Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! On July 27th - July 28th, I will be running the 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Ultramarathon. For those of you who are new to running or for those of of you who could not care less about running but are curious, an ultramarathon is any distance farther than a marathon (26.2 miles). For this race, I will be running the San Francisco Marathon backwards then forwards for a total distance of 52.4 miles. This event is intended to be an epic fundraising event whereby only 100 runners will be participating. I am humbled and honored to be one of the them.
For those closest to me, you are likely familiar with my story. In 1999, at the age of ten years old, I was diagnosed with a Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma of the Optic Nerve - a slow-growing benign brain tumor located in a very sensitive part of the brain. Luckily, due to my amazing team of doctors, my symptoms were alleviated through several intensive surgeries as well as the insertion of a Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt ("VP Shunt") to alleviate hydrocephalus, or simply, excess spinal fluid in the brain.
Although I lost all of my vision in my left eye as well as the peripheral vision in my right eye - due to a damaged optic nerve - I was forever grateful to be alive.
I look back at that experience as a true blessing in disguise. It afforded me the opportunity to gain an invaluable trait that not many come to appreciate until much later in life, if at all, which is perspective. No matter how hard life gets, no matter what obstacles life throws at me, I know that I can, and will, overcome those obstacles as I know that any challenge thrown my way will most certainly pale in comparison to what I faced during that time.
I am extremely fortunate. I have gone onto accomplish many unthinkable tasks in my life from obtaining my bachelor's and law degrees from great universities to working at some of the top companies in finance. I also discovered running.
Running is an outlet for me. A place to escape the normal stresses of life and the hectic pace of living in New York City. It is also a form of active meditation where I can reflect on where I have been and where I intend to go. Most importantly, running affords me the opportunity to be grateful every single day for everything and everyone in my life.
While I have competed in multiple marathons and ultramarathons, my goals are far from your typical endurance athlete. I don't run for time. I don't run for accolades, medals, or recognition. I run for those that cannot run. I am one of the fortunate children who was given a second chance at life. I will never understand why or how I was chosen to receive this second chance, but I promised myself that I would make the most out of every single day. I wake up every day knowing that there are children out there far worse off than I was and that their families are enduring things that words can simply not express. I run for them.
Please help me support the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation by contributing to my fundraising efforts. Any amount goes a long way. If you are unable to lend monetary support, your thoughts and prayers for the children and their families go a long way and are equally as important.
Thank you in advance for any donations, prayers, and thoughts. I promise that I will not let you down!
All the best,
The mission of CBTF is to improve the treatment, quality of life and the long-term outlook for children with brain and spinal cord tumors through research, support, education, and advocacy to families and survivors. CBTF is the national leader in Quality of Life services to children, families, and survivors of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. They work across the country to help families who are facing brain or spinal cord tumor diagnosis and work closely with survivors through young adulthood – because everyone deserves a meaningful and productive life. They host summer camps, weekend gatherings, and online chats and meetings, among many other efforts. They also support research into the causes and treatments of brain tumors – all with a goal of providing real answers and genuine hope. Please contact Kayla Giacin at email@example.com for more info and to register.