Monday, January 14, 2013

Blogging for a Babies and Boobies

One of the great things about LowesBerg (yes - that's what I've named our house. no - it's not a manor, but if Downton Abbey can have a name as well as an address, well, then so can LowesBerg)... its location. We're super convenient to the Metro (DC's lifeline, and the savor of my sanity since I don't have to drive in DC traffic everyday to work), our neighborhood is awesome, and we have some pretty great neighbors.

One of those neighbors is also a former coworker, Gillian, who I already knew before we moved into LowesBerg. I actually called her up when we were looking in the area and she had me come over and do a bit of a walkabout with her and her awesome pups one evening, which further sold me on the area.

Meet Gillian (oh - and that's not one of the pups that I was referencing)

Fast forward a year and a half - that friendship has blossomed since our move and J and I count her and her awesome husband as close friends.

Canadian Thanksgiving 2012 - I don't remember what we were doing. Drinking wine. I do remember that part...kinda.

In early August of 2012, we found out that their awesomeness was going to expand by one when they announced that they were pregnant! (cue happy dance!)

However, that elation was severely tested just a few short weeks later when Gillian was diagnosed with an extremely rare, and very aggressive form of stage-3, pregnancy-related breast cancer.

Thankfully for Gillian and baby,  Johns Hopkins Hospital is close by, and an amazing team of doctors has been working together ever since to save Gilly and her little miracle baby. In a rapid whirlwind of events, she underwent a radical, modified mastectomy, stage-1 breast reconstruction, began chemotherapy, shaved her head...

Boe shaved his head in solidarity!

...put together a nursery, and kept a smile on her face! Today she's just a few short weeks away from giving birth to a healthy baby boy - and, just as importantly, she now has a great prognosis!

Once Baby Leslie is born, Gillian will still need to undergo 12 more weeks of chemotherapy, and possibly radiation treatments. Eventually she'll also need to have more breast reconstruction and follow all of that up with five years of hormone therapy. BUT - thanks again to her amazing resilience and her awesome doctors, she's kicking cancer's ass!

I wanted to share Gillian's story because it's amazingly inspiring.

I also wanted to share this story because as a way to say thank you to her Johns Hopkins doctors, Boe and Gillian have organized a fundraiser to raise money specifically for research into pregnancy-related breast cancers, and if you're inspired - maybe you want to contribute to the cause! There are three easy way to support the cause - one of which involves buying raffle tickets from yours truly! Email me at (or stop by my desk if you happen to work with me!) if you're interested in raffle tickets!

Curious and want to know about Gillian's fight? Follow one of these links to her story: here or here

Otherwise, read on for more ways to participate!

On Saturday, February 9th we will be hosting a fundraiser event at Franklins Brewpub in Hyattsville, MD from 2-5PM. The Lichota and Leslie Fund set up under Dr. Vered Stearns at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Program, will help support a multidisciplinary program specifically designed for women diagnosed with pregnancy-related breast cancer. This fund will provide necessary resources to support their complex emotional and clinical needs by providing patient education and navigation, personalized care planning, and ongoing emotional support. In addition, the fund will support the further expansion of practice guidelines and current research as they work toward the understanding, prevention, and eradication of breast cancer in pregnancy.


1) Eat, drink, and celebrate life: For those who attend the fundraiser event on February 9, 20% of  your bill will go towards the Lichota and Leslie Fund charity. For this to happen, supporters must turn in their bill upon exiting the Brewpub!

Franklin's Brewpub
5121 Baltimore Ave.
Hyattsville, MD 20781

2) Charitable Donations to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Program: To make a gift go to and click on Make a Gift. If you choose to donate online or mail a check, use the text box at the top of the online form or the memo area on the check to designate the gift to physician Vered Stearns for the Lichota and Leslie Fund. Checks can be mailed to:

Dina Mallis Klicos, Director of Major Gifts
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins University
One Charles Center
100 N. Charles Street, Suite 234
Baltimore, MD 21201

3) 50-50 Tickets: 50-50 tickets will be sold in advance or on the day of the charity event (1 for $5 or 3 for $10). All proceeds will go into a single cash pot. 50% of the total money raised will go to one lucky ticketholder; the other 50% will go towards the Lichota and Leslie Fund charity.

Gillian, Boe, and Baby Leslie thank you for your love and much needed support!

Check out those adorable little lips!

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