This picture was taken in March or April of 1994. I’m leaning towards March, because of the jackets. I can’t ask the other girls in the picture, Barbara & Kristen, because they both have horrible memories! We were in Fort Lauderdale, at a waterside restaurant and bar called Bootleggers. We were young, a little wild, and definitely carefree. For me, the devil-may care attitude was new. I had just earned my Master’s Degree the summer before and taken the CPA exam in November. In February of 1994, I learned that I passed – all four sections, on my first try. For those of you unfamiliar with the CPA exam, that made me a bad ass! From the smile on my face (I’m in the middle), you can tell, I knew it.
This past weekend, my husband and I attended the Purple Pansies Gala that’s held annually at one of our favorite local restaurants, Casa Nuova. The Purple Pansies organization was founded by our friend, Maria Fundora, to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer, a disease that unfortunately took her mother. As some of you may know, pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease. It has a high mortality rate, primarily because it’s usually diagnosed very late – often when the cancer is in stage four. There are, however, exciting new advances in the field of pancreatic cancer research, giving patients new hope. Maria raises money with the Purple Pansies Gala for Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), a research institute that’s developing a diagnostic tool that will hopefully become as routine as a mammogram, so that doctors will be able to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier. The institute has also played a role in using genetic markers to identify the best treatment options for patients. I encourage you to visit TGen’s site, to learn more. Also visit the Purple Pansies website to read about Maria, who’s a passionate and inspiration advocate for individuals, and their families, who’ve been afflicted with this disease. In just five years, her quest to memorialize her mother has evolved into an event that this year alone raised close to $150,000! She’s quite a force, let me tell you.
Maria & her family. Continue reading A Night Out at the Purple Pansies Gala