April 20, 2016
BENEFITING: TargetCancer Foundation
ORGANIZER: TargetCancer Foundation
EVENT: 2016 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 18, 2016
When I announced that I would be representing TargetCancer Foundation at the Boston Marathon, I mentioned I would provide some updates along the way. I figured now would be a good time since I just wrapped up week 5 of my 16 week training program. I'm ecstatic that mother nature has been extremely nice and I'm hoping she continues to be as nice through April 18th! The weather has allowed me to get up and hit the pavement at 4:30 and clock anywhere between 4-6 miles outside before work (which is so much better than on the "dread-mill" like we were forced to do last year!) and enjoy my long runs on the weekend! I've hit close to 100 miles so far and I feel great! All the support and encouraging messages I have received mean so much to me. It keeps me focused and moving especially on days when I'm not feeling so well myself. On those days, I think of everyone I know fighting cancer, I lace up my dawgs, and run my heart out. EVERY dollar I raise will go directly to rare cancer research. TCF has made a real impact and it's an honor for me to represent them at their 2nd Boston Marathon! Thank you so much. xoxo
Last April, I was exceptionally honored to run my first Boston Marathon representing TargetCancer Foundation (TCF)! The whole experience was surreal and I still talk about it months later. I never believed the opportunity to run Boston would have been presented to me but last December, I received an email from TCF announcing their exciting news - they had received 2 numbers for Boston and were looking for runners to form their very FIRST Boston Marathon Team. I thought it was a long shot but I immediately downloaded the application and poured my heart into why it would be a privilege for me to run on their behalf. I'll never forget the day the news was delivered that I had been nominated. I was shocked; I was ecstatic; I cried; I called my family and friends to tell them my awesome news and then all of a sudden it hit me - I have to run 26.2 miles in just 4 months! GULP!!! I quickly found a 16 week training program and embraced the challenge that was in front of me. My main goal was to notify as many people as possible about TCF and the remarkable progress they had made in 5 short years, and to my surprise, my experience became so much more than that.
I shared the battles my family face while fighting breast, thyroid and skin cancer as well as Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (a rare disease related to Leukemia and Lymphomas) and how helpless we intitally felt when we heard the news. Rather than cave and give into these obstacles, we realized WE had to be supportive and fight together to overcome these hurdles. My aunts, my sister, my uncle and my 11 year old cousin are hardcore fighters and fortunately, they are all survivors! I also disclosed my own personal health issues along with my endless doctor visits, treatments, tests, and the challenges I face on a daily basis. I was told by several Specialists that there was no way I could run distance, let alone complete a marathon. This lit a spark in me and made me run harder and longer. My motto became " Tell me I Can't and I WILL!" and I finished Boston and most recently, an ultra-marathon. Needless to say, I am beyond grateful and excited to have the opportunity to run Boston one more time, next April!
TCF promotes the development of lifesaving treatments for rare cancers with a main focus on cholangiocarcinoma and esophageal cancer. Paul Poth's mission was to find treatments for rare, untreatable cancers. Six short years later, TCF has made significant progress and their investment in cholangiocarcinoma has led to a new clinical trial that is testing the effectiveness of an existing FDA-approved treatment for leukemia against a specific sub-type of cholangiocarcinoma. Paul was the only person I had known with cholangiocarcinoma. However, since running the marathon and educating others about TCF, I sadly learned this rare cancer actually affects far too many people. I met several families who lost loved ones to cholangiocarcinoma and I gained friendships with several people currently fighting this horrific form of cancer. Their courageous and inspirational stories gave me the strength and motivation to train during the nasty winter months!
I am still speechless and incredibly thankful for all of the amazing support I received last year. It's unfathomable to me that as a team of 2 we raised over $36,000, of which every dollar went to rare cancer research! It was an eye-opening experience to realize it doesn't take millions of dollars to make a difference and to fund rare cancer research. It requires teamwork, awareness, contributions, and foundations like TCF to make a real impact. Please visit TCF's website below and read Paul's story. You will definitely find he was a selfless man who was passionate about life and his family.
I am once again honored to be part of this wonderful journey and I thank you all in advance for your generous contributions and support! It means everything to me. I'll share my progress along the way and let's hope Mother Nature is nicer to us this winter than last! :)