You have just found quite an interesting "bridge", I invite you to walk across it with me, and
join me on a new path. Let's hope I still have a shred of dignity or sanity left by the time
we reach the end....
Eleven months ago, my 17 month old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. It is, in all
honesty, the worst day I can even begin to remember. As a cancer parent, you don't have
the luxury of wallowing in your grief. Treatment begins immediately, and as our family likes
to say..."Game on!" It took a very short time for me to see this as a no-holds-barred "fight
the beast" battle, and in war - there is no time for whining about your feelings.
The problem is, those feelings have a talent for finding ways to express themselves.
Considering the fact that I was a large woman to begin with...its not a huge shocker that my
feelings found their way to my rear (and my thighs, and my gut...you get the idea). As the
weight piled on, I began mentioning it to friends. Bless their collective skinny hearts...they
kept telling me that it was perfectly understandable under the circumstances. I took their
blind support as free license to continue down a ridiculously destructive path. Yes, they
were correct in recognizing that I do currently live in a cesspool of stress. They were also
thoughtful in their willingness to forgive bad behaviors in light of the stress producing them.
However, stress doesn't compete well with aerobics in its calorie burning capabilities.
This particular fact has had a rather deleterious effect on me....
Several months after diagnosis, I received an invitation from the Leukemia and Lymphoma
society to train with them to become a marathon runner and raise money for the cause. I
thought, "There's no way I could run a marathon! I probably couldn't walk around the block
right now!!" Then I chased those thoughts with..."What can I do?" I dreamed up this giant
silliness way back then...its just taken me this long to find the courage (or stupidity) to
actually do it.
Recently, I met someone who has inspired me to step up to the plate (every pun intended...).
Even though she is battling breast cancer, this woman is a staunch supporter of pediatric
cancer and works diligently to improve the lives of the children. In the face of personal
tragedy, she chooses to look outside of herself and reach for the stars with the children.
Basically, she unknowingly shamed me into the craziness I'm about to share with you...
If you read the Avalon part of this site, you will see that wonderful friends of our family
have helped me start a non-profit foundation in honor of Avalon.
Avalon's Army of Angels was created to help ease the burdens of pediatric cancer for the
patients and their families. The Army has lofty goals, and I have no doubt we will achieve
every one of them...the work is too important to not complete it. I want to start the
fundraising process for Avalon's Army of Angels. They love my daughter enough to fight
for kids like her...I love them enough to do what I can to help.
I have gained over 40 pounds during the course of Avalon's illness, and its high time it stops.
Its time for me to wrestle control back from the Twinkies of the world...and get in cahoots
with the carrots. Its time for me to get off my high horse and admit I'm stressed out of
my mind, not the cool cucumber I thought I was. Most importantly, its time to put my fat
where my mouth is...and do something for someone else with it!
I'm sure all of you have heard of "Bowl-a-thons", "Swim-a-thons", and several other
"a-thons" that I've never heard of. Well...welcome to my version...
Alicia's Fat-a-Thon! Oh yeah, you read that right. Ack, I may die of abject shame after
typing this...but here's the brass tacks. As I sit here trying to take the first step...my
weight has exploded to an all-time personal high of 262 pounds. Folks, when I say
Fat-A-Thon - I'm not just whistling Dixie.
I am proposing that the Fat-A-Thon work like any other "a-thon" out there. I'm asking for
people to pledge money to Avalon's Army of Angels for each pound I lose. I, in turn, will
regale you with the ups, downs, and in-betweens of climbing my mountain of blubber. Let's
hope I make it down the other side with some semblance of sanity in tack. At this very
moment in time, I'm rather dubious about that....
On the side of this page you will find links for my Fat-a-thon site...Diary of a Fat Lady Gone
Thin. I will faithfully keep a daily diary, and hope to add a photo section over time. The
most important section will be the pledge pages. Supporters will be asked to sign the
guestbook, or preferably, email me a longer note with their pledges that I can post on the
website. In the color box, at the bottom of each page on the site, there will always be an
up-to-date tally of weight lost, and money gained.
Since Avalon's Army of Angels has applied for 501 (c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS,
your pledges will even be tax deductible! However, I still recognize that there are lots of
you just like me, who don't have the pocket money to share with the Army. If that is the
case, I encourage you to pledge in-kind donations. Pledge an hour of volunteer work to the
Army for each pound I lose. Pledge an hour of volunteerism on the Hemetology-Oncology
floor of your local Children's Hospital for each pound. Pledge per pound, per 5 pounds, per 10
pounds...I don't care...as long as I inspire you to do something! If I can mortify myself to
jump start the foundation...I hope each of you can bring yourselves to give a little bit for a
There you have it...I'm giving up what was left of my privacy, and every last ounce of my
dignity...in the hopes that you will join the family of Avalon's Army of Angels. When open
hearts work together...miracles happen. I hope my struggle will inspire you to reach for the
miracles within your grasp....
|This beautiful face has inspired
all of this. If she can make it
through her chemotherapy,
operations, and hospital stays and
still be the beautiful, cheerful
child she is...I can certainly
conquer my weight demons.
Please join me in trying to help
Avalon and the other children of