In 2018, I ran the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in honor of my beloved Aunt Pat, whose loss was still fresh and raw and shocking. In 2019, it seemed surreal to be running it while my Uncle George, her brother, and my godfather, was fighting his own battle against MDS, a rare blood cancer. I ran through the snow and slush in 2019 with determination, foolishly believing I could will his good health and healing if I just kept going. When he passed away in May, just a few months later, I found myself adding anger to all of the other feelings I had had when my aunt passed away. In the way that life sometimes shows you why clichés exist, I also learned many things from their deaths. I was reminded that people are generous, as I watched them donate to the GoFundMe that helped my uncle's family navigate expenses not covered by insurance. The generosity was overwhelming and humbling and my family will always be grateful for that outpouring of love and kindness. I was reminded that so many are suffering from the illness and loss of loved ones, and that it's far too easy to overlook their suffering, until it's your own. I was reminded of the abundance of love in my life by the kind words and hugs, and the understanding of so many. The Celebrate Life Half Marathon raises money for cancer patients undergoing treatment who cannot pay for the things that insurance won't cover: transportation to treatment, insurance copays, groceries and rent while they can't work. The stress and burden of maintaining the everyday necessities make the stress and burden of fighting for one’s life that much harder. Every penny raised goes directly to people, no overhead, no admin costs. This year I'll be running the entire half marathon for the second time (the first year I ran it as a relay.) As I did last year, I will run for Pat and George. I will run for my Uncle Mike who was only alive in photos for me. For the staggering number of my very dear friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one from cancer in the last year. I’ll run for YOUR mom, sister, uncle, grandfather, best friend. I’ll run to have that acute experience of being alive that only running can give. Last year I raised $1,560, an amount I hope to surpass by raising $2,020 for this new year. If you have the means and the will, your donation is appreciated.