Thank You for your Donations!

#CTFRIDE

Thanks to the kindness of friends, family, and even “Anonymous” we just passed the half way mark toward our fund raising goal for the 2019 Closer to Free Ride!

This ride benefits my hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital and their programs such as Phase One Clinical Trials and the Melanoma Program!

Thank you also to the folks who made a purchase from Pura Vida using my affiliate links as part of my personal fundraising efforts! I donated my commissions today as well!

Amazon SMILE

Amazon SMILE

Did you know that you can earn money for charity when you shop online using the Amazon SMILE program! It’s true! The key is to watch the URL and once you are on the Amazon website, just change www to smile if the web address is not already pointing there. Then once you choose a charity from the list of participating organizations, that information will be saved in your profile. Just remember to navigate to the proper page (smile.amazon.com) before you place your shopping order!

EXAMPLE:


Try it for yourself by clicking my Amazon Affiliate Link below!

Kindness ROCKS!

#thekindnessrocksproject

I fell in love with The Kindness Rocks Project in 2017 when, during a walk from the Ferry Landing here in town, I found a painted rock on a bridge. I had been feeling sad, and this sweet surprise lifted my heart. I bought a few supplies and painted a few rocks, but then put my craft supplies aside.

My interest in this project changed when a few weeks ago a dear friend and I got together to paint rocks. Something about this process was totally meditative and really got me inspired.

#thekindnessrocksproject

Last week I donated a small box of rocks to my hospital for their effort to spread kindness.

Smilow Rocks is a local effort of The Kindness Rocks Project and shares the belief that one message at just the right moment can change someone’s day, outlook or life. Our goal is to spread kindness through painted rocks left for and created by patients, caregivers and staff at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, CT.

Glastonbury Rocks! is a local Kindness Rock Group I belong to on Facebook. It is mostly people decorating rocks “hide and seek” style; so people post photos of rocks they’ve decorated or found, and those who find a rock often rehide them instead of keep them.

Our local elementary school, Hopewell School, even started a Kindness Rock Garden with 3,000 rocks last year and hosted a book signing with the founder of the Project as well!  So this project is local, regional, national and even global!

If you want to spread kindness through painting rocks, the website reminds us to make sure to hashtag #THEKINDNESSROCKSPROJECT but to be honest, I can never fit that many words so I just put #kindnessrockproject or #kindnessrock and the year on the back.


If anyone uses my Amazon Affiliate Links to purchase Arts & Crafts Supplies, I will be donating any commissions I earn from now until September 2019 to our fundraising for the 2019 CLOSER TO FREE RIDE to benefit my hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital! Just make sure to use these links!


New PuraVida Affiliate Fundraiser!

New PuraVida Affiliate Fundraiser!

One of the reasons I selected PuraVida as one of my small collection of Affiliate partnerships, is the fact that they support a number of charities through the sale of jewelry from their Charity Collection – where “Every Bracelet Purchased Makes a Difference“!

Starting today and until the Closer to Free Ride in September 2019, I am going to donate my profits from the purchase of anything from PuraVida to my husband Paul Apito’s #CTFRIDE fundraising efforts!

“Pura Vida” means “pure life” in Spanish, a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Slowing things down, celebrating good fortune, and refusing to take anything for granted embodies this laid back lifestyle. “Pura Vida” means living life to the fullest. It’s more than just a saying… it’s a lifestyle.

I’m even donating from the SALE products so make sure to check them out first!


UPDATE April 2019 – I got my fundraising order and these bracelets are so cute!


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

CBD for CTF

CBD for CTF

CBD for Closer to Free

As many people know, for the past few years I have sold various products in order to raise money for charity. I donated gift baskets of products to raffles when I was a sales rep for NYR Organic a few years ago; I donated my profits from the purchase of a certain book about coping with ocular melanoma from customers who used my Amazon Affiliate Link; and as an affiliate of PuraVida I donated the profits from the sale of certain curated selection of jewelry to a number of different fund raisers. A few experiences last year helped me narrow down and focus my fundraising efforts going forward.

I am proud to plan to volunteer at the Closer to Free Ride in person at the Yale Bowl in September. And between now and then I am also working to raise funds for my husband Paul, who is riding 100 Miles to raise $1,000 in my honor, to benefit Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

In January I joined the health and wellness company Vitalibis as a Brand Ambassador. The Vitalibis products are focused on full-spectrum hemp CBD Oil!

Between now and ride day, September 7th, 2019, I am donating any profits I earn from the purchase* of our Soothing Body Cream to Paul’s Closer to Free Ride fund raising!

Vitalibis Soothing Body Cream is a topical rub which provides a cooling / warming sensation to targeted areas, while leaving your skin feeling moisturized. Includes a proprietary blend of oils, including Vitalibis’ premium full spectrum phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil with approximately 400mg of naturally occurring cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids per tube. Perfect for massage therapists, sports practitioners, athletes and individuals with active lifestyles.

Let the training begin!

 


FTC DISCLOSURE: I was not compensated for this post. This website contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links.

*Eligible purchases must be made from my website https://www.vitalibis.com/sueapito/

Another Year Closer To Free

Another Year Closer To Free

I am really looking forward to participating as a Volunteer with the 9th Annual Closer to Free Ride! This will be our second year participating, me as a ride day volunteer at the Yale Bowl and Paul riding to raise donations. This year he will be riding 100 miles! Here is a photo from the finish line last year after finishing 65 miles.

The still frame at the beginning of this video is actually my medical oncologist, Dr Sznol, who also rode as a fundraiser last year! Watch to enjoy some highlights from last year’s event.

Thank you to everyone in advance for their donations to Closer to Free, and thank you to Paul Apito for riding in my honor!

#CTFRIDE

#GivingTuesday

As you choose where your charitable donations go I’m sharing a post I made earlier this year: http://myeyeblog.info/choose-your-charity-wisely/

Everyone has something that speaks to them – pets, the environment, a disease like cancer that effects them or someone they love. The most important thing is to give. There are some opportunites through Facebook and PayPal where the non-profit organization can earn matching funds, so it might be a good idea to visit the Facebook Page for the charity of your choice before you donate. #GivingTuesday

One Step Closer to Free

As long as I’m alive I’ll participate in the Closer to Free event as a fund raiser or volunteer or maybe even some day as a rider.

I got discharged yesterday, after being in the hospital since Thursday. I just had my second microwave ablation of the ocular melanoma which spread to my liver. It was my six year diagnosis anniversary on Friday.

Thank you to everyone at Closer to Free Ride and Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital for fighting this battle with me! The still frame at the beginning of this video is actually my doctor, Dr Sznol, who also rode in the ride. It is amazing and uplifting to see your actual doctor participating! Thank you to Paul Apito for riding and thanks to the friends and family for their generous donations! #closertofree

Choose Your Charity Wisely

When you make a charitable contribution, do you always check to see where your donations go? Is helping fellow patients with their medical expenses your interest? Or education? Perhaps you are a fan of the Awareness Campaigns with their many colored ribbons! Or research on the cause of a particular cancer?

My primary interest is research toward a cure for Ocular Melanoma. With this narrow focus, there are a few choices. Here’s some food for thought.

“Since 2012, over $1.4 million has been secured specifically for OM research and 9 different research awards” — MRF’s CURE OM initiative

https://www.melanoma.org/research-center/cure-ocular-melanoma/ocular-melanoma-research

So in seven years, Melanoma Research Foundation has received approximately $32 Million* from 2012-2018, and only contributed $1.4 million Ocular Melanoma research.

[*This figure assumes the organization had gifts, grants and contributions of at least $5 Million in 2017 and in 2018 as they have averaged in the five years prior.]

I was surprised to learn this. I suspect a lot of Ocular Melanoma patients and friends are as well, with all the walks and galas and other six-figure fundraising successes… $1.4 Million seems a little “light” to me.


The Ocular Melanoma Foundation is another charity, but one which is completely focused on Ocular Melanoma as their Mission. Their only grant last tax return was for $25,000 and went to an organization which is not solely OM focused, the American Association for Cancer Research.

Their website says “we are able to put most of this money to work funding research through our $50k a year AACR JIA grant program” but their tax return does not seem to support this figure. However, that may be because they perhaps donate on a calendar year basis, but report their taxes using the accrual basis of accounting.

A search of the AACR website shows there is something called the “AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Fellowship” and one can assume that is where their grant money ends up.

OMF also gave 16 patients financial aid for treatment-related travel and 3 people financial assistance for prosthetics.


Tomorrow on the TV Show Dr. Oz, four self-appointed representatives of the group of patients who have a connection to Auburn University and who also have Ocular Melanoma, will be guests.  These women have had extraordinary success getting themselves on the National News, featured in many markets on Local News, and even had a large feature story in People Magazine.  They have a Facebook Page and also ask for donations at their public appearances and through their website called the eyepatchchallenge.org. They are not themselves operating as a non-profit organization, nor have they affiliated with any ocular melanoma organization or charity. They chose instead to direct those donations to a local organization called The Community Foundation of East Alabama. Their fundraising efforts are to raise money for the research efforts in Auburn, Alabama. They published the following specifics “Dr. John Mason, Ocular Oncologist in Birmingham, Alabama has agreed to lead the research efforts. He outlined a three-arm effort which would require a budget of $135,000. The three arms of research would include genetic or germline testing, geospatial testing, and environmental testing.” The group has not made clear whether all the patients who have a connection to Auburn University (the latest count from them is 47 patients) will be able to obtain this bloodwork, or whether this fundraising is just for the benefit of the four ladies we see in the media.  The environmental testing obviously will all be local, focused totally on Auburn, Alabama.


A Cure In Sight™ for Ocular Melanoma along with a generous financial gift from Jack Odell and John Dagres, are donating research funding of $100,000 to the Harbour Ocular Oncology Laboratory at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center specifically “to investigate a strategy for determining the pathogenicity of “variants of unknown significance” in the GNA11 gene in UM development and metastases.”

My tumor genetic testing showed “Somatic variants detected in the tumor: GNA11 Q209L 34%”. So that specific research project is of special interest to me.

NEW Research Funding to Harbour Ocular Oncology Laboratory

UPDATED – DISCLOSURE: in 2018 I had the opportunity to work for ACIS freshening up the website, publishing articles I personally wrote, and other technical website updates both as an independent contractor and as a volunteer; I also sold some products through my affiliate network and donated the proceeds to ACIS.  The total was unfortunately only about $10.


Starting mid-December and into 2019 – all of my fundraising efforts are going to be for Smilow Cancer Hospital through the Closer to Free Fund rather than to charities focused on ocular melanoma.

Fundraising Jewelry Selection

Fundraising Jewelry Selection

My favorite way to fund raise is to as an Affiliate Marketing partner.

I recently announced that I plan to continue raising money for my favorite Ocular Melanoma non-profit charity, A Cure In Sight™ through the sale of a Pura Vida necklace, ring or bracelet displayed below!

I specially curated this selection as the perfect synergy between my efforts to raise awareness about eye cancer and my efforts to raise money for cancer research.

Starting immediately I will donate any commissions* I earn from the purchase using the links below, of this adorable good luck eye charm necklace or “evil eye” ring or the Negu: Never Ever Give Up! bracelet which is one of the Pura Vida Charity Collection bracelets. This means 10% of net profits of this bracelet will be donated to NEGU by Pura Vida, in addition to me contributing my commission to A Cure In Sight!

#NEGU is inspired by 12 yr old Jessie Rees (4/8/99-1/5/12). “Encouraging and supporting kids/families fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up!

Click the links above or the photos below to go directly to the Pura Vida web page for each item!

The Pura Vida Evil Eye Necklace makes every day your lucky day.
Nix the negative vibes with the PuraVida Evil Eye Ring
10% of net profits of this bracelet will be donated to NEGU by Pura Vida

*I am an affiliate marketing partner with Pura Vida bracelets and jewelry, which means I earn a small commission on the purchase of products made from links directly from my website, myeyeblog.info. This trio of products are the only items which will earn donations for this charity from my commissions.