Officially a Marathoner! Thank you Donors!
October 22, 2017
I have committed to running the Marine Corps Marathon (yes, all 26.2 miles!) on October 22nd and to raising money to support The Children’s Inn at NIH while doing it. I’m running to make childhood possible for the kids who stay at The Inn and to recognize that their commitment to advancing biomedical research can blaze the trail for adult treatments too.
I’ve run quite a few ten milers and a couple of half marathons, but I’ve never attempted to run this far—and I’ve never previously wanted to try. I’m also a professional fundraiser, but haven’t typically raced to raise funds for any particular cause. So, why run this far? And why now?
There are probably a lot of factors that led to my decision, but here’s what it comes down to: I’m running to help make the promise of treatment or a cure possible for the more than 1,500 children who stay at The Inn each year while receiving treatment at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in honor of the many adults who benefit from the medical research funded or conducted by NIH each day, including my dad who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and and my mother-in-law Karen who recently passed away.
My dad’s diagnosis was totally unexpected and he faces a rough road ahead, but his spirit and his determination are inspiring. His short term goal is to meet me at the finish line in October. We’re going to do everything we can to get him there- and then some. My dad’s medical journey is assisted by support for medical research - the very work that happens on the NIH campus and that NIH funds nationwide.
As many of you know, Doug’s mom Karen recently passed away. She was a lovely person, who raised two amazing children and was a devoted grandmother (shout out to Doug, my SIL Beth and Zach!), all while surviving cancer three times, receiving dialysis nightly at home, partaking in immunotherapy treatments and losing mobility in her legs- to name just a few of her many ailments. Her persistence was undoubtedly a testament to her personality and strength, and my father-in-law’s incredible care, but was also fueled by many medical advancements and clinical trials that are at the core of what NIH does.
The children and families that I meet each day at The Inn are as brave and committed as my dad and Karen to giving life their all. In most cases, they are seeking their last best hope for a cure—even if their participation in a clinical trial may not yield results for many years. Advancements in immunotherapy, treatment of pediatric HIV and AIDS, asthma, transplants and cancer are just a few examples of the kinds of groundbreaking research that can take place when children and their families can stay for free at The Inn while participating in clinical trials.
Everyone deserves to raise a happy healthy child and to have a dad or mom and grandpa or grandma like my dad or Karen in their lives, for as long as they can.
So am I nervous and scared? Yep! Am I maybe a little bit crazy? Sure! But, am I committed? You bet! If my little 26.2 mile run and fundraising can help achieve these goals, I’m Inn (yes, pun intended).
I hope you’ll help me along the way. My official goal is to raise $600, but I’d love to see if I could raise double.
Thanks so very much for your support,