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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As We Approach A New Year

As I approach a new year, I look back upon what 2008 had to offer me.  The ups stand out more than the downs, and I know that the special people I have in my life have given me many positive experiences.  I am extremely fortunate to have such incredible family and friends in my life.  

A very close friend of mine lost his father to cancer this morning.  There are really no words to offer someone when they are going through such an experience.  I know that is how I felt when my Auntie Nancy passed away. What I can offer to this amazing friend of mine is that I will be there for him at all times for him to cry to, talk to, and sit in silence with.  All that this individual did for his father during such a difficult time is unbelievable to me.  He put all of his time, energy, support, and love into his father's constant care.  His strength carried him to today, and although he continues to display this strength and bravery, I know how much he is hurting.  He is a true inspiration to me.

As I go into a new year, I appreciate all the individuals in my life that have made a difference, such as this person in particular.  The experiences that people close to me have gone through this past year is slowly, but surely giving me the strength and courage to train for the marathon.  I am going to run the marathon in memory of my friend's father who lost his heroic battle today and go into a new year with my thoughts and prayers going out to this incredible family, offering them peace, love and hope for this upcoming year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why I Am Running 26.2 Miles

It is simple.  I am running 26.2 miles in memory of my Aunt Nancy Wolfson, who lost her five-year long battle with ovarian and endometrial cancer in February 2007.  Although my Auntie Nancy never married, she always considered me, my sister Lindsey, and my cousins Sara and Amanda as her own children.  She was a role model, a second mom, a friend and a fighter. She taught me how important it is to live life a day at a time with both courage and determination.  Of all the very important lessons that Auntie Nancy taught me, the most important one was how precious family is.  I learned that other things may change us in our lives, but we start and end with family.  Auntie Nancy showed me how to love unconditionally and to each day remind the people in my life how much I love them and how much they mean to me. 

My Auntie Nancy fought her battle with cancer until the very end.  I am running in memory of the extraordinary person that she was and the incredible legacy she left.  I do not know if I would have had as much time with my Auntie Nancy after her diagnosis if it were not for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  For many reasons, especially this one, I am running with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team, raising money for the Claudia Adams Barr Program for Innovative Cancer Research.  This is the same research that provided my Auntie Nancy with experimental treatments throughout her battle with her disease.

During these next four months of training, I know I will be faced with crazy weather conditions, aching body parts, and feelings of uncertainty.  In fact, I know you will all be questioning my sanity.  But, I will just keep reminding myself of what brought me to this point - my Auntie Nancy's laugh, smile, and love, and my goal to reach the ultimate finish line: A World Without Cancer.  
It is simple.