Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Who I Am Running For

This was my final note sent to supporters and potential donors....


Hello, all –

Ten days from today, I will wake up at an obscenely early hour, apply temporary Team in Training tattoos to my face, smear temporary (I hope) purple dye in my hair, and put on my running clothes – including my purple race jersey covered with dozens of names. I will wolf down a bagel, if I can find one, and catch a bus to a staging area somewhere in the Seattle area. I will try to get a little rest in the pre-dawn darkness, and mentally prepare myself to start running and walking 13.1 miles.

Yes – I did say I will dye my hair purple, for my fundraising goal of $8,500 has been reached, thanks entirely to so many of you getting this update. But as we attempt to cure cancer, one mile and one dollar at a time, there is no harm in exceeding one’s goals. So if you have been meaning to donate all along, or if you are one of those folks who said “I’ll donate later, just remind me,” then this link is for you:

Every time I do Team in Training, I write the names of cancer survivors, and of those deceased from cancer, all over my race shirt. You can see a list of my 2010 honorees here:

If I were to tell you something about every one of them, this note would be many pages long, for they represent the stories of so many people with cancer. A college girl whose friends took her out to celebrate her last birthday – thirteen birthdays ago. A two year old boy who died from leukemia last year. A man about my age who is fighting late stage leukemia as we speak. A boy stolen from his parents by leukemia at 15. A young pregnant woman battling Hodgkin lymphoma while carrying her child to term. A ten week old baby who developed leukemia but survived after several years of horrific treatments. A woman who, forty years ago, was the only person in her clinical group at St. Jude’s to survive a type of leukemia that is now over 90% curable. They are brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, friends and cousins – and beloved pets!

The first name I will write on my shirt is that of my sister, Ann, who is in the fourth year of battling a relentless metastatic breast cancer. I think of her every single day, and pray that she will be more relentless than her cancer.

Finally, I am running for anyone who may have cancer and needs a little hope and encouragement that they will survive and be healthy again. Eight years ago, I was in their shoes, and now I am a three time marathoner and soon to be two time half marathoner. If I can in some way inspire someone else who is currently ill to keep their chin up, fight to get better, stay positive, and maybe someday be motivated to do something to make a difference in the world, then I can ask for no better outcome from my experience.

I deeply appreciate all the support for this cause from so many of you. Finishing the half marathon next week is something that I have to do with my own two legs. But hitting my ambitious fundraising goal, and turning my hair purple in the process: that is your accomplishment. So thank you for your generosity, which made reaching this goal possible!



inspiREDtorun13 said...


EllsworthME said...

Go Team! I can't wait to see the pictures after Seattle of the purple!