I’ve been a somewhat-dedicated runner, jogger (at my current snail-like pace), or walker since 1978. Enjoying the great outdoors (I’m not coordinated enough to use a treadmill) for miles at a time is a very selfish pursuit. It’s a great chance to clear your mind, think of blog posts and photo ops, and re-energize for battling strong-willed teenagers.
Every now and then, I actually train for and finish a race (usually January’s Aramco Half-Marathon). It’s satisfying to set a goal and achieve it, no matter how long it takes to cross the finish line. And it’s especially fulfilling to have yet another purpose amid that selfish pursuit: Raising funds for a worthy cause.
For the second straight year, I’m participating in the January 30th Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Half-Marathon’s Run for a Reason program. Once again, my chosen charity is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a cause that’s near and dear to me. Blood cancers have cut short the lives of my father, stepfather, cousin Lisa, and my dear former neighbor’s father, Dick Jones, who I ran in honor of last year.
I’m also honoring the memory of Sue Van Natta, a tireless fundraiser for LLS, who passed away from breast cancer this past summer.
While I plan to draw energy during the race from the memories of loved ones and friends, I’m also going to gain inspiration from Stephanie, a classmate of my younger son. The fellow high school sophomore was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma this past February 18. She endured four months of chemo and a month of radiation. But she’s come back strong—her latest scans show no sign of cancer, and she’s had a wonderful season with our high school’s dance team. Who wouldn’t be motivated by her story to run well?
I sincerely hope that this also will motivate you, my cherished readers, to click on this link and donate to support my fundraising efforts. Let’s kick blood cancers to the curb!