Nicole Walsh via Crowdrise
October 25, 2011
BENEFITING: GILDAS CLUB NEW YORK CITY
ORGANIZER: GILDAS CLUB NEW YORK CITY
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2011
Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues,
As many of you know, in 2009 I made the decision to train for a marathon, and the commitment to raise $3,700 for cancer research. After approximately 14 weeks of training, and with the generous support of so many of you, I was able to raise nearly $5,000! Unfortunately, with a few scant weeks before the marathon, I suffered two stress fractures that sidelined me for nearly a year. Since I was cleared to run in December 2010, I have come back with a vengeance running two half marathons, three 10Ks and several other races. I did this, not only because I had spent many months climbing walls, but also because I wanted to pull through for everyone who had supported me in 2009. Now, in 2011, I have put my injury behind me and I have decided that it’s time for me to tackle that full marathon. What better marathon to start with than the NYC Marathon, on November 6, 2011, and what better group to run with than Gilda’s Club NYC?
The more involved I have become with cancer organizations, the more obvious obvious it becomes that almost every person I meet has been touched by cancer in some way. For those who do not know my story, please allow me to share it with you…
My mother began her journey with cancer in 2004 with a shocking diagnosis followed by an immediate hysterectomy. We believed that the reported success of the surgery was great news, and the final word on the cancer whirlwind we had found ourselves in. We were, as so many families are, terribly lacking in knowledge of the disease. In August of 2006 my mother was at Sloan Kettering for a routine post-surgery CT scan. The scan revealed that her cancer was back, this time in her liver. We were devastated. Again, in a frenzy and desperation to act, surgery was scheduled immediately. Unfortunately, it was as a result of her pre-surgical testing that we got the news that no cancer patient, or their family, ever wants to hear. Her cancer had metastasized and was then also in both of her lungs. Surgery was no longer an option. I did a lot of research at that point, and was terrified to learn that the type of cancer then-lodged in my mother's body came with a scant 20% survival rate. Those lucky to be in the 20% were generally gifted 5 years post-diagnosis. I know that so many of you have been touched very closely by cancer, and can understand what I mean when I say that this news brought me, and my family, to the brink of utter desolation. I cannot fully describe the sadness I felt every minute of every day, or the fear at the inevitability that I was going to lose my mother.
But my mother, she didn't despair, and she wasn't afraid.
And that was the start of an inspirational battle that my mother began to wage against the disease. Today, more than 6 years from that first diagnosis, she has been through 6 surgeries, 2 rounds of chemo, and 3 wigs, and you would never, ever, know it. It's been a long and sometimes difficult battle for her, and my family and I have supported her as best we can. With a great degree of relief, and cautious optimism, I can tell you that she miraculously has barely a trace of cancer in her body right now.
Because I am my mother's daughter, I am going to start training to run 26.2 miles. Who am I to let a stress fracture hold me back when she never gave cancer an inch?
Because I know the helplessness felt by the family members of cancer patients is why I am raising money to support Gilda’s Club and its amazing FREE programs. Since opening its signature red door in 1995, GCNYC has offered a place where men, women and children living with cancer – and their families and friends – can join together to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Every year, nearly 35,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in New York City, and each diagnosis affects an entire circle of family and friends. Once you walk through GCNYC’s red door, you enter a special community where living with cancer is the common denominator — and you can choose how you would like to participate. GCNYC’s goal is to ensure that social and emotional support is available to every New Yorker, because no one should have to face cancer alone.
I can’t cure cancer, but I can get up at 5am 4 days a week to run many many miles and train for November. And I can run with the Gilda’s Club team on the weekends, blazing through the parks and streets of New York City as we leave double-digit mileage in our wake.
But I can't do this alone!! The running? That's the easy part- leave that to me! What I am asking for is help from all of you to raise money to fund the programs that GCNYC provides to its members free of charge. My goal is to raise $5,000 by November 6th. If you can contribute in any way, I would greatly appreciate it. Please keep in mind that many companies will match donations, so take advantage if you can!
Thank you so much for your support...you have no idea how important it is to know that people are rooting for you!!