Thursday, March 24, 2011

Running for a Cause: Beating Cancer One Step at a Time

I've often times wondered why I have developed this passion that I have for Beating Cancer.  I am sure many of you have wondered the same.  This past month has been a vivid reminder for me as to why. 

Most likely, everyone who is reading this post has been affected in some way by cancer.  Either a family member or friend has battled it or you have done so yourself.  For me, I have been affected by this deadly disease on several occasions.  Two weeks ago I learned that my Paw Paw had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and that he had six months to two years to live.  We quickly learned that his time with us would be much shorter.  As I type this post, I anxiously watch my iPhone hoping that I do not receive the call from my Dad saying that he has passed.  He is in excellent care at the Wilson Hospice House in Albany, Ga and is resting comfortably in his last days.  I am sad that he will be leaving us soon but I am proud of the life that he has lived and the example that he set for me.

For me, this encounter with cancer is not the only time that I have seen a family member battle this hated disease.  At the age of twelve I watched by Grandaddy on my Mom's side lose the battle to lung cancer.  At the age of 16, I watched my Me Maw (My Dad's Mom) lose her battle with breast cancer.  Just a few short years ago I also watched my Aunt Jan lose her battle with breast cancer.  Finally, my Dad fought and won the battle with prostate cancer a few years ago.  That is a pretty long list of family members who have battled cancer.  I am sure that fact is why I am so passionate about beating cancer.

When I began running two years ago, I did it to get in shape.  As I got more involved in the sport I became addicted to the sport and it's culture.  One of the great things about runners is that many of them run for a cause.  Many of my running friends that I have either met in person or on twitter are passionate about specific causes and they run to support those causes.  Many run for autism, some to eliminate hunger, and others run to help cure different forms of cancer.  My passion is to cure childhood cancer but I also passionate about eliminating the disease all together.

Last year, I ran the St Jude Memphis Marathon as a St Jude Hero.  It was a humbling experience as many of us worked together to raise just over $2000 for St Jude.  After working with St Jude and getting so many people involved in the process, I wanted to take a break from fundraising until the Chicago Marathon this Fall.  After learning of my Paw Paw's condition I knew I couldn't wait that long. 

I will be running the Flying Pig Marathon on May 1st and I have decided to once again run my marathon for a cause.  My cousin, Addison Kidd and her friends at Rainbow Middle School in Rainbow City, AL have formed a Relay for Life Team.  I have joined their team and we are wanting to raise $2600 which obviously represents $100 for every mile that I run.  The kids at the school are going to be doing several things to help raise the funds but I felt like I could get many of the same people who helped with my last effort to help with this one.  I also believe there are many more out there who would be willing to give to such a great cause.

The great thing about Relay for Life is that they have a great avenue to donate.  If you would like to help, go to:

As I did with my St Jude Hero effort, I have started the giving by donating the first $120 which will cover the first 1.2 miles.  The rest, is up to you...

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