My family has been hit hard by breast cancer. My mother, grandmother, great-aunt, great-grandmother have all been diagnosed with this beast, some of them multiple times. At first I started thinking I would do fundraising events specific to that cancer. I’ve done a couple Race for the Cure 5Ks. (Awesome events, BTW.)
A few years ago my mom started volunteering with the Relay for Life, an all-night event that benefits the American Cancer Society, essentially raising money for all types of cancer research. Her reasoning was “If I can do something that could help cure ALL cancers, then I should do that.” I had to agree with that logic. I have participated in 4 different Relays.
When I was participating in the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix this past January, I was very impressed with all the people from Team In Training at the event. They had great energy and the fact that it was such a large group coming together for a single cause was pretty inspiring. And when my friend Marci did a triathlon with TNT earlier this year, I started to learn more about the organization and thought, “I have reason to help with that. I can do this!”
One of my dear friends during college was diagnosed with Lymphoma shortly after graduating. She battled through and is now a survivor, raising a beautiful family with her husband.
When I started this program my grandmother informed me that my great-grandmother died of Lymphoma. I wasn’t aware of this, even though I was 16 at the time of her death. I knew she had breast cancer at one point, but didn’t realize that she had been afflicted by this disease as well.
But the one that hit me the hardest was when my cousin died of Leukemia when he was 17. I was 11 or 12 at the time and never has a death of a family member struck me as hard as his did. I was young and 17 seemed sooo much older than me at the time, but he was essentially still a kid. Even at that young age it just seemed so wrong to me that his life was cut short and he didn’t get to experience more of life.
So while I do have personal reasons to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society like I’m doing now, I’ve pretty much decided that any event that will benefit research to fight any kind of disease is an event in which I want to be involved. As much as possible, I want to be able to give back. I have friends and family members that have benefited from money raised for various research projects. I’m sure every single one of you has friends and family that have been affected by some kind of disease too, are we ever completely immune?
And if you ever need any kind of impetus to exercise, just knowing that there are people who’s lives may be dramatically changed some day because of the fundraising you are doing is a great motivator. The $3500 I have to raise for this race seems like such a huge amount to me, but it’s really such a small piece of the overall puzzle. Yet every little bit helps, whether it’s my small amount that I’m raising through this process, or it’s a small donation on your part to my training. IT ALL MATTERS!
And that is what’s important.