BENEFITING: CELEBRATE LIFE HALF MARATHON
EVENT: Celebrate Life Half Marathon
EVENT DATE: Mar 11, 2012
I've known several people, close to me who have passed away from various types of cancer. But what hit me the hardest was losing my sister just recently on 12/20/2011. She originally was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005, which they were able to treat and actually get rid of with chemo and radiation. The downfall was the treatment caused another type of illness called Secondary Mylodeplastic Syndrome, which is (in a nutshell) pre-luekemia and affects the bone marrow (below is a link explaining her disease in further detail). She went in for a stem-cell transplant on October 19, 2011 and had numerous complication, rejected the transplant and contracted several lung infection, one called CMV, whiich is what ultimately one of the 4 main things that caused her to pass away. One thing I want to meantion about my sister is that she loved to run. She ran cross-country and she ran track since 5th grade. So she made me promise her to keep running, for me and for her. To not give this up. In honor of her, I am running this run and I will continue to run! This has been one of the most devastating losses in our lives in 10 years.
Here is a link about my sister's illness if you were interested to know more: http://marrow.org/Patient/Disease_and_Treatment/About_Your_Disease/MDS/Myelodysplastic_Syndromes_(MDS).aspx
See 10 years ago we lost my cousin, Lacy Beasly, to Ewing Sarcoma cancer which was a horrible death. She as well as Tara suffered greatly. Tara suffered daily with constant pain, pain beyond what we could begin to imagine. While Lacy's ended with her life drowning in her lung fluid. Two horrible deaths that our family has had to endure. This disease is treachurous and deadly and tiring and devastating. Its heartbreaking not only for the one's suffering, but for the families having to watch their loved ones go through it.
Finally someone who became one of my best friend, Rhesa Ferigno, left behind 4 beautiful little girls, and a husband to Hodgkin Disease. And that was a difficult thing to watch. When I met her she was terminal, so I was aware of the end results, but one is never prepared. Rhesa and I met when I was 18, so she taught me a lot about growing up and responsibility. This is when I found my passion.
I have another friend, who'll remain nameless, that has survived cancer, and she has been one of the best friends who helped me get through the worst parts of dealing with my sister's situation. She knows what its like, I suppose and she was able to identify and direct me how to keep it together and be strong when I needed to be strong and let the emotions out when it was appropriate. She was there for me every step of the way. It is people like that who know, who really know, how to help people like me. When my sister was really sick and we knew it was the end it was her that brought to the realization that I had to accept that fact. She taught me about hope when there was a time she might get better and I didn't have that.
I know several other people who are fighting cancer right now, who are in remission from cancer right now, and who have passed from cancer. This is disease of circustances. And these people are victims. The people left behind are victimeless, which is why I chose this title. It is such a sad and horrible disease and I cannot understand why such good people who all of a sudden are stricken down with cancer. It makes no sense to me, but I guess it's not for me to understand. What I can tell you is that as a result of my sister's time I had with her a lot of changes occurred in my life, reconciliation of our family occurred, and time that I lost with her, I got back in a short amount of time. I miss her terribly and still wish she was here, but I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, her headaches are gone and she is with God.
One thing I will say, the good that came out of this whole experience, is that I got my spiritual life back. I lost my connection with God at 18 years old, and now at 35, my sister has helped to show me that God never gives up on us and we can come back at anytime! Running becomes one of those things that just gives me the strength to call on my sister and trust her and God that they will get me through what I start.
I want to end by my extending my deepest thanks to UCSD Thornton Hospital for the care they took of my sister, Tara Beasley. They treated her so good and did everything they could. Every unit she was on, ICU, IMU, BMT, and especially the Moore's Cancer Center took such great care of her and I know you all did the best you did to keep her alive as long as you could and keep her as comfortable as you could in her end days...and for that I will be forever grateful! Also to the Social Workers and Case Managers that were a part of her team and that helped me as well, thank you so much, I am forever endebted to you!