A Bittersweet Farewell

Last night I was honored to crown the new Miss Pink 2018.  For those of you who could not attend, here were my farewell thoughts.

For two years Ashley Schultz, Founder and President of the Miss Pink Organization asked me to participate in the pageant.  For two years, I emphatically told her no.  Pageantry was in my past, pre cancer, and I was not in the head space to walk the runway.  In December of 2016, I received a grocery card from the Miss Pink Organization and knowing how much of a difference it made for my family, I knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization.  So in 2017, the third year Ashley asked me to participate, I said yes.  Third time’s a charm.  I didn’t know what to expect that day, I arrived with my hair and make up already done, and wearing hot pink high heeled boots.  Once a pageant girl, always a pageant girl.  I am not sure why, but I was expecting the day to be a drawn out group therapy session, with each of us telling our stories of woe, sharing our battle scars and passing the tissues.  I very quickly realized that our day together would be nothing like that.  Have you ever entered a room of people and immediately clicked with them?  No judgement, no posturing, no need to prove your worth.  We all shared a sacred bond, the sisterhood of Breast Cancer.  We didn’t need to swap stories of treatment or diagnosis, instead we just enjoyed the company of each other, of women who knew what you had been thru and what you were feeling without having to say a word.  True friendships were formed that day.

I knew today would be just as special, and ladies, you did not disappoint.  What an amazing day we have had and I am so excited to welcome more of you into our tribe of fabulous fighters!

As I excited as I was to be with these warriors today, coming here was bittersweet.  I cannot believe a year has passed, and what an incredible year it has been.  From speaking on an empowering women’s panel in New York City, to yoga with goats, to 28 book signings across New England, being the ambassador for Miss Pink has been an amazing opportunity to not only share my story, but more importantly spread the message of Miss Pink.  It is incredible how willing people are to stop and listen when you are wearing a crown and banner.  Growing up in the pageant world I was often told about “the power of the crown”, but it wasn’t until this year that I really experienced what that means.  As a society we are attracted to success, we are attracted to those who are in the pubic eye, and though so many of us have amazing stories to tell, society as a whole pays more attention to the stories of those in the spotlight.  The power of the crown brings with it true responsibility.

This year has not been about me, it has really been about all of you; about every woman who has, and will hear those words, “you have Breast Cancer. “  Miss Pink is so much more than a pageant; it is a platform for educating, spreading awareness, providing support and instilling hope.  As your new Miss Pink 2018 is crowned tonight, not only will she have her amazing story to share, but the power of the crown will have people stand up and take notice.  It will now be her voice that will lead the way, inspiring others to listen, get involved and bring attention to what it means to be a Pink Warrior.

Throughout the year, our amazing sponsors will be there to support the organization and help your new Miss Pink spread her message.  A very special thank you to Heidi and Lisa of Bella Serra for outfitting Miss Pink each year. To Dawn of DRE Designs for creating custom jewelry for Miss Pink’s every need.  To Trish, Miss Pink 2010, of Radiance Aveda Spa for amazing hair and makeup for this special day.  And to Chuck, Jim and the rest of the crew at 617 Events for helping to make this event such a show stopper.

Before I close, I would like to take a few moments to thank those that have supported me throughout this year.  Nick and Ashley for creating an organization that makes such a difference in people’s lives.  Tiffany for your true friendship and all of the fundraising efforts.  Kate for your unconditional support no matter when I needed it and for all that you do for the Miss Pink Organization.  Family, friends that are family that have been a constant source of love and support. To Dave my Mr. Pink, devoted husband and soul mate. You are a constant source of love, humor, and inspiration. When we said for better or worse no truer words were spoken.  Mackenzie, my beautiful daughter and the reason I stand on this stage. Mackenzie you have been my angel on earth, shining light in everyday, and always the reason I fight so hard.

They say it takes a village, none of us get through this life alone. We all have to look out for each other and continue to lift each other up. Alone we are strong together we are stronger. Thank you all for being here to support, encourage and give hope to us all.

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