IT! GIRL: LLS 2014 Woman of the Year nominee, Aime Dunstan, talks the “C” word and how she’s helping to end it

Aime DunstanPresident Barack Obama once said: “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.” It’s a powerful sentiment that Aime Dunstan (pictured above), President and Creative Director IT! EVENTS + MEDIA, understands all too well.

When she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a curable form of blood cancer that features a plethora of unpleasant side effects, the event planner, Palm Beach Entertaining co-author, and wife and mother of a now, 2-year-old son, made a simple decision: she wasn’t going to let this “speed bump” stop her from living the life she loved. While chemotherapy and modern medicine helped her become cancer-free, Aime credits the love, support, and generosity she received from family and friends for making the journey more bearable.

Aime book signing

Signing a copy of Palm Beach Entertaining: Creating Occasions To Remember, the entertaining tomeshe co-wrote with Annie Falk, Daphne Nikolopoulos, and Victoria Amory.

Now she has made an even bigger pledge: to build awareness and raise money to eradicate blood-related cancers. As a 2014 Woman of the Year nominee for the Palm Beach-area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Aime is working to raise $75,000 by the May 9th Grand Finale.. Whether it’s a monetary contribution (no donation is too small) or attending one of the philanthropic celebrations she has planned, Aime hopes, like the 44th President of the United States, you’ll try to do something.

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TruckStop event committee includes (from left to right): Averill Conley, Lindsey White, Alyson Seligman, Lena Saturnini, Kym Bichon, Hallie Rosenthal, Ron Kerr, Terry More, Aime Dunstan, and Julia Duresky

Aime’s upcoming events include: TruckStop, a gastropub food truck event at Palm Beach Motor Cars (April 17); a donation yoga class at Power Tribe Yoga in Juno Beach (April 19); and a New York vs. Chicago Pizza Throwdown at Allora Pizzeria & Ristorante in North Palm Beach (May 3).

Aime can put a positive spin on anything – from her buzz-worthy soirees and stylish wedding to her gregarious outlook on life. Here, she talks about signature cocktails, sleeping late, and one of the advantages of having cancer (yes, she found one).

What the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) means to you:
LLS has so impressed me with the depth of their research, vital patient services and, most importantly, the personal attention they give to the survivors they work with every day. I have been truly humbled by the staff and supporters of LLS – their kindness and concern for those they serve is unmatched.

Advice to anyone who has just learned they have cancer:
There are thousands of forms of cancer and more than 200 kinds of blood cancer alone. Each disease has its own path and prognosis but I truly believe in the power of the human mind to keep the body going. Maintaining a positive attitude and willing the treatment to medicate the body to the best of its ability versus fighting against it was key to my survival.

Advice to their families:
Everyone is different, but I didn’t want to be treated like a cancer patient. I appreciated my husband taking on the lion’s share of the responsibilities in our household without making a fuss about what was a major lifestyle change, and simply treating me like I was still a woman. His wife.

Worst part about having cancer:
Facing mortality.

Best part about having cancer:
Saving on laser hair removal!

How you stay healthy with your busy schedule:
I love fresh juices from Field of Greens in West Palm Beach and the kale wraps and seafood selection at the Amici Market lunch counter are healthy, delicious, and reasonably priced. At home, we limit dairy, stay away from processed foods, and buy organic or hormone-free products whenever possible.

Favorite part of being a mom:
Having a reason for living that’s greater than myself.

Best part of owning a business:
Having a creative outlet is key to my survival, but I’m also a detail maniac. Being able to balance both sides of my brain while pursuing my passion, growing incredible relationships, and supporting my family is incredibly rewarding.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 5.56.56 PMWhat would you buy if you won the lottery:
A waterfront cottage in Sag Harbor designed by Katherine Shenaman Interiors (she’s the best!) and a white 1997 Land Rover Defender to daytrip to the beach.

Something not even your BFF knows about you:
I am petrified of bees. I’m also totally obsessed with the reality show, Flipping Out, and I love Pearl Jam!

Define a perfect day:
Whether I’m in Palm Beach or Southampton, I love sleeping late, hitting the farmer’s market then grabbing a healthy lunch before hitting the pool or the beach with my husband and son. A great book and a little afternoon rosé never hurt either.

If a cocktail was named after you, what it would be called:
The #TEAMAIME signature cocktail is “The Cure” and is made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Onli‘s unsweetened, calorie-free hibiscus strawberry sparkling water.

Favorite place to wine and dine:
My culinary pub crawl would definitely include guacamole and a Cadillac Margarita at Rocco’s Tacos; charcuterie, fromage and rosé at Pistache; and lamb sliders with Laurent Perrier bubbles at Buccan. After dinner, it’s all about Daniel Boulud’s “New Old Fashioned” cocktail at Cafe Boulud.

PHOTO CREDIT:

Lead photo of Aime Dunstan courtesy of Jessica Lorren Photography

Book-signing photo courtesy of LILA PHOTO

Truckstop photo courtesy of Lucien Capehart Photography

 

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