Monday, November 25, 2013

Why I'm running for Dana Farber

So there are two ways to get into the Boston Marathon.  You can either time qualify by running really fast at a qualifying race or you can try to get on a charity team to raise money for a good cause.  I'm not fast so my choice was pretty simple.

This does not mean getting a spot was easy.  Boston is always a popular race and getting in is a challenge any year.  This year in particular, more people than ever are hoping to run in April and there simply aren't enough spots.  I began searching for the right charity group this summer.  I wanted to find a charity that I could really feel passionate about and as I scrolled down the list of official charities I came across Dana-Farber and instantly knew I had found the one.

Everyone is affected by cancer one way or another.  I know too many people who have had cancer, some survivors and some I've lost.  Wonderful people who never should have had to go through it.  And sadly I'm not alone in this.  Cancer research is an easy cause to get behind and one definitely worth running for.  Dana-Farber is particularly special for me as the wonderful doctors there are currently treating my step mom Valerie.

Valerie and my mom have been together since I was five.  She quickly became a second mother to me and helped me grow into the person I am today.  When I was in high school Valerie was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She went through a year of chemo and radiation and thankfully her cancer went into remission.  This spring Valerie began having pain in her side and scans showed tumors in her liver.  After more than a decade in remission, she was diagnosed with stage four metastasized breast cancer in her liver.   This was an initially devastating diagnosis for our family.  Valerie and my mom went to meet with the oncologists at Dana-Farber and they were just wonderful.  Thanks to advances in cancer research, they are now able to determine that her specific tumors are hormone receptive.   This means she is able to take medications to block those hormones thereby starving the tumors so they shrink.  Hearing that there wasn't going to be more chemo or invasive procedures was a blessing.  The cancer is something that will need to be monitored and treated for the rest of her life but it is manageable.  Valerie just had her 6 month check up and scans show her tumors have shrunk 30-40%.  Being treated at Dana-Farber, we know Valerie is in the best possible hands.  To read more about Dana-Farber's Barr Research Program and the great things they are doing click here.

Dana-Farber began accepting applications in early September.  After weeks of waiting, I received my acceptance email in early October. We had our kick-off meeting a few weeks.  Everyone I have met has been just wonderful and their running program is fantastic.  I could not be more happy to be a part of the team, to raise money for Dana-Farber, and to run for Valerie.

21 weeks to race day

This week's run summary: Time Running: 02:10:19 Total Distance: 10.36miles Average Pace 12:34 min/mile

Support me and my fundraising efforts for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Barr research program by donating at :

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