In May 2014, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Thankfully due to his incredible oncology team, our family, and our Faith we were able to make it through a very difficult time with so much support. My dad is currently 4.5 years cancer-free and I have been inspired through his fight to challenge myself towards a goal while helping others.
Why the NYC Marathon?! There are so many reasons, but it goes back to my childhood.I grew up in the tri-state area and loved going to NYC as a little girl to visit family or see the different tourist spots. Even as a young girl I knew I wanted to live in the "Big Apple" one day. Luckily for me I was able to fulfill this dream during graduate school. This city holds a special piece of my heart, in many different ways, so I knew that NYC was the right place for me to do my first marathon.
Since moving to a new city following graduate school I have fallen in love with running. During my first half-marathon this past May, I truly had an overwhelming feeling of joy in realizing that I AM A RUNNER. Another fun tidbit about why I am REALLY excited for this marathon is the coincidence that I turned 26 in February, so I will be 26 running 26.2 miles!
My mantra throughout training and the race will be to focus on Bob Marley's Three Little Birds because "every little thing gonna be alright." This quote helped me get through the really tough days when my dad was in the hospital recovering from his surgery and post-op complications. I will have my own three little birds on my shoulder all through training and running. Ironically the date of the marathon is the 1 year anniversary of when I got my three little birds tattoo.
When my grandfather passed away in 2017, our family asked for donations in lieu of flowers to go to two different charitable organizations; St. Jude being one of them. My family was fortunate to have financial and medical support, so the care of my father was not hindered by these worries. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to raise money for St. Jude, so that families of kids and young adults diagnosed with cancer don't have to worry about anything other than their healing! I have chosen to run for a reason bigger than myself by fundraising for the kids and families at St. Jude. I am training to cross the finish line on race day and with your donation we can cross the fundraising finish line together because the money you donate helps find a cure for childhood cancer.
A little about St. Jude and this wonderful cause!!
Did you know:
- 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 is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and they won't stop until no child dies from cancer.
- St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Donate today to help me reach my goal. Even when the race is over, the fight to end childhood cancer continues.Through my efforts I hope that families are able to find support through St. Jude to care for their children.
With love, xo Ashley