Last year, I ran the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in honor of my beloved Aunt Pat, as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live this life, and as a way to help others living with the reality of cancer: not just the physical and emotional aspects, but the very real financial burdens it can place on a person and on a family.
I couldn't have imagined that this year, I'd have another equally close-to-home reason to run. As I write this on December 17th, 2018, my uncle and godfather, George, is in the homestretch of the 100-day post-stem cell transplant period to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a rare blood cancer. He received these donated cells from my Uncle Erik, his youngest brother, who ran last year.
So many friends donated to my Uncle George's GoFundMe to help defray the costs associated with living in Boston for the post-transplant period (and the costs associated with not being able to work for some time thereafter.) The generosity was overwhelming and humbling and my family will always be grateful for that outpouring of love and kindness.
The Celebrate Life Half Marathon similarly raises money for cancer patients undergoing treatment who cannot pay for the things that insurance won't cover...transportation to treatment, insurance copays, groceries while they can't work. Every penny they raise goes directly to people. No overhead, no admin costs.
This year I'll be running the entire half marathon (last year I ran it as a relay.) I run for Pat and George. I run for my Uncle Mike. For the other friends and family who have been affected by cancer: there are, sadly, too many to name. I run for YOUR mom, sister, uncle, grandfather, best friend...I run because I can. If you have the means and the will, your donation is appreciated.