A few weeks ago, LUNA bar invited me to celebrate their LUNAFEST campaign and share my experiences and stories about the women game changers I have met in in my life.
Being an only child raised by strong parents (especially my mother), I jumped at the opportunity to share stories about influential, courageous and inspiring people who have made an impact in the community and my life.
Fast forward to last Thursday at the San Francisco premiere of LUNAFEST. This film festival has been around for 14 years and is one that celebrates films by, for and about women who are game-changers.
Since its inception, LUNAFEST has grown from a single annual event to a coast-to-coast force with more than 170 North American screenings each season. To date, 118 filmmakers have been featured, nearly $2.5 million dollars has been raised and thousands of attendees have come away moved, entertained and inspired.
Who wouldn’t love that?
More importantly, LUNAFEST’s main beneficiary is the Breast Cancer Fund and 100 percent of all net proceeds are donated to charity. This leads me to my story about the biggest, most badass game-changer I know — my mom.
Like I mentioned earlier, i’m an only child and like most only children, I am very close to my parents. I remember countless trips where my Dad was off at conventions leaving my Mom and I as the dynamic duo, exploring the best sights cities have to offer. Some of my best memories include sipping on clam chowder at Legal Seafood, lying by the pool at the Luxor in Las Vegas and generally having a blast being together.
As I grew up, my mother became my confidant, my biggest supporter and best advice giver. She worked full-time, but always managed to find time to be the first mom on the sidelines cheering her ass off, wearing a big pin with my face on it for my field hockey games. It’s crazy how even the smallest things can make the biggest impact, right?
During November of 2012, my mother called me during work saying that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. My world slowly crumbled as I knew I was thousands of miles away and couldn’t give or show her the same support she showed me throughout those 23 years. But, instead of feeling sorry for herself or sad, she was determined. Determined to be positive, determined to be strong and determined to fight through this awful disease.
Fast forward to 2014 and not only has she continued to be a fighter, but she beat breast cancer and is better than ever. I’m so thankful to have her in my life and can’t imagine not being able to call her at a moment’s notice to ask for career advice, bring me back to earth or even a simple “I love you.”
The photo above is us celebrating my friend’s wedding in the heart of her chemotherapy, still rockin’ a smile.
If you love powerful stories, amazing women and fantastic causes, I urge you to see if there’s a LUNAFEST screening in your city! Be sure to check out the trailer as well as full films celebrating other female game-changers.
*today’s post is sponsored by LUNA. thanks for reading and thanks to LUNA for the opportunity to participate and share!