This weekend coming up I’m excited to once again celebrate my birthday because it’s the one time when my friends from all different parts of my life gather together on one night in one place and get to know each other. Plus, we get to catch up, have great food, enjoy awesome birthday cake, and hopefully, dance it up a bit because that is one of my favorite ways to celebrate anything!
But little did I know that the day of my birthday party- February 2nd (which falls one day before my actual birthday) is also the date of a new special ‘holiday’ that I had only heard about recently- a day that has such a heartfelt, touching story behind it that I believe it deserves to be shared with everyone out there. It’s called Lungleavin Day. And I’m looking forward to adding it to the celebration I was already planning on the 2nd.
Though I have not met the creator -Heather- of Lungleavin Day in person, she contacted me with her story through the Dance Me Free site after being inspired by the posts she read. Heather saw a connection between what she has gone through and the purpose of Dance Me Free and asked if she could share her story with all of you.
It is an honour for me to help Heather spread the word of her inspiring story of strength, courage and hope around a very serious medical condition she was faced with years ago and has so miraculously overcome.
Health and healing are a huge aspect of what makes up Dance Me Free. And I believe that Heather’s story, though not directly related to dance, represents the more metaphorical idea of stepping out on the dance floor of life, that our other posts discuss. And that is an integral part of what Dance Me Free is all about.
So what is Lungleavin Day you ask?
Here is Heather’s email to me in which she describes the holiday and why this day deserves so much recognition:
I am 44 and a mother to a quirky little 7 year old, Lily. She is my only child and I couldn’t imagine my world without her. When Lily was just 3 ½ months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which kills 90-95% of those who have it.
After intense treatment and a long recovery, almost 7 years later I’m still here and cancer free! My journey through cancer was quite a terrifying one and I’d like to turn my struggles and obstacles into inspiration and hope for others. One of the many things that came out of my battle with cancer is a holiday I created called Lungleavin Day. This is the anniversary of my surgery (Feb 2nd) in which my entire left lung was removed.
Lungleavin Day is a celebration of life and facing your fears. Each year we celebrate with nearly 100 loved ones. The idea of this day is for everyone to fill a blank plate with their fears and smash it into a bonfire at my Lungleavin day party, symbolizing people throwing their fears to the fire. I also use Lungleavin day as a fundraiser for mesothelioma research.
I recently wrote on my blog about this holiday. (To read Heather’s blog, click here).
I would love if you’d be willing to pass this on to others and give a shout out to Lungleavin day!
I was so touched not just by Heather’s amazing story, but also by the way she shared it with such openness and honesty to someone out there she had never even met before.
You can bet that we will be thinking about you on the 2nd, Heather. In fact, I have already shared this email with my friend Wendy and she is planning to hit a few thrift stores in the next couple of days to buy some old plates, because we are looking forward to smashing our fears on those plates on February 2nd as well! It actually fits in very well with the original theme of my party- “It’s never too late to become what you might have been!”
Thank you for giving even greater significance to what was already going to be a big day for me on the 2nd. And thank you for trusting Dance Me Free to spread the word about your very important holiday.
Here’s to Lungleavin Day! Mark your calendars – February 2nd- and help spread Heather’s beautiful idea to celebrate life and all that she, and we, can overcome!
***Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. It commonly occurs in the lungs, abdomen and heart, and has a very poor prognosis.***
***Comprehensive information about mesothelioma cancer is available here.