And more importantly… Cancer, Watch Out!
Sequels usually stink. With a few exceptions, we are always disappointed by that second movie that promises greatness but only disappoints- Jaws, the Revenge and Lion King II are just two examples. However, this is not your typical sequel. This year’s goal of $16,000 for 16 years cancer-free, will be faced with determination and even greater motivation. Since I spent the past year working in both the adult and pediatric oncology programs at Dana-Farber, I have developed a greater appreciation for how far cancer treatment has come, how far it still needs to come, and of course, a greater appreciation for how blessed I am. Thus, I have committed myself to celebrating another cancer-free year by fighting the very disease which has shaped my life.
The Marathon Back-story
I first decided to run in last year’s Boston Marathon while brainstorming ways to adequately celebrate 15 years cancer-free. Donny and I considered heading back to Alaska or doing some extreme bike ride. However, the moment I read about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge while perusing the Dana-Farber Employee Website, I knew that was exactly how 15 years cancer-free should be spent.
In case you’re new to my blog, I’ll bring you up to speed… On January 6,1996, I was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia). After two courses of chemotherapy, it was recommended that I have a bone marrow transplant. Despite the unfavorable odds, my younger brother turned out to be a match and on April 9, 1996, I received his stem cells but only after more chemo and total body irradiation. Over two months, I experienced serious transplant complications including graft versus host disease and grand mal seizures. However, I pulled through with the help of friends, family, and the amazing medical staff at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).
Going for 16!
Although I cannot yet say that I have been free of cancer for 16 years, I hope to reach this milestone on April 9th, just about one week before the 116th Boston Marathon. Even though I have been out of treatment for quite some time, the side effects of my treatment and my career in oncology serve as daily reminders that every day is a gift. Speaking of gifts, the miracle baby, aka Gus, is spunkier than ever (see proof below).
What does cancer look like?
Although I wish every one of you could run the marathon with me (and preferably just carry me through the hills), I was able to make it through the tough sections of the course last year knowing that I had your support and more importantly, that I wasn’t doing this for me. This year, I am putting together a collection of photos of cancer fighters. These “Faces of Cancer
” are why I run and why we all feel so passionate about the cause. Therefore, I am asking that when you donate, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with photos and names of the cancer fighters you would like to honor, encourage, and/or remember. If you have the time, I very much appreciate stories. We all know that cancer fighting can be represented by more than just a bald head so don’t feel limited. As the band Wideawake sang, “it may break my body but never break my soul.”
Please help me celebrate 16 years cancer-free and celebrate the souls of those amazing cancer fighters that we all love. Click Here to donate to innovative basic cancer research and to help us move towards a world without cancer.
|One of the many “faces of cancer”.
(She also happens to be an inspiration to me.)
My inspiration for the day…