Running for Them
Oct 14, 2010
I ran a 1/2 marathon in Ashville, NC, on September 18th! It took me 2hr 34min 24sec. After running the 1/2 marathon (13.1miles), it really became clear to me that I'm not running this marathon in Disney for myself - I'm definitely doing it for those who can't run!!
Please read my story below to see why I run, and why I've chosen to run 26.2miles!! :)
On December 18, 2008, I was having supper with some friends when I received a call from my mom. She was obviously trying to compose herself as she told me that she needed me to take my grandma to the nursing home to visit my grandpa the next day because she couldn't do it - she would be at the hospital while my Uncle Mike had surgery because he had just been diagnosed with cancer. They removed what they could, and we later found out that he had Anaplastic Cancer, which is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer you can get.
Within a month and a half, after radiation treatments, multiple procedures including a tracheostemy, and many prayers, Uncle Mike died as a result of his fast-spreading cancer. It was just too fast and too aggressive for the doctors to control. I will never forget that last month and a half. The times we shared with him having Christmas supper at my house, New Years lunch at his house, and then the time at the hospital before his death. He died on February 5, 2009, and I've never found a way to fully cope with his death (although I've found running to be a great release for me). It was so sudden, tragic, and just shocking that it was hard to process everything happening at once. To think that I've had such a hard time with it, I can't imagine what my cousin and aunt were going through during that time. The fear and pain they must have felt while watching their daddy and husband go through such a terrifying month and a half must have been heart shattering.
And then I think about Uncle Mike. He was such an amazing man - making things with his hands (through wood working, tatting, needle work, paper cutting, etc.) and sharing his treasures with other people - that it pains me to think that he had to go through this. Although I can't imagine what he was experiencing, thinking, and enduring through that final stage of his life, I do know that he wouldn't want us to give up after his death. If anything, his death taught me so much about loving people out loud and showing love to other people - even if we don't know them.
So, now I begin a journey run by love. A journey that will, in the long run, bring a lot of hope and encouragement to people suffering from blood cancers. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) provides services to blood cancer patients, and I've been given a great opportunity to help fund these services. By raising money while I train to run a full marathon, the LLS will be able to help even more blood cancer patients. My fund raising goal is set at $2,900, and I can't do it without you! But, with your help, we'll be able to fund services such as a buddy/mentor program for new blood cancer patients, informational material for patients, encouragement and outreach services, and even the research to find cures for this tragic disease. With your help, my running can make a difference in many people's lives.
Uncle Mike's death was a defining moment in my life, and although I've struggled with it many times since then, I know that he is completely whole and healed now. He is a new creation, and that fact fills my heart with joy and hope. My hope is that through my running and your support, we'll be able to bring some hope to patients and families going through what Uncle Mike went through not too long ago.
Thanks for reading my novel! Please consider helping through a donation, and please feel free to pass this page along to your friends and family!
Running for them,
Will you join me in the race again blood cancers?
I can't do it without you!