How We Kicked Cancer Overboard


We have plenty of experience in grass roots initiatives as small businessowners. Cushy corner offices, guaranteed salaries and private corporate jets are not in our wheelhouse. But we're darn good at tireless effort. When a long time insurance client and trusted colleague stopped by after my daring adventure in mid life pagentry for rare cancer awareness, we started to brainstorm. Our goal was to develop a program that would send folks challenged by cancer "to sea for free" on a funfest cruise to the Caribbean. We worked to leverage the "cancer queen" theme into a branded funfest with Royal Caribbean cruise line. In five years, through various bouts with wellness complications and a storm Sandy setback, we've sent over 100 free cruisers to sea and amassed a volunteer base that's been happy to get "on board" with our 501c3, Kick Cancer Overboard.

Here are three keys to our success to date which lever our leadership skills:

1. We take risks. Like all entrepreneurs, we have no guanantees but we have a formulated focus and a strong track record in meaningful work and unrelenting effort. We have a strategic plan on how to garner support for our mission and a clear vision on where we are headed with our "funfest at sea." As businessowners and cancer survivors, we're acutely aware of the fragility of life and move with an urgency to get the job done. There is no time to waste and no time like the present to get important projects completed. We embrace the words of Thomas Edison who shared "If we all did what we were potentially capable of, we'd simply astound ourselves." We work to live up to this lofty notion.

2. We collaborate. KickCancerOverboard is a huge team effort. We're fortunate to have existing business networks which serve to help us launch this project. We ask for help when we need it and reciprocate often. We are proficient at networking and working our wide net of contacts, clients and colleagues for opportunities to create a deliverable that's changing lives by bringing fun to families during stressful times. We celebrate our community of supporters with events that are fun, informing and opportunites to multiply relationships in business and life. Our projects are life affirming and that feels good for everyone.

3. We work tirelessly. We are a volunteer organization guided by a board of directors and an advisory committe. Our team is largely touched by cancer in a very personal way so we garner complete "buy in" with our contributors. We host and staff a variety of fundraising events from rock concerts, movie nights, marathons and fashion shows. We speak at civic events, business meetings, community festivals and leverage social and traditional media to brand build. We know Rome was not built in a day and recognize that to fill up an entire cruise ship with cancer thrivers will take time. We're ready. We're thrilled to be supported by a growing roster of businesses and peopleleaders that align with our dedication to deliver "to sea for free" in a big way.

Learn more at . "Like" us on FB @KickCancerOverboard. Join our mailing list at to embrace integrated leadership or nominate a compelling cruise canditdate at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .