Four years ago my life changed in such an amazing way - I became Aunt TT, to this awesome little boy named Theodore. Since then, I was blessed three more times with Penelope, Athena, and Blake. These four healthy, wild, unique, goofy, full of life children have become four of the biggest joys in my life. I look at them, their determination, creativity and desire to explore new things and often wonder - who will they become and what will they do in the future? And I know I'm extremely lucky that's what I get to wonder. It then leads me to think about the children who are physically unable to run, play and explore, because they are battling something unforeseen, and something no parent can prevent.
I've seen firsthand what childhood cancer can do to a healthy body, and the strain it can put on a family. When I was 14 I lost a teammate, and a dear friend to childhood cancer - specifically Ewing Sarcoma. Like my nieces and nephew, she was unique, goofy, full of life and determined. She enjoyed exploring new things and she always knew what to say to brighten up my day on and off the field. She'd make you laugh till your stomach hurt. See that was her best trait - putting others first. In the midst of her biggest fight, the one for her life, she cared more about how those around her were doing.
I think, we each are lucky enough to have a few defining moments in our lives, where we can pinpoint "that person" or "that event" changed me as an individual. One of my special moments came in befriending Keegan in middle school. Our bus rides and practices for sports was a huge moment in defining the type of individual I wanted to become. At 27 years old, Keegan's caring nature, along with her drive and determination as a preteen, is something that still sticks with me, and something I've continued to integrate into my everyday life.
I'm choosing to run for more than myself. I'm choosing to run for the children that have a few more hurdles to jump through. I'm choosing to run for the parents that need a little extra help making sure their child gets the care they need, for the unexpected curve ball life threw their way. I'm using my running to help save kids' lives by fundraising for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as I train. I'm running for kids who might be too sick to run today, but who could one day be running alongside me because the money I raised helped find a cure for childhood cancer.
- Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food -- because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
- Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer.
Please donate and help me reach my goal!