to state for an event like this. We are too few, and too far spread. Seeing pictures on facebook, is an encouragement to those of us who couldn't make the trip.  It's a reminder that we aren't alone in this, and that the need for a cure does matter.  I've attended Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society for years, and found it to be an encouraging event. I was disappointed to learn that the organization doesn't give financial support to research for ACC.  According to the,, it doesn't affect enough people.  Research is being funded by.
 families who have created their own organizations to fight back.

      September 11th, the Attack ACC 5k is being held in Illinois. Last year I wasn't sure what to expect when my husband and I decided to make the drive.  I found a group where I felt understood. I had several conversations that would have felt too personal in another setting. Beyond the cancer and the treatments, there is a social component to this.  The side effects can be isolating.  Beyond the way you look in the mirror, there can also be changes to the way you eat and speak. These may be temporary or permanent.  Sharing a meal is a huge part of family and community life. It's difficult to take part in that when you cannot taste, chew, or possibly swallow the food.  It's hard to date when you can't do 'dinner' and a movie.

     It's hard to function in this world when you literally have no voice. Think about how quickly you recognize your partner's voice on the phone, or your child's cry from another room.  It's hard to be heard in a crowd when you can only produce a scratchy whisper.  If your vocal cords are affected, that loss of your voice can be permanent. there are techniques that can help, but it's not a natural voice. The back and forth flow of a conversation is filled with pauses, and the tone of voice isn't there. It takes courage to go out into the world and speak for yourself anyway. In this group though, they get it, to some degree they have been there.  

     This year, we are taking our kids, as well as a few other family members. There are a couple of us who might actually run, and the rest will do our best to walk. I appreciate them showing support of me in this way. It also opens my world to them.  It's important for my kids to associate something positive with the word 'cancer'.  I'm looking forward to seeing people I met last year. The downside though is there are also people who won't be there this year. People who have become to ill to travel, or who have died from this cancer. There will also be people who are newly diagnosed and joining a club you never want to join. It's encouraging to talk to someone who is further along this bath, and to offer comfort to someone who is just starting.

     I'm also working on a ATC card collage for the silent auction at the walk. The project hasn't gone quite as well as I hoped. I've only received a few cards from other survivors. Most of them have come from my craft group, and my family.  I'll post pictures of it soon.  I'm hoping that actually seeing the project will help.  I would like to create another one to auction on ebay later this fall.  Artist Trading cards can be mailed to me. Financial donations can be sent to either of the groups sponsoring the walks, or directly to ACCRF online.