It’s been quite a year with ups and downs, and honestly I wasn’t sure I had the energy to train and fundraise and walk again this year, but then I thought…I can’t not train and fundraise and walk! Because what if these dollars raised are THE dollars that fund the study that makes the breakthrough that brings us that much closer to a cure??? And because this year I unfortunately have four more very important people for whom I’m walking… So, here I go again, for all the women, and a few select men, in your life and mine, who have had to experience the scary words of “You have breast cancer.” For the survivors and thrivers, for those who are in the thick of it, and for my friends and yours that lost their battles…I’m back at it.
If you donated in previous years, I’ve truly appreciated your past support, and I hope you’ll consider supporting me again this year when I walk the 60-mile Dallas Susan G-Komen 3-Day Nov 4-6!
If you’re new to this and want a little more background… It all started in 2005 when I was an associate brand manager on the MOTRIN IB Brand, which was a national sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Komen asked me to speak at their Philadelphia event, and I didn't want to do so unless I was out there raising money and walking alongside the people to whom I'd be speaking. And once I started fundraising, I learned just how many people have been impacted by breast cancer — my friend's mom, another friend's aunt, my colleague, and more, and it just became important to me that I continue to do my part. Since that time, I lost my close friend Mary to breast cancer (2009), Vicki lost her sister and Libby lost her mom. And I met Maryanne — an amazing friend and breast cancer survivor. Within the last several months, one friend and two colleagues went through double mastectomies, and just this week two colleagues told me of losing their best friends this past year. It's a lot! So, each year since 2005 I've walked and raised money. In fact, I've now participated in sixteen 60-mile Susan G. Komen 3-Day events, and 1 virtual 3-Day event, raising over $295,000 for the fight against breast cancer, by asking people like you to make a small donation to support me. It’s amazing how it adds up. So much progress has already made in the fight, but still over 40,000 people die each year from breast cancer. So, I'm committed to continuing those efforts.
Another critical part of this story… On August 8, 2008, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died exactly 4 months later on December 8, 2008. There are no words to really describe the impact this has had on our family. The year my dad was diagnosed, I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event wearing a t-shirt that read “4th year walking for boobs everywhere, 1st year walking for one particular pancreas.” But in 2011, I was introduced to a great organization, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). I toured the lab of one of the grantees and learned directly from him how he was making progress in that very lab towards finding better ways to fight the disease. I now raise money for PanCAN as well by participating in their Purple Stride 5k events, and even running a marathon one year on their Team Hope. To date I've raised over $205,000 for PanCAN. My twin sister has raised another $80,000. It brought tears of joy to my eyes to see the new American Cancer Society statistics that show 5-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer have improved from 6% in 2011 to 10% today! While not where we want to be, there's again been so much progress, and somehow I feel I've played a small role! So, yes, I'm committed to continuing those efforts...
But that's not it. Unfortunately, each year there are more reasons to want to kick cancer's a$$. My best friends' mom to whom I was close lost a 4-week battle with plasma cell leukemia in 2017, I lost my uncle to a malignant brain tumor in 2018, and an 18-year-old close family friend lost her 8-year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma in Dec 2019. On an unrelated note, in 2017, I sat on the sideline cheering my sister on during her 3rd Boston Marathon thinking how fun it would be able to run, but knowing I'm too slow to qualify. So, how could I combine this selfish desire to run the Boston Marathon, with my continued and growing fury at this thing called Cancer? Well, I went out and secured myself a fundraising spot with Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dana Farber funds all sorts of cancer research, including leukemia, Ewings, lung, breast, and pancreatic. That's another organization I can get behind — a perfect match for me to combine my passion for running with my passion for raising funds and awareness to help fight cancer! So, that's what I did. While I've taken a break from marathon running for now, from 2018-2020 I raised another $45,000 for Dana Farber, all with help from people like you!
So, here we are. If you've made it this far, I appreciate you! Thank you for considering supporting (or renewing your support of) my efforts!!! This war is not won... Next up, eventually, will be $1MM raised! More importantly, there's the ultimately goal and finish line: a world without cancer. Will you join me in this fight?