Sunday, July 21, 2013

CELEBRATING my dearly departed friend, Karen Martinez's on her Birthday

Today I remember one of my dear friends, the 3rd one to lose her fight vs. #BreastCancer.  For those of us who knew her, among many things we knew Karen to be, I think we would all agree one way to describe her was a fighter.  She fought 2 things wholeheartedly:
1) breast cancer
2) to not be defined by breast cancer

Karen, however, went on to define what it is to be a TRUE Survivor.  While on earth, she fought breast cancer tirelessly on ALL fronts, w/in her and using her surroundings.
Another quality that stood out about Karen; how extraordinarily kind she was. She really had a special calming energy about her which I and I'm certain so many loved to be near. I miss being near her. Because she shared her battle, I shared with her my experience with having lost one of my dearest childhood girlfriends to breast cancer, Diedra Bradshaw Auci.  Karen and I were brought together by my loss and my need to continue to do whatever I can to find the cure for breast cancer so that others don't have to go through what Karen and I went through, her directly, myself, indirectly, both, painfully.  So Karen and I became friends as we became the 1st Pin Up Calendar girls alongside a group of extraordinary fellow Television & Radio female colleagues and we did the #STRIKEAPOSE for Breast Cancer calendar. Special thanks to Jim and Vanessa Johnston for coming up with the idea and asking me to be one of the models.  Karen and I took this experience way beyond being a "Pin Up." I was so impressed with her and so happy to have found a friend with the drive and need I have for going beyond the call of duty to continue to raise funds for breast cancer.  That's exactly what we did. Click here, please, to see more of our STRIKE A POSE adventures!
Karen didn't stop there. In 2011, she came up with the idea of putting together an event, stemming from LOVE because, in my opinion, next to Faith, Love is one of the most powerful forces we have to help raise funds for breast cancer. And so, the Healing Hearts Gala was born! I was thrilled and so Honored when she asked me to form part of the Committee alongside her fellow Fox News Reporter and her best friend, fellow Panamanian, #Yami Virgen, Mike Hernandez, Chis Duel, Aymee Jeffers Locke, among others. We raised $30,000 the 1st year..YAY!!! Karen was always so kind and supportive of my career as I work hard to make my dream come true of becoming a TV Host of a network show-would LOVE to be the 1st Latina Co-Host on "The View" or "The Talk."  As such, Karen would do everything she could to help me, highlight me so she asked me to be the Emcee of the "Healing Hearts Gala."  Click here, please, for images and videos of that magical night:
 Along the days leading up to the event, our "Healing Hearts" Committee would come up with other ways to raise funds. #Mike Hernandez, Meteorologist for #Foxsanantionnews and Co Host of #Daytimeatnine Fox Morning show found a place called "Painting with a Twist."  We all learned how to paint-soemthing I'm TERRIBLE at, but thanks to giving it a try (hey, remember I'm a "Survivor" too (LOL) so I'll definitely try new fun things!)  Here's my 1st work of art!  My daughter who is a very gifted artist was there to give me moral support! 

Casia, my beautiful and super talented artist daughter!

I gotta concentrate, okay!!  

and the Big Unveil of my first painting-...Drum Roll or can I get a "Ta raaa!"  btw-I'm still in search of a good title for this painting, any ideas? 

My fellow "Painting with a Twist," artistes!
Sweet and beautiful amiga, Karen.  Te extrano. I love you and thank you for Blessing me with your friendship on earth and from the Heavens where I know you're resting in peace.