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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Sunday Benefit ROCKED - many many THANKS!

Another benefit for Tina- another display of generosity, community, and multiplying miracles that seemed to hang in the air and sparkle!

In ones and twos and small sets of friends of friends, between the Bake Sale and the Raffle and the Auction, while Ezra Charles and Pop Quiz and The Footnotes and Dance From The Heart entertained us, all things small snowballed into another big WOW.

For the record- we raised enough money in 5 hours to feel comfortable about being able to drop in the utilities for Tina's soon-to-be-house and maybe even get a fence up for security.

THANKS to EVERYONE who dropped by. (Raffle winners who were not present when they won will be notified later this week!). It was some kind of crazy reunion/meet and greet/ make a new friend event and you are now officially part of a very fond memory.

Behind the scenes, this event would not have been possible without the incredible work of many many people: Tamme Derout (and the whole baking team!), Delia Austin-Cherry, Ray Cherry, Lance Miller, Sheri Voight, Lola Jordan, Donna McKenzie, Kenn Webster, Kyle King,  Johnny Foster, Vanita Esphahanian,  Keith Testa, Pete and the Continental Club staff, Don Price, Dance From The Heart, Bikers With A Cause, Spectrum Center, House of Blues, and all the teenagers (Gabe, Anna Rose, Jack, and Nika) who pitched in a lot.

THANKS EVERYONE who organized and donated and kept things rolling along the way!!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Open Your Mind, Open Your Heart was an amazing event!

To everyone who attended and bought tickets for the raffle- you literally raised enough money to move a house. This is huge, and your role in this is made it possible. Thank you for being a part of this!

To all the volunteers- THANKS! You made all the wheels turn smoothly and we could not have done this without you. You are amazing people!

To all the generous donors- We were completely blown away by your generosity and hope all the positive energy you shared with us is returned to you 100 times over. The raffle was a big success. Thank you!

A few pics (more later on the photo page) ....

Very Happy Campers! Anna, Rosa, and Tina were all smiles at the end of Saturday!

Katherine Center teaches on Sunday- the presentations were packed!

Mini-services like the Pranic Healing were very popular. Lots of people had a chance to try things they had never done before!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Now For The Fun Part!

There are two fundraisers for Tina about to happen. Clear your calendar! This is going to be FUN!

June 2nd and 3rd
Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind
Spectrum Center Houston
10AM-6PM (both days)

Engaging speakers, interactive presentations, amazing raffle prizes, bake sale, mini-readings and MORE
De-clutter your mind and computer! Explore the esoteric and the pragmatic over brownies and tea!  Pick up a sweet raffle prize and take home a spirit guide! A Spectrum Center first of its kind event, sure to be amazing.

Full schedule/ registration HERE

June 10th
Rocking the Continental Club for Tina
With Special Host Donna McKenzie of 103.7 FM
Continental Club, Houston
3-8 PM
$20 cash at the door (or paypal in advance)

Ezra Charles headlines this family-friendly show. The Footnotes open, along with all sorts of lively entertainment. Auction and raffle items include a rocking guitar and all sorts of music related goodies so come prepared to acquire a gem! You DO NOT WANT TO MISS the Bikers With A Cause Beauty Pageant!

Full schedule HERE

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Machete Miracle

Days long from now a tale will be told. It will be a true tale and even if I was not there I have gathered bits and pieces from reliable sources and you can drive by if you don't believe me. This is the tale of the Machete Miracle:

The mission was to clear the land. The land was covered, literally in head high vines and bushes and ivy.

The night before it rained. Hard. 139 lightning strikes fell in one hour as volunteers rolled over in their beds wondering if the plan would be a wash out.

But those lovely volunteers got out of bed, loaded up their tools, and showed up. The food tent went up, the first aid tent went up, a blessing ensued, experts surveyed the scene and sent out crews. Machetes were swung, gloved hands tore down vines, the skid steer roared, and by the time lunch was delivered more than half the lot was done.

More powerful than brute force, the power of people won the day. Every age, color, background, and skill you can imagine worked side by side. As one volunteer began to tire, another volunteer would show up to breathe life into a second wind.

And by 4PM, the job was done.

A true miracle, despite the rain, despite the foliage, despite the naysayers- done in one day.

And this miracle has had a ripple effect. Spontaneous networking may actually get a house delivered to the lot. The dream is happening because you all showed up and did it.

We are grateful beyond words! To EVERY SINGLE PERSON who pitched in- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

See you at the upcoming benefits  in June!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lot Clearing - A GO! - last minute updates

Rain or shine it looks like a whole bunch of much needed volunteers are coming to clear the lot!

When: Saturday, May 12th 8AM kick off (come any time you can) til dusk
Where: 5621 Knox

Please where long sleeves, long pants, sturdy boots/ shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. We have poison ivy repellant on hand and a basic first aid kit. We will also have snacks, drinks, and food on hand.

Bring any tools you have that could be helpful: sturdy rakes, machetes, shovel, hoes.

We are SO EXCITED to see this happen (especially since we have a house to move on the land!) and so incredibly grateful to everyone who is pitching in.

So you know, Sunday is probably NOT going to be needed to finish the job. Happy Mother's Day! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Musical Benefit at the Continental Club (Houston)

Back in the 80's,  Tina was a member of the Rocky Horror Picture Show cast (she played Magenta) at the Alabama Theater.
 The hours spent rehearsing and performing created a bond that is still strong to this day. So, when the RHPS Alums caught wind of Tina's brain cancer they immediately set out to put on a fundraiser!
 (To be clear: This Is NOT a Rocky Horror Show)

Sunday, June 10th (TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED) at the Continental Club (Houston)

Featuring Ezra Charles – Texas King of Blues Piano, The Footnotes –
Danceable Rock Trio, and DJ/LP.

Auction Items, Games, Food and Drink with great live
music and surprise guests!

Admission price is $20.00 per person at the door!

Please join us for a lovely get together- no corsets or Time Warp required!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are You Any Good With A Machete?

Tina's actual lot to be cleared
May 12th and 13th
5621 Knox Houston, TX
(unmarked plot of undeveloped land- very hard to spot)
EARLY until dusk, official time TBA

Keeping Tina's Dreams Alive includes clearing a plot of land in north Houston so we can put a home on it (for her to heal and create and live in). With the help of Ken Walker, Bikers for a Cause, and YOU (machete skills optional) we will be clearing this land in one weekend.

PLEASE wear long, loose fitting shirts and pants, BOOTS, heavy duty work gloves, safety goggles if you have them, hat, and bandana.

Wish List for this project:
  • People willing to get dirty/ work hard (know a group who wants a project?)
  • People to feed/ keep hydrated those who are swinging machetes (UPDATE: Saturday lunch= covered)
  • Overnight security to keep an eye on things Saturday night
  • Wheelbarrows (delivered and picked up)
  • Hoes
  • Machetes
  • Tarps
  • Waste containers (and donations toward cost of= covered)
  • sunscreen/ aloe/ basic first aid kit (for stings, poison ivy, small cuts, blisters)
  • Bottled water/ drinks/ snacks (2 coolers of ice and gatorade= covered)
You can contact Teresa if you have a question or contribution:

See you there! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicago, The Block Center - Let the Veggies Begin!

From Rosa:  *Do NOT miss the secret, very weird, yummy recipe at the end

Tina and I are back from Chicago and the Block Cancer Center.  We were able to take this trip because of your donations. Thank you, thank you!!  For those who made this possible I want you to know it has made a world of difference and it all went really, really well.  

The Block Center is sunny and open and welcoming.  The staff is excellent -  experienced and positive. They had all clearly read Tina’s medical records ( now that's unusual!) so she didn’t have to re-tell the story except for whatever was important to her. The entire projection was forward.

The staff explained that whatever statistics we had received or researched were for traditional medical care only and that this was a “clean slate” because with the use of integrative methods those stats were not relevant.  They all had stories about how the odds have been beaten. And, they were very clear that the way to beat this was adherence to the plan – with allowances to get there.

Tina had 18 vials of blood taken to determine where her body is in relation to its ability to get in the game and do what it knows best to heal. The array of supplements she was given to begin the program will change with the results of the tests, and IV vitamins will be added to help the program move more quickly.

In another week the lab results will be in and the program will be tweaked. She will return in August for labs again. For now: no animal protein, sugar or dairy – some fish is allowed, and eating small meal/snacks 4 to 6 times a day. It was discussed that she will “cheat” once in a while, but getting back on the program is the game until it is just normal routine. Hell, we should all be doing it, and I am doing the diet myself in solidarity. Not a big jump for me, but sizable for Tina and she is doing great.

Food is medicine, as they say.

Weirdest new food "trick"?  A chocolate pudding* that has a base of avocado!!!?? 

So, here we are. Movement is forward.  This morning I am off to pick up a box of organic, locally grown produce from Rawfully Organic - a great co-op.  Gabe, the elder of her two sons and prone to eating healthy, is taking up the concepts and pitching in at home. We have been running a test kitchen in their apartment, trying out new recipes. Tina says her craving for white sugar has been much less than she expected. 

We are inspired and re-assured by the support from the Block Cancer Center and grateful  for the friends and family who made the trip possible. Thanks to you all!


*Bonus Recipie

Chovocado Pudding
Serves 2

1/4 avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Peel and quarter an avocado (store remainder to use soon)
  2. put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  3. serve and enjoy!

Tina and Buck (the dog): One Tail's Happy Ending

Cancer complicates a lot of things, including family pets and the ability to care for them. Tina has two cats, Mooch and Rascal, and used to have a dog named Buck.

You might have read Lisa Gray's story in the Houston Chronicle about Tina and the search for a home for Buck. Lisa did a brilliant job of capturing Tina's spirit, Buck's plight, and the dire situation. It was the most commented on and read story on the Houston Chronicle site for several days.(Tina and Buck were even trending on Twitter) and the story was picked up by Business Week (!)

And for those of you who missed the follow up of the many many people who offered to take Buck into their homes, Tina chose a young man whose family nominated him and Lisa Gray (again) tells the story beautifully.

Tina took Buck to meet Brett.  Tina, Buck, and her boyfriend Larry took off early in the morning from Houston and met Brett mid-day in Kerrville at the rolling green park next to the river in the center of town. Buck greeted Brett with enthusiasm, a friendly stranger in a wide open space after a long ride. The humans also greeted each other and an agreement was reached- if things did not work out, even in the long run, we can always find Buck another home- no pressure if the reality was not a fit. Tina filled in Brett on Buck's ways. Brett was fully engaged as he played with Buck and they got to know each other. Then Brett took the end of Buck's leash and started off on a walk down the riverside trail. Buck looked back once at Tina, seemingly relaxed, and then confidently turned to be led on that walk with his new owner.

A month later, it looks like Buck and Brett are a good fit. Tina and Brett have exchanged a few text updates. She likes the way Brett relays the things that are truly important when you put someone you love in the care of strangers. Most of all, Buck has found a good loving home and lots of room to run and play.

The worries of how to care for Buck are receding, leaving room to care for other things that need attention, like healing. Tina's small apartment weirdly seems a little smaller without him.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to EVERYONE who made this possible:  Lisa Gray, James Neilson, and the Houston Chronicle, Kristy Felker, Brett Felker (and his entire family), the MANY AMAZING people who offered Buck a home, and everyone who believes every dog deserves a loving home that passed the story along. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tina, My Sister, Has Brain Cancer

This is my sister, Tina (Van Deusen) Borja (40 something years ago).

In 2010 she fought off a nasty bout of very aggressive breast cancer. Several surgeries, chemo, more chemo, radiation, reconstruction, and two years later we thought she had it beat.

February 14th, 2012 the doctors found four tumors in her brain and everything changed. Again. And some things stayed the same, they just became ever so much more important (and time sensitive).

This blog is where we work to keep Tina's dreams alive while she eradicates these tumors and beats the odds. This is Tina now, with her sons Gabe and Jack (17 & 15) volunteering at the MS 150 2012. (Btw, Gabe, on the right, is making a face for the camera. They all hate having their pics taken.)

Tina's dreams are simple: to have the space to dream and heal , to have the space and time to create memories with her sons, to have the space to be with friends and family. You can help us make these wishes come true.

                       You will need Tina's email to donate: (catchy, huh?) Thanks!

There are all sorts of ideas/events/plans to give Tina the space she is asking for. You can keep up with these efforts by subscribing to our blog updates or checking the Calendar page regularly. Please subscribe to receive blog posts (in the upper right hand column) and share this with your friends. We will keep you posted as things progress! You can follow Tina in her own words at The Caring Bridge as well (search tinaborja- all one word).

We are asking for donations to this cause, in whatever way you can.