Running has always been a part of my life. Over the last 5 years, unfortunately, cancer has been too.
I am lucky. I recieved a diagnosis of level 4 malignant melanoma in April of 2014. I was training for my first marathon. I had one surgery, an amazing oncologist, huge support team and a hell of a lot of faith. My personal battle cancer with cancer ended with a huge scar on my left leg and a few less lymph nodes. When my battle ended - I joined the fight with DetermiNation.
On the day I recieved my official "cancer free" - I found out my grandmother was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I too vividly remember the details of the call where my dad told me. Over the next months, I watched her fight through endless radiation treatments and side effects. Saw her lose weight and physical strength but never lose hope. I saw the strength my mother had as she left her job to be my grandmother's full time caretaker. On the day my grandmother passed away, I stood by the bedside of the woman who raised me and held her hand. She continually struggled to try to tell us something, falling in and out of sleep, we reminded her there was nothing more that needed to be said but in a moment of clear conciousness, she sat up and the words were clear as day, "I love you." The days since her passing have not gotten easier, but I find peace in knowing she is no longer in pain.
Cancer continued to hit. Cancer took my grandmother and my uncle too soon. And in November of 2018, one of my dear friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn't help but ask why? Why her? She was an avid runner, healthy as can be, a great mother and the best person to sit next to at work every day. How did she have cancer? It wasn't fair. But I asked those questions, Courtney, she never did. She was so strong through everything. From diagnosis to surgery and through recovery, she never waivered. She just pushed through with admirable strength. She is my survivor, my dear friend, my hero - and that is why I am running the Love Run half marathon in honor of her.
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The Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon is the city’s premier, spring half marathon. Five years. Five Sell Outs to 10,000 half marathon runners. We have combined your love of running with all the great sights and sounds you love about Philadelphia. From the great swag, to the vanity bibs, to team challenges, to incredible Philadelphia themed finish food this is the one race that loves you back!