As I have occasionally posted on this blog about my running exploits, the fact that I run should not come as a surprise to my readers. However, perhaps the idea of me (an average at best runner, certainly not the fastest, and generally considered recreational) running a marathon seems a little, well, insane.
Well, dear readers, I'm here to tell you that there are many times (during my 18-mile run last weekend, for example) that I would readily agree with you. But there is a huge reason why I keep getting up, lacing up my sneakers, and heading out on the trail, the road, or the treadmill, as the case may be.
That reason is that cancer, particularly (to me) leukemia, sucks.
I will not rest until I have accomplished my goal of raising a significant amount of money to combat the types of horrible blood cancers that steal people's beloved family members in the blink of an eye.
People like my dad.
My father was a vibrant, energetic, active, kind, funny and loving man. He was an amazing dad. He worked hard, but he played hard too. My favorite memories of him include his booming laugh, the way you could hear from inside the house if he was swimming in the pool in the backyard, early morning fishing trips at the lake, and "stealing" popcorn from his bowl until he told me to go make my own.
The Christmas I after turned 16 wasn't much of a Christmas at all for my family. Dad wasn't feeling well at all, and he finally got a blood test that revealed, on Christmas Eve, that he had acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The doctors' prognosis was that if he survived the first three days, he would hopefully have three months to live. Unfortunately, he had the three-day variety, as the mutant cells attacked his lungs, and then his brain. We barely had a chance to absorb the news of his illness before he was just gone.
I run to prevent others from facing a harsh reality like that of my family. I run to hopefully help increase the survival rate of AML, and even find a cure for it someday. Someday others could develop this disease, but survive to watch their little girls graduate from high school and college, get married, earn master's degrees, and have children. My dad missed all of that, and I know he would have loved to have been there in the flesh, though I know he was with us in spirit.
I know some of you don't know me from Adam, but if you have any change to spare, I would really appreciate it if you could contribute to my fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They are dedicated to researching to find a cure for blood cancers, and they also help families afflicted by these diseases by offering them vital information on the diseases as well as available treatments and therapies so they can make their decisions with more confidence. Every penny over my goal of $1000 will go directly toward their research and patient outreach programs. Thank you to all of my angel donors who have pitched in thus far, and thank you to those who may be moved to donate now.
There is an opportunity to leave a message when you donate (and the donation may be made anonymously as well), and if you would like to share the name of a loved one who is a survivor or victim of cancer that you would like me to acknowledge on my race day jersey, please do so. I would be honored to add them to my list of honorees to which I am dedicating my run.
I will end this with the link to my fundraising web page. Have a look around, and really, even a dollar or two would be appreciated and would make a difference. Thank you!