I am a St. Jude Hero! I have chosen to run for a reason bigger than myself by fundraising for the kids and families at St. Jude. Many of you know that after Kensie died, her brain tissue was donated to St Jude for research on DIPG. At that time, they had only been able to conduct research on 60-something samples. Hers was viable, which was huge for ongoing research.
I ran my first marathon in 2010, my goal being to complete one before I turned 30 (I had a year to spare, oof!). I chose the St. Jude Memphis marathon in memory of Kensie. That training, and fundraising, I now know, was a major part of my grieving process after she died. Running became therapy for me. Race weekend is still a vivid memory; I was lucky to have my parents and some family and family friends join me in Memphis. We toured the hospital and met the researchers in the lab. There was so much ambiance and support throughout the whole course. I remember a friend telling me mile 22-23 would be mentally hard (like "why am I doing this to myself?!"), but it was the opposite - I started getting sad that the race was almost over. I was flooded with emotion crossing that finish line 5 hours and 07 minutes after starting my race. I carried Kensie's photo the whole time, and she carried me for 26.2 miles. I'm not sure any other marathon could compare...
Fast forward 11 years, where running is STILL therapy and almost every run brings me a sign from Kensie. I've been telling myself for the last 2-3 years that it would be nice to run another marathon before 40, but with two small kids, it's not easy to carve out the time to train for a full-on marathon. Having the time to train for a half however...now that's doable.
So I've set myself a goal to run two half marathons before the end of 2021. And because you can run any organised race as a St. Jude Hero (even ones in France!), naturally I am going to do so.
My first race is the Semi-Marathon des Grands Crus on October 17th.
I am training to cross the finish line and with your donation we can cross the fundraising finish line together because the money you donate helps find a cure for childhood cancer.
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 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.