My friend Lesley died November 26, four weeks after her 48th birthday. She died of a particularly malevolent and rare form of cancer - Angiosarcoma. Although Lesley fiercely fought a battle against angiosarcoma for almost 4 years, her decline was swift. Angiosarcoma is one of the most aggressive cancers and has a dismal prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of only 30%. There is no cure for angiosarcoma nor any viable, sustainable treatments for remission. Because of its rarity, funding is scarce.
Lesley was a remarkable person - generous, thoughtful, beautiful, effervescent, talented and tenacious. Lesley was a mother, wife, lover, daughter, sister, artist, innovator, successful business-woman, a force to be reckoned with, a friend. She is missed by so many, each of us fortunate enough to have known her. Lesley had a way of bursting into your life and filling it full of color.
I took over a year's break from running after the NYC Marathon in 2016. After such an incredible experience, running became anti-climactic and the toll on my knees sidelined me. I am coming out of a self-imposed hiatus to run the NYC Half Marathon in March 2018 to raise money for Angiosarcoma Awareness (ASA), a patient driven, non-profit organization dedicated to finding answers through research. Initiated, organized, and founded by angiosarcoma patients, ASA is operated solely by volunteers who have the disease and by loved ones who have been affected by the disease.
I am also running in memory of Lesley. I have her to thank for motivating me to start running again, and to do so for a purpose. I am channeling my grief into raising money for ASA. It is so typical of Lesley to orchestrate a self-improvement project for a friend or loved-one, that I am not at all surprised that her influence and enthusiasm are so strongly felt even when she isn't by my side cheering me on.
Thank you for your support and generosity.