Wednesday, September 4, 2019

It's That Time of Year Again- Light The Night With Me!

Please help me support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk by donating towards my fundraising efforts today. You can help bring us closer to living in a world without cancers!

Many people through the years have asked about "my story." So here it goes...

Cancer people always remember the day their entire world changed. Some ask why, I was more like "WTF, are you kidding me?" I had a cough. A cough that was piercing to everyone's ears and it hurt! Kirk said I had TB, some thought I had whooping cough and there was even a kennel cough thrown in there (Thank you, Mitch!). At first, my doctor just thought it was allergies and asthma. After 2 weeks, it wasn't any better--maybe I had bronchitis? He listened to my chest and determined that I was wheezing and my lungs did sound congested. 3 weeks later, my cough was even worse. I was throwing up all the time when I coughed and I couldn't catch my breath--it was terrible! Being at my wits end, I went back to the doctor and he ordered a chest x-ray, maybe I had pneumonia?, but it didn't sound like it. The scan was done right before July 4th weekend, and my doc wouldn't be back in for about week. No big deal, I had dealt with it for this long what's a few more days?!

I will tell you this, no one will ever tell you that you have cancer over the phone. When I was told I needed to come into the office and whenever I got there would be fine, I knew something was definitely wrong. I've never had a shorter wait to get into see my doctor!! And then he dropped the bomb of my life.."You see this?" as he pointed to a mass that was sitting on my bronchial tubes shown on the xray, "This is a problem." He handed me a piece of paper with 2 names on it, one was a thoracic surgeon, the other an oncologist. I kind of stared at him, " Do I have cancer?" He hadn't exactly said it quite yet. "Yes, but you are going to be fine. I promise."

I walked out of his office in a daze, got to my car and called my mom, who was suffering with Stage IV breast cancer. "Mom, I have cancer." Typical of my mom, "No, you don't. Missy, quit screwing with me." --still makes me laugh that I can hear her saying it now:) Side bar: I was strangely obsessed with calling my mom and saying things to get a rise out of her i.e. I was pregnant, had eloped, gotten my nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, etc.

I digress...My oncologist appointment was first and my dear friend Branch went with me. She was my scribe. She knew I would be too wound up to take in everything that was being said--she was 100% correct. My oncologist said I either had lymphoma or something else with an 'oma', but I had a very high rate of success for remission. Next up, thoracic surgeon. He took one look at my xrays and said I had Hodgkin's Disease--he didn't know which one, but that's what I had. Now, I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, but this was a lilttle ridiculous. In a one week span, I had been diagnosed with cancer, was supposed to have a major surgery (they were deflating one of my lungs to get to the "oma" which was near my heart, inserting my port and inserting this kick ass pain killer contraption into me) and I had 2nd row tickets to a Yankees-Rays game in Tampa behind the Yanks on-deck-circle!!. After a little haggling, I was cleared to go to my game (yes, my beloved Yanks won!) and would have the surgery the day after I got back. I won't even go into my hospital stay---What a hot mess!!

I didn't tell a lot of people my diagnosis. My tight circle of friends knew and my family. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me or say something awkward because truly, what do you say in the situation--sorry you have a sickness where you are going to lose all your hair and energy, feel like shit for awhile and be in a situation for the better part of a year that changes everything in your life? They don't make a Hallmark card for it, I looked:) I had cancer and I wasn't going to die. Just needed some time to get through my issues and deal with myself. For the next 6 months, I went to chemo every two weeks, and then had radiation for 17 sessions. I would take chemo every day to not have radiation--it is the worst!!

October 2012, I was finally put in remission and my chemo port was removed. This little cancer spell was behind me.

I was very lucky, my cancer was caught in the early stages and I had an awesome team of doctors--some are not that lucky, which is why I now raise money for LLS! They help people who are not Missy Bass. Those who don't have insurance and live in the metropolis of Richmond where cancer centers are cutting edge. Those who don't have friends and family who will take them to all their doctors appointment while they are going through treatment. It's these people that I want to help and with you, it's possible:)

This year I’m doing it because I’ve watched, Eleanor Brooks, a TRUE warrior battle her 4th time with cancer, and she’s only 11 years old! If that doesn’t make you want to give, cheer, join the cause-- I don’t know what will!! She is a Champion in my eyes and I can’t wait to share some of the AMAZING things we have in store for her! Seriously, I’m in awe of her, her family and their unwavering determination.

The walk is October 12th-Come join me:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What Is Light The Night and How To Get Involved

If you know me, you know that I participate in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's event, Light The Night, every year.. and this year is no different. Stay tuned for more information on the event I will be holding and fundraising for, but for now, here are some ways to get involved/ more information on the event itself. 

The Light The Night event is held every year by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It is a walk to build awareness of blood cancers and to raise funds for research and support for patients and their families. There are over 200 communities in North America that participate in this fundraising event each year. And you can be a part of one of them!

If you are wondering how you can get involved, there are many ways:



Choose a team or participant to donate to if you are unable to attend the event!



Create or Join a Team 

Search for an event in your area and join an existing team or create your own!

Get Your Company Involved 

There are many opportunities:
-Become a sponsor
-Create a retail campaign
-Join or create a national team: this is a great opportunity for companies that have locations across the nation.
-Join the executive challenge to compete with other companies to raise the most money

Random Acts of Light 

Retail Campaigns 

For more information, head to the website to learn more and start the process of getting involved to bring light to the darkness of cancer at

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Light The Night Kick Off Event

On Tuesday we kicked off the Light The Night Event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the Boathouse at Rockett's Landing. Together we are working to bring light to the darkness of cancer. As a survivor, I join them by forming my own team to fundraise and walk in the event, to "be the light". It is still a while in advance, but please mark your calendars to join me on Saturday, October 12th at Innsbrook North Shore Commons Lawn to walk alongside me and my team! There will be more information to come as the event gets closer but please save the date and stay tuned for more details to come! Thank you to everyone who joined me to kick off this awesome event. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ladies Night Happy Hour With 5 O'Clock Belles

You can never go wrong with a Ladies Night Out! This was such a fun time with some of my favorite fellow boss ladies at the 5 O'Clock Belle's Happy Hour event at Quirk and Bar Solita.
Check out the article here: 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Something In The Water... 2020?! Round two may be in the works!

Although, I have been in RVA for some time now, did you know that my hometown is Virginia Beach? The Something In The Water festival that happened over the weekend in the 757 was a major success and Pharrell himself has stated that if you missed this year, you may be able to make it to the next one, in 2020! Check out what he said for the Virginian-Pilot regarding the possibility of a second festival that would be scheduled for next year.

Monday, April 22, 2019

RMBA River Fest 2019

  • 02 May 2019
  • 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • American Legion 354: 4800 Welby Turn, Midlothian, VA 23113


  • Members receive a discounted rate. Thanks for your support!

   Join us on Thursday, May 2nd 2019  

for the RMBA River Fest!

Members $35.00  - Non Members: $45.00
*All beverages and food included in ticket price
* Tickets will be $45.00 at the door

LOCATION: American Legion Post 354
We will have a live band, a food truck and much more!

How to get there? Click here to view google maps

Meet our Sponsors!



This year we've opened up sponsorship

to all of our members and affiliates at one low price, here's what you get:

• 2 tickets to party
• Shout out on Social Media + Website (bring your business banner to event to be hung in main pavilion)
• Table to display products, flyers, merchandise, etc

Monday, April 8, 2019

Here’s what does (and doesn’t) drive mortgage rates (Reblogged from

If you’ve been on the edge of your seat watching mortgage rate gyrations in recent weeks, you’re not alone. Homebuyers and homeowners looking to refinance have sprung into action to take advantage of lower rates, which helps offset housing affordability challenges as home prices continue to creep up.
But why have rates moved sharply lower and, more broadly, what drives mortgage rate movements? The answers are slightly complex, but will make sense after we explore what does (and doesn’t) drive mortgage rates. Grab a seat for a quick crash course that could save you money on a new mortgage or a refinance.

1. It (sometimes) begins with the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve doesn’t set mortgage rates but, sometimes, their decisions can indirectly influence them. The Fed’s rate decisions typically impact shorter-term products, like credit cards or home equity lines of credit, says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. Meanwhile, mortgage rates move based on longer-term interest rates.
“It’s the longer-term outlook for economic growth and inflation that have the greatest bearing on the level and direction of mortgage rates,” McBride says. “Because mortgages are packaged together into securities and sold as mortgage bonds, it’s the return investors demand to buy these bonds that dictates the general level of mortgage rates.”
Mortgage rate levels are priced above that of the 10-year U.S. Treasury, considered by investors to be a risk-free investment The spread in pricing between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury reflects the risk that investors bear for holding those bonds, McBride adds.
“It may seem counterintuitive that 30-year mortgage rates are priced relative to yields on 10-year Treasuries,” McBride says. “But when these 30-year mortgages are packaged together into bonds, on average, they tend to pay out over a 10-year period as homeowners refinance, move or otherwise pay off their loans early.”

2. Economic conditions have a role in mortgage rates

What happens in the economy and, specifically, how those events impact investors’ confidence, influences mortgage pricing. Oddly, though, good and bad economic news have an opposite impact on the direction of mortgage rates.
“Bad economic news is often good news for mortgage rates,” McBride says. “When concern about the economy is high, investors gravitate toward safe-haven investments like Treasury bonds and mortgage bonds, pushing bond prices higher but the yields on those bonds lower.”
Good economic news — increases in consumer confidence and spending, positive GDP growth and a solid stock market — tend to push mortgage rates higher. That’s because the higher demand means more work for lenders who only have so much money to lend and manpower to originate loans, says Jerry Selitto, president of, an online mortgage lender.

3. That sleeping giant called inflation

Inflation is the prolonged increase in the pricing of goods and services over a period of time, and is an important benchmark when measuring economic growth. Rising inflation limits consumers’ purchasing power over time, and that’s a consideration lenders make when setting mortgage rates.Lenders have to adjust mortgage rates to a level that makes up for eroded purchasing power when inflation rises too quickly. After all, lenders still need to make a profit on the loans they originate, and that becomes more difficult when consumers’ buying power is diminished. Likewise, inflation is a consideration investors make in the prices they’re willing to pay for loans, and the returns they demand, on mortgages and other bonds they purchase on the secondary market.
4. Origination costs (so lenders can keep the lights on)
A key consideration lenders make when pricing home loans is the cost of originating said mortgages. That includes tasks such as running a credit check, underwriting, checking title and the many other steps a lender must take to process a loan.
Tighter lending regulations implemented after the 2007 housing crash have cut into lenders’ profits as they’ve changed their systems to comply with new regulations, Selitto says. That’s pushed the cost of originating mortgages higher. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the cost to originate a mortgage rose to $8,611 per loan, up from $8,174 per loan the previous quarter, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s a steep increase over the production costs of $6,224 per loan that lenders averaged from 2008 to 2018.
“In setting prices, lenders have to look at the cost of origination and decide what margins they want above those costs,” Selitto says. “The more efficient a manufacturer of mortgages can be, the more competitive they are on pricing.”

5. Your financial and credit picture

Lenders have to ensure you can repay your mortgage, and they do that by assessing your risk of default. Lenders pay close attention to your debt-to-income, or DTI, ratio, and your credit score. Your DTI ratio is the sum of all of your monthly debts (including the new monthly mortgage payment) in relation to your gross monthly income.
Generally, the higher your DTI ratio, the riskier you appear (on paper) to a lender — and the higher your interest rate will be. As a general rule of thumb, conventional lenders want to see your DTI ratio stay below 43 percent, but some loan programs will consider borrowers with a DTI ratio as high as 50 percent.
Your credit score is another indicator of your ability to manage debt and pay bills on time. Borrowers with a lower credit score pay higher interest rates and have more-limited loan options if their credit is less-than-stellar.
As mortgage rates fall, your DTI ratio falls, too, because a lower rate will drop your monthly mortgage payment, which is included in your DTI ratio calculation. As a result, you could afford to buy more house, Selitto says.

Bottom line

When demand for mortgages surges, lenders may have to account for the spike in demand — and the processing costs involved — by hiking mortgage pricing. Likewise, when demand is flat or falls, lenders have to adjust pricing to attract business and keep the lights on, Selitto says.
Mortgage rates are always a moving target. They change hourly, daily and weekly, and are difficult to time perfectly. If you’re weighing a home purchase or refinance, it’s a good idea to shop with multiple lenders to compare mortgage rates and find out when you should lock in your loan.
Contact me to figure out everything you need to know on mortgages and loans in the Richmond area. I know mortgages, loans and I know #RVA!

Written and posted by by Deborah Kearns on April 8, 2019