Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something Sassy This Way Comes

I have been ready to burst since New Year's Eve.

Remember this? The news I got on NYE that prompted: 
"I get why you're so SQUEEEEEEE! about this. How many times in your life do you get to give an assist to an actual angel?"
Had I known that the three days I thought I'd have to wait before sharing the story would turn into three weeks, I never would have posted the squee!-heard-'round-the-world. Well, heard 'round my world, anyway — my little gang of awesome wasted no time in messaging me wanting to know the what's-what.

So just what the squee(!) am I talking about?

First of all, CVZ was absolutely right in her assessment of the opportunity: I am giving an assist to an actual angel. Her name is Kimberly Hansen.

Known for her ever-present smile and signature "live sassy" slogan, Kimberly lived for opportunities to make others' lives better. And she so did.

Diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in late 2008, Kimberly spent each chemotherapy session at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center with a cozy blanket. In her view, every cancer patient is "in the fight for their lives" and should have some comfort during it. With that, Comfy for Chemo was born.

I learned of Kimberly through our mutual friend KTP when she posted info about Comfy for Chemo on Facebook a few days before NYE. She had just learned that Kimberly was in her last days, and had made a request. She asked that donations of enough blankets like the one she had be made so that the approximately 100 chemo patients at Womack each could have one.

Don't ever doubt the good that social media can achieve. Word spread. Quickly. Within 24 hours, Kimberly's wish had been fulfilled.

To say that I was touched by Kimberly's story is such an understatement. Overwhelmed is more like it. The day I first visited her blog, her husband Bill had posted about how Kimberly had been able to pin his rank as he was promoted to Lt. Colonel. Contacting him the only way I knew how — a comment (don't ever doubt the power of those, either) — I asked for his permission to post a link here on my site, and a pro bono offer of my professional services. I struggled with the intrusion I felt I was making, but struggled even more with the thought of not reaching out.

Fast forward 24 hours. A post went up on Comfy for Chemo's FB fan page announcing that donations were pouring in, a non-profit was being formed, and volunteers were needed. Number one on the list? Marketing and PR support, in the form of a "fun logo" and more.

What's that you say? A sign? Yeah. I saw it, too.

I immediately sent the same message to the e-mail address provided, this time including a link to my professional portfolio, lest they think I'm just an overzealous squee-girl. I may have mad zeal, but I've got mad skills, too.

Fast forward one hour. My phone rings. It's someone calling on behalf of the Hansen family. They'd like for me to design a logo. And write a press release for the launch. It's around 2 p.m. Thursday, New Year's Eve. They'd like to go with the momentum and make a splash on Monday, January 4. Can I help?

Can I? Can I? Oh, wow. You bet I can.

I'm told that Kimberly had slipped into a coma, but she did know that her wish for Womack had been fulfilled. I find myself hoping that she'll also know how her idea is becoming such an incredible inspiration for so many.

Fast forward to 6 p.m. I'm getting my graphics groove on, and realized the sun's gone down. I lit a candle for Kimberly. I logged back into the Google to check my messages and learned that she had died 30 minutes earlier.

Fast forward another 24 hours. Getting my Comfy groove on, rocking the keyboard, making my mouse do all kinds of sassy tricks — all the while, humbled by the awesome responsibility with which I've been entrusted. And that candle I lit the night before? Still burning.

Fast forward to now. Comfy for Chemo is becoming a reality — and I'm still humbled and honored to be a part of it. If you haven't clicked on the words Comfy for Chemo yet and become a fan on Facebook — please do. Not only will you find donation information, but will also be updated on the blog and website launch, which are both coming soon.

Very soon, in fact.
So soon, I need to sign off here and get back to building that blog. 
Yeah. You read that right.

So, so, so squeee'd right now.
Stay tuned.


  1. OMGoodness! What a story! I'm clicking right now!!! You are my new hero!! I'm a graphic design major and serously you ahve made my day!!!

  2. what a touching story. It moved me to tears. You really are part of something great - cousin J

  3. That is wonderful of you. I'm going to click through now...

  4. You've done a bang up job! So exciting and such a wonderful tribute to Kimberly.

  5. Just stopping in from SITS. I love this idea, and love that you got to be a part of it. I'll look for it on facebook!!

  6. Popped in from SITS. Congrats on the gig! That's really exciting and it's always so great to be involved in something you really believe in.

  7. Thats amazing and inspiring. Keep up the good work. Thanks for all you do.

    Visiting from SITS

  8. Ohh wow...this is happening in my neck of the woods and I had no idea??!!! How not...I'm at that hospital at least every other week. I'm heading over to the other blog, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you come across anything I can do, let me know.
    And what you're doing is quite AWESOME!

  9. So glad to hear of such a worthy idea! Have become a fan on FB and found you through SITS...

  10. What a great post. So inspirational. Keep up the great work. Holly:)

  11. Wow. Should have probably waited until I got home to go to the Comfy for Chemo blog ... got all kinds of verklemmt sitting here at my desk on my lunch break.

    Love the logo, love the idea, am so sad that she lost her battle with cancer, am so glad you're a part of something so wonderful.


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