Running with a Purpose
Jun 03, 2014
Imagine being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 33 years of age while 19 weeks pregnant.
This became a reality for my friend Nella (Zinni) Smolinski. Nella and I have been friends since middle school. She is a mother to 6 beautiful children and has a wonderful, supportive husband. While pregnant with her 6th child, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She underwent chemotherapy throughout her pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby girl. Nella was in remission for 6 months, but unfortunately the cancer returned. She now faces months of high dose chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Nella has become an inspiration to many through her blog “Is There a McDonalds in Heaven?” She documents her incredible fight against cancer with dignity, strength, and an honest sense of humor. She is a strong woman and wonderful role model whose spirit resonates in me and uplifts my soul.
I want to dedicate my NYC Marathon run (Novemeber 2, 2014) to my friend, Nella. My hardest run will never compare to the emotional and physical pain she has to endure each and every day. In her honor, I’m raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team in Training.
The LLS is a national organization that raises money to help fund research in an effort to discover a cure and also ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. Nationally, patients benefit annually from generous contributions made by the LLS.
Please support my fundraising efforts to honor this incredible woman who faces a tough road ahead. It’s our turn to raise her spirit and strengthen her soul, as she has done for so many.