If you are wondering why I have been recently flooding social media with the #ChaseRuns the answer is multi-pronged. While it may be a not-so subtle remind for me to keep myself accountable to running more consistently, the more honest answer is to build top of mind awareness for a cause close to my heart.
My passion for running was reignited in conjunction with my desire to do anything and everything I could to be involved with furthering the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It drove me to complete my first half-marathon despite going through rehabilitation from a car crash. It inspired me to not worry about the double dry-socket infection from a wisdom tooth procedure and knock out a full marathon the following year. Why would anyone put themselves through this? Perhaps the better question, why talk about it if it was all voluntary?
Childhood cancer still impacts almost a quarter of a million kids a year. Running has become my connection to St. Jude and taking measurable strides in the fight against childhood cancer. The biggest thing that has stood out to me and to this day comes to mind when I see the St. Jude logo is that no family pays a bill. Ever. In the moments when families are processing some of the most traumatic news many of them will ever face, St. Jude makes sure that the financial impact is removed from the equation. This incredible feat doesn’t happen though without us collectively stepping up to build the backbone of this special organization.
For the last few years I’ve ran because the patient stories on KTTS during the Country Cares Radiothon have spoke to my heart. This year, I run for a more personal reason. I learned that someone I started to become closer friends with is a St. Jude survivor. As in, one of the reason we are able to watch Cardinals games or he’s able to make fun of my bench press is because of the life-saving research at St. Jude. I run this year because St. Jude saved my friend’s life and I didn’t even know it.
So I ask for your help in taking #ChaseRuns from more than just a silly Snapchat streak to an impactful way to continue the ever-so-needed work at St. Jude. Whether it’s $26 or $260, every penny goes to share more accomplishments, like increasing childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since St. Jude opened its doors 50 years ago. So please, help me help the kids.