In 2016, we ran the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in memory of my aunt, Janet Marquez Flaum. She was supposed to be there cheering us on. (More likely she'd be telling us we were insane for signing up to run 13.1 miles, outside, in March, in Rock Hill, NY.) The universe had different plans though and we said goodbye to Aunt Janet in December, 2015. She wouldn't be waiting for us at the finish line of Celebrate Life , but there was no way we weren't doing it. Not a chance. Running this half marathon was our little way of honoring a funny, smart, and beautiful woman who we lost way too soon.
Training in 2016 was brutal. We laughed, we cried, and we cursed cancer. We ran on icy cold mornings and looked like the little boy in A Christmas Story the way we were bundled up some days. I suffered a hip injury and couldn't run for the month leading up to the event. We definitely cried some more and I'm fairly certain we laughed and cried and cursed at the same time. All the while telling ourselves that cancer sucked way more than anything we were experiencing during our training. Sure I was icing my hip with tater tots and green beans from my freezer, but that was nothing compared to what my aunt, and others with cancer, had to deal with with. Not even a little bit close.
2020 will be our 5th year participating in the Celebrate Life Half Marathon. This year, Taylor and Lauren will be doing the two-person relay. In years past, Rich and Carl have also participated. We run because deep down we kind of like running. A little bit. Some days. Maybe. We run to raise money for people and their families in Orange and Sullivan County who are living with cancer and need financial assistance for meals, transportation to treatment, co-pays, and other every day expenses. And we run to honor and celebrate an incredible woman who we miss like crazy. Every. Single. Day. Always on my mind and forever in my heart, Dit.
Celebrate Life Half Marathon honors, remembers, and celebrates those who have fought against cancer. It is a “Feel Good Race” in beautifully scenic (and hilly!) Sullivan County. What money is raised by the race is donated; there are no overhead or admin expenses; 100% of the proceeds go to assisting cancer patients in treatment and their families in Orange and Sullivan Counties. These people- our friends, neighbors, colleagues- are fighting for their lives. These grants help alleviate some of the financial stress so they can focus on kicking cancer's ass! Please consider giving what you can. Every single dollar helps someone fighting the fight!