Less than a week till the race!
September 20, 2017
BENEFITING: STILL KICKIN
ORGANIZER: STILL KICKIN
EVENT DATE: Oct 01, 2017
I am so honored to be able to represent Still Kickin in the Twin Cities 10 Mile for the second year on Oct 6. Still Kickin has really spoke to me during the past seven years and continues to motivate me to be a better person. After running for Still Kickin last year, I proactively reached out and have been managing their volunteers and events. In August of 2018, I was extremely honored to be asked to join the Still Kickin Board of Directors. This has been a dream of mine to become engaged at this level.
My passion for this organization started as I have had had two immediate family members and a co-worker’s husband affected by brain cancer. I am running this race for the two survivors and my grandpa, who I know is still with me.
In May 2010, my Grandpa Wayne was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly malignant (cancerous) tumor. This is the most dangerous and aggressive form of cancer, but through it all Grandpa did not stop fighting! Upon his diagnosis we were told it was inoperable, so Grandpa moved on to plan B, which was driving 30 minutes each way every day for 40 treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. We made a paper chain to count down and Grandpa ripped off each link with a smile. Never once during this fight did he complain, blame God or lose his faith - instead he cherished the time with his family. We lost Grandpa on Oct. 28, just five months after his diagnosis. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t motivate me to enjoy life, cherish moments, be true to myself, and always work hard.
After losing Grandpa, I hoped to never have to say the phrase brain cancer again - if I could only be so lucky. In May 2016, Clint and I received an early-morning call that his mom, Pam, had had a seizure. After many tests, I heard the word again - Pam had been diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, another form of brain cancer. Our options were limited: either do nothing and have months to live or opt for a 12-hour brain surgery. Pam being the fighter she is elected the surgery. Afterward she had two weeks of physical therapy away from home where she had to teach herself to walk and other basic tasks all over again. These were met with a smile and a joke that she wanted to be the first one to pass her tests. Pam’s recovery continued to be a rollercoaster- she completed over 40 treatments of radiation and chemotherapy appointments with no complaints or feeling sorry for herself. Despite adverse reactions to the pills and having to be back in the hospital for two weeks due to meningitis, Pam inspires us all with her courage. For the past two years her scans have been clean and she continues to focus on regaining her strength. She embodies the motto “Still Kickin.”
Please help me honor these individuals by your donation, knowing that a little bit creates that culture of support to get us through anything!
STILL KICKIN wrote -
Inspired by Aaron Purmort’s life and death and favorite tee shirt, Still Kickin celebrates a Still Kickin Hero every month, telling their story of struggle and resilience and sharing the profits from online sales and charity workouts around the country.
Most Americans don’t have $500 to cover an unexpected emergency, and unexpected emergencies always cost you more than $500: they can decimate you financially, and crush you spiritually.
That’s where we come in.
Each month, our board selects a Still Kickin Hero—usually nominated through our website— and chooses based on their story, need and alignment with the Still Kickin way of life. Past Heroes include: Dave Baker, a runner with Huntinton's Disease who was also homeless; Roshee Cryer-Greene, a mother who escaped a cycle of drugs and abuse to provide a better life for her children; and Darth Vader (yes, his real-legal name), a veteran, single father with leukemia who spent this last year running 31 half marathons, 22 tough mudders, 1 full marathon and 1 full triathalon... all while needing to have his leg amputated.
The amount given to the Still Kickin Hero depends on how much we’re able to raise through workouts and merchandise sales.
It’s not just about money. It’s about being seen, sharing the struggle and harnessing the collective energy of a compassionate group of people who care enough to help a stranger through the hardest days of their life.