I’ve wanted to run a marathon for about a year. And I was pretty sure I wanted to run the NYC one. When I was going to do it, though, was another question.
Then February happened. Let’s just call it not the greatest month. And as is my habit, I looked to make some big commitment to something in order to get my mind off of whatever else is going on in my life. I had already entered the NYC Marathon lottery, but after the fake drama of February and then the truly awful news that my aunt was going to need a stem cell transplant to fight her cancer, I thought that maybe I wanted to do more than run 26.2 miles.
I started looking into the charity spots for the NYC Marathon. That’s when I learned about Fred’s Team. After reading about the incredible work that they do for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, I knew this was what I wanted my marathon experience to be about. So I registered for one of their early spots – a spot that would guarantee me entry into the NYC marathon before even the lottery. And a spot that had me committing to raise $5000 for Fred’s Team.
I remember the night I decided to do this. I entered my credit card number and pressed submit. It was as simple as that. And now along with the training for the marathon, I would need to raise $5000. It kind of took my breath away. I started brainstorming how in the world I would be able to raise that kind of money. I was actually more worried about raising the money than the training that is involved in running a marathon!
What I absolutely never expected was the outpouring of support I received from family, friends, and even strangers, when I sent out my first request for donations in early June. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe how generous everyone was. And even beyond the financial donations, the good wishes I received from everyone wishing me well on my training and the race were just amazing.
It is because of all the incredible people in my life that last week, I hit my goal of $5000 and have now gone over that amount. I’m still in shock. From donations of $10 to over $250, every single one has meant so much to me. And from those who are not in the financial position to give, the words of encouragement are what get me up in the morning for those long runs.
However, it has been a bittersweet experience. I know that the reason many have given, and given so generously, is because their lives have been impacted by cancer. They have seen loved ones suffer from cancer and they have lost loved ones from cancer. It is for those that fight and fought that I will continue to raise money and I will cross that finish line on November 6th.
P.S. Today my aunt enters her 85th day of post stem cell transplant recovery. Yesterday we found out she is still in remission. Incredible news.