This year, my sister, mom and I have decided to run the St. Jude Marathon in Nashville. This will be my 3rd marathon and my 2nd race with St. Jude. While training in the dead winter will be not-so fun, let me share with you why I have decided to run this race as a fundraising participant and why I run in general.
When I was in Jr. High, I met a girl named Kirbie. She had moved in to the house next door and we quickly became inseparable. Kirbie was special in that she had battled bone cancer as a child. While undergoing chemo, Kirbies heart started to weaken. Although she was living with this condition, we were still unstoppable. She was still able to do what all of us neighborhood kids could do, it just looked a little different. When we would play capture the flag, Kirbie and I would always guard the jail because it didn't involve a lot of running. And by guarding, i mean gossiping about the weird neighbors, talking about famous people, and texting each other with our Motorola Razrs. When we were not outside, we were at the movies eating nachos, shopping at the mall, or watching Reality TV. In 2007, Kirbie got the call for a new heart. As a kid, I didn't understand what everything meant, I just knew this meant Kirbie was going to get better. After the successful heart transplant, we were back together in no time. Because of the amount of recovery needed, Kirbie and I would spend hours and hours decking out our myspace page and top 8, creating a Facebook, and watching scary movies (our favorite was Anaconda LOL). About a year later our lives would forever be changed when Kirbie has a seizure on a family vacation. She was taken to the Children's Hospital in St. Louis and was unable to make a recovery. While on life support, I had the chance to visit her one last time with a group of friends to say one last goodbye. As I squeezed her hand, she squeezed back. I have to believe it was her telling me goodbye and that it was going to be ok. Kirbie left behind a legacy that still impacts me and many others today.
I am running this race in dedication to Kirbie, but also for all of the other children that share a similar story. That can't play in the yard, but still have hope. That have to be hooked up to machines, but still fight through the pain. Whose bedrooms have become hospital rooms. For the children that also have won their battle against cancer- but also for the ones we have lost. I started running for me, but now I run to offer it up for those who can't. It grounds me and really makes me appreciate my health. I know running a marathon is nothing compared to what these children face everyday, but I have to believe it makes a difference, even if it is a small one.
My goal for this Marathon is to raise $3,000. $3,000 will get a child 6 physical therapy sessions, 5 platelet transfusions, 7 chest x-rays, or an ultrasound study to monitor disease just to name a few things, but also so much more.
I will be doing a series of 3 fundraisers for this event!
1) Starting in February, We will be selling "St. Jude Hero" cupcakes at the bakery. 100% of the sales of this cupcake will go towards the fundraising goal.
2) I will be making and printing "I Run For..." T-shirts. Anyone who donates any amount will be able to get a the name of a loved one printed on the back that has been affected by cancer. On Race day, my sister and I will wear these shirts as we run so that we have can dedicate and offer up each mile to these people and will have them will us as we finish. If you are a business or want to be a Platinum sponsor, you can also sponsor this shirt with your logo for a $100 donation. They will be for sale starting in April.
3) In April, the bakery will be having a "St. Jude $2 Cupcakeathon" event and each cupcake sold will go towards the final goal. We will also be matching all donations that day up to $1,00!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you can help me in my mission to run the 2022 St. Jude Marathon in Nashville!