Run Cancer Run

I didn’t know what a phone stack was so I googled… What a great idea! http://ow.ly/8OMDp

If you are one of my donors you have already read this: New blog post Running a marathon and fighting cancer… http://ow.ly/7h5xV

I recently sent this email to all of those who supported my run for the MMRF through their donations.  I thought others might like to read my thoughts about my marathon experience.

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of my donors one more time.  The final number for money raised for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation was $2800.00!!  That is more than $100 for each mile of the marathon!  Way to go everyone!! We also learned that the total amount of money raised by the entire Chicago Marathon MMRF team was over $125,000.00!  All of this is very exciting, so glad I could be a part of this and all of you were there with me!

Before the run on Sunday we had a chance to meet others who had raised money for the MMRF.  There were some amazing stories.  Including one man who had come through his second Stem Cell transplant in March, and ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  A doctor who was inspired to do something for his patients.  Sisters who were walking through treatments with their middle sister.  A man who was running in memory of his father in law.  A team of researchers who were running to continue the research they have been doing for Multiple Myeloma.  Many sons and daughters running to extend the lives of their mother or father.  It was a great uplifting moment to share with people who knew all too well what our family has been experiencing the last 15 months.

The marathon was an amazing experience.  I am so thankful for your support and prayers getting me through it all.  For a long time, I have said that I wanted to do something that communicated my support for my mother and her fight against Multiple Myeloma.  But it was not until the actual marathon that I realized that running a marathon would change my life and perspective on what my mother is going through.  It has been said that running a marathon mirrors what it is like to journey through cancer treatment.  At the start, you have a plan, you feel good about your plan and you have cheerleaders who have supported you and rally around you to get you started down the path.  You feel like you can conquer the world.  Nothing can stop you.  Midway through the race, you realize you still have a long way to go, but it seems so far and maybe impossible to do.  Negative thoughts, aches and pains really become the enemy and a challenge to combat mentally.  Then for the last quarter of the race,  the crowd becomes thinner.  Your closest family and friends are still there but the path becomes a little more lonely and harder.  You are left to your prayers and will to get you through.  You are so close to the end but still so far away.  The miles seem longer, fatigue has set in.  And then you finally see the finish line, and you realize that you are FINALLY about to celebrate the end of the journey.  You are a finisher, with the medal to prove it.  And now, as mom’s stem cell transplant begins, we feel like we are in those last few miles.  They are sooooo long, it is sooooo hard.  But I know that mom has the determination to be a finisher.  And we will be there at the finish line to celebrate with her.
Thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement.  If all goes well, I will join another MMRF endurance challenge in the future.  For now, much needed rest!!

I wanted to take an opportunity to brag on the Multiple Myeloma Research foundation.  If anyone out there is looking for a charity to run and raise money for, the MMRF is one of the best.  In the fundraising process there are often expenses.  Some of those expenses are purely administrative and therefore unavoidable, some are expenses that take away from the money actually raised.  Some charities rent big tents for the event, some pay for airfare and other expenses.  The MMRF is not one of these.  I feel comfortable raising money for an organization that puts 90% of the money raised to work for research for the incurable blood cancer.

If anyone feels moved to do an endurance event, running, biking, or triathlon, check out the MMRF.  It is really a worthy charity and is making a huge difference in the lives of patients living with Multiple Myeloma.

http://www.themmrf.org/donate-now-take-action/join-an-event/

Today we really tried to stay off our feet. We took a river cruise with an architectural tour of Chicago- a great way to see the city while sitting on our kiesters. Then we has appetizers with the entire Chicago MMRF team. It was a very inspiring few hours! After that we found a pasta place for carboloading. Before heading to bed tonight we met with our aunt and cousins who are. Coming to cheer us on tomorrow. And now we try to sleep, something that we gave been assured will not happen. We have an early get up in the morning. Our next activity is all we have been working toward for the last few months. Next stop, the starting line!!

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The whole reason for my run started in July 2010, when my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. This rare and incurable blood cancer changed our lives forever. I watched as my mother fought this fight for all of us, while I was helpless to do anything. Then one day in December, I saw an interview of Kathy Guisti discussing how the MMRF has extended the outcomes for Multiple Myeloma patients. At the same time, I was watching several of my friends on Facebook complete marathons. I spent a sleepless night praying and thinking about the MMRF and the endurance events they run to raise money. I struggled with the idea of 26.2 miles. It was overwhelming, but I kept coming back to the thought that mom doesn’t have a choice in her challenges, she has to face them head on. I felt strongly that 26.2 miles was the only distance that I could consider. And so then I made the commitment, and I have not looked back since. These are the things that I will keep in mind tomorrow as I face the 26.2 miles ahead of me. I can’t quit, because mom can’t quit.
So as of last night, I have raised $2,555 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. My sister has raised $2255. A number that I never could have imagined back when the idea of running to raise money was first hatched. All thanks to God for inspiring everyone to give. And I pray that the money will advance the search for a cure.

Day 2 was spent carboloading, walking, and learning.
The city has come alive with runners. You can identify them by their technical fabric clothing and comfy walking shoes. We started the day with a little walk ending at Nike Town, where we picked up the shuttle to the health and fitness expo to pick up our bibs and timing chips. The expo was fun, and we learned some things to help us through Sunday. A fun surprise was the Nike wall with every single runner’s name on it. We found our names and got a poster that matched. The names on the poster are so little that you pretty much need a magnifying glass to read them. We ended the day pretty lazily with dinner and early bedtime. Day 2 in the books.

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Run Cancer Run

Interested in my journey? Please check out the "About" page and my first post: https://runcancerrun.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/am-i-crazy-maybe/