"Tough times go away, tough people do not."- Walter Payton
On September 1, 2017, my mom, Sally Poremba, was given her unexpected cancer diagnosis. She was told that she has a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. For my football loving mama, known as Gridiron Granny, she recognized this as the same cancer that Walter Payton himself had. Life has been different since September 1st. It is easy to get yourself down and sucked into the negativity of a cancer diagnosis, especially one with statistics like cholangiocarcinoma. There was no time or patience for that kind of attitude from my mom. She took this beast of a cancer on at full force and has been showing it who is boss since diagnosis. For those of you who know her, you'd expect nothing less.
As her daughter, I felt the need to take some sort control of something that I was completely out of control of. That is when I decided to lace up my distance running shoes again and channel my energy into a positive cause. The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF)’s mission is to find a cure and improve the quality of life for those affected by cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). Founded in 2006, in Salt Lake City, UT, by a family member who lost a loved one to cholangiocarcinoma, CCF has grown to become a leading U.S. (and increasingly international) resource in research, education, and public awareness. To help raise funds for this foundation along with the help of some amazing friends and family, we decided to run the San Diego Marathon/Half Marathon on June 3, 2018. Steve Garrity, JP Garrity, Maggie Garrity, John Conley, Kersten Honeycutt, Matt Schoen, and Teryn Schoen, THANK YOU! Let us run together with endurance the race that is set before us. Together, we will push through, be stronger, and come out victorious in our battles just like my mom, the mighty Salpo, the inspirational cancer warrior!
Seize every day and do something worthwhile with it. As the late, great Walter Payton once said, "Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one." Each day we have is a blessing. It is a time to be spent with the people we love, doing what we love, inspiring one another, and steering clear of the negativity that brings us down. When the poison known as cancer affects someone that you love, that inspires you, that is a crucial component in your daily life, you have to take that life changing negative and do something positive with it. There is no other option. The time has come to educate, empower, and raise awareness. We are too positive to be doubtful, too optomistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.