North Texas Giving Day, the largest giving day in the nation, is back on September 14, 2017! In eight years, North Texas Giving Day has generated $156 million for the community. Learn more about some of the thousands of participating nonprofits here on BubbleLife from now until Giving Day. Read more about today's featured nonprofit, Breast Cancer Can Stick it! below.
I’m April Samuels, a professional drummer out of Dallas, TX, a breast cancer survivor and the founder of Breast Cancer Can Stick It!. This is my journey…
In 2003, I discovered a lump and found I had fibrocystic, dense breasts, making it harder to detect breast cancer. They ordered ultrasound screening every six months. I continued life, drumming in as many as five bands at a time. After years of benign cyst aspirations and biopsies, it happened. On Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 9am, my doctor revealed I had the high grade, rare triple negative breast cancer. My world came to a screeching halt. I quickly found this wasn’t any ordinary breast cancer, this was serious – a more aggressive, likely to recur breast cancer. I immediately panicked, canceling all gigs. My new goal in life: to survive breast cancer. Within two weeks of being diagnosed, I came up with the slogan “Breast Cancer Can Stick It!” combining my passion for drumming with my passion of fighting breast cancer. I started selling shirts online, donating to local charities fighting breast cancer. Simultaneously, I had a double mastectomy, was hospitalized for five days with a collapsed lung from the port install, and had four months of chemo. Losing my breasts and hair ignited my drive. I started producing shirts in bulk, selling them out of my car. Quickly, I raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer charities through gigs, fundraisers, and sales. My accountant then suggested we form our own nonprofit. By May of 2013, Breast Cancer Can Stick It! was an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit! Since 2010, our efforts have raised nearly $100,000 in the fight. Our events feature celebrity drummers from bands such as P!NK, Jason Aldean, Ozzy, Dio, and more; the celebrity support continues to grow. Bret Michaels of Poison and Joe Elliot of Def Leppard are sporting our shirts. In 2015, our largest annual fundraiser, Drummathon, began. In our first year, we raised $13,000 and in the second year, $26,000. We are looking to the stars for Drummathon 2017.
Breast Cancer Can Stick It! covers the full gamut of fighting breast cancer in North Texas. We donate to Baylor Sammons Cancer Center for research and trials, and to Parkland for mammograms for uninsured/under-insured individuals. In 2015, I lost a friend, Dahlia Garcia, to triple negative breast cancer. She had donated $1,000 saying “this can’t help me anymore, please use it to help someone else”. To honor her memory, in August 2017, we will start a new program - “Dahila’s Breast Cancer Can Stick It! Fund” – to provide financial assistance to patients for breast cancer treatment.
This year, 12 percent of the funds we put into research, trials, and mammograms were thanks to North Texas Giving Day. The amount raised through our efforts in North Texas Giving Day 2016 is equivalent to over 20 potentially life-saving mammograms! With the support of powerful fundraising campaigns such as North Texas Giving Day, our donors and 100 percent volunteer staff, Breast Cancer Can Stick It! is fulfilling our dreams by making an impact in our community. After all, it’s not about saving breasts, it’s about saving lives.
To donate to Breast Cancer Can Stick It! on September 14th, please click here. To find out more about North Texas Giving Day, please visit www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org.
Blog authored by: April Samuels, founder of Breast Cancer Can Stick It!