Angelica “Angel” Bailey would have celebrated her 45th birthday on August 31, 2018 with her 3 children, husband, and countless friends. Birthday celebrations were a major part of Angel’s life, so when she lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer in May of 2018, there was not a more fitting time of the year to celebrate her life, and to make a difference in raising awareness and fighting the disease that robbed us of our Angel. Barely 8 weeks prior to her birthday, a small group of family and friends had an idea for a birthday party for Angel, and to bring our community together in support of breast cancer research. We named it “Angel’s Wish”, so appropriate for her birthday celebration, but even more for the mission to raise money for breast cancer research.
So we got to work with some basic ideas. A birthday party to honor Angel’s big day, but with a focus on raising money for metastatic breast cancer research. As we know all too well, metastatic breast cancer is a thief of time. Time that women like Angel are losing with their children, partners, family and friends. Our fundraiser for Metavivor was to support research for Stage 4, metastatic cancer, which will affect over 30% of breast cancer victims. Unfortunately, only 2-5% of today’s breast cancer research is directed towards metastatic cancers.
On September 2nd, our idea turned into reality on a warm, late summer day in Atlanta, celebrating Angel’s 45th birthday with over 125 family and friends….our community. After Angel’s passing, the outpouring of support was overwhelming. Our community wanted to help, wanted to celebrate Angel’s life, but most of all, wanted to contribute to a cause that has meaning and increasingly affects so many people. Angel’s Wish came to life with an abundance of creative activities and events: In Angel’s prior home of Dayton, Ohio, over 25 friends hosted a bootcamp workout in memory of Angel. Our neighborhood hosted a tennis clinic with our local tennis pro, the children led a bake and jewelry sale, we ran a silent auction, we drove a 50/50 raffle campaign, and we walked as a community, together for Angel, led by the Milton, GA Fire Department. Our children made Angel Christmas tree ornaments, and our teenagers had an epic water balloon fight.
It was a great day, a great party, just as Angel would have loved with friends from states near and far. We had a humble goal of raising $2,500 from the variety of activities. As of today, and through the generosity of our “community”, we have raised over $21,000 for Metavivor. Simply amazing. METavivor provides research grants and awards for as little as $50,000 per year (Early Career Investigator Award) and Angel’s Wish will make a major contribution towards 2019 research funding. Our goal is that someday soon, we can provide more “time": back for tomorrow’s victims and Angel’s Wish has made a lasting impact already. After such a successful inaugural campaign, our community is excited about the potential to expand and grow our efforts in 2019 with the help of Metavivor.