BENEFITING: The Chadtough Foundation
EVENT DATE: Oct 03, 2017
Every child deserves to survive cancer. Period.
Jason and Tammi Carr established The ChadTough Foundation as a lasting legacy for their beloved son, Chad. Chad was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumor, in November 2014. He was given a prognosis of 9-12 months with no viable treatment plan.
With his parents and older brothers, CJ & Tommy, by his side, Chad courageously battled the disease for 14 months. On November 23, 2015, Chad gained his angel wings. He left behind a devastated family and motivated community willing to do anything to ensure future families facing DIPG have a real hope in treatment.
I am honored to be a member of the first ever ChadTough marathon team.
We are running 42 strong, but that number is far greater, who are out there fighting the good fight to help find a cure for this terrible monster called DIPG.
When I first learned about this marathon team, I thought to myself - how amazing, what a great cause and thought this is something I would totally be interested in and would love to do some day, but this year was probably not going to be it, because I am running the Boston marathon on April 17, 2017 and for me -- wrangling 3 kids and training for 1 marathon in a year is a big enough task.
However, I couldn't get Chad, this disease, or the marathon out of my head and I may have waited until the last minute to secure my spot on this team, but fate would have it that I was able to become one of the 42 tough.... ChadTough! I knew that my reasonings for not wanting to train or run were small in comparison to having the opportunity to raise awareness and funds to find a cure. To help families going through this ordeal, to give them hope, to have something to believe in and ultimately to help raise the survival rate!
I pictured Henry (a year younger than Chad) and had to stop my brain from going down that path, because I could not imagine ever going through what Jason and Tammi have had to go through and continue to go through. I am continually amazed and in awe with their relentless pursuit to helping find a cure and carry on Chad's legacy. Doing everything in their power to make sure other families have a fighting chance to not to have to go through what they went through.
They continue to forge along raising two strong boys in CJ & Tommy and will never stop raising awareness and fighting for every child who is diagnosed with this horrible disease to far exceed what the outcome is at the current moment. So, it is because of this, it is because of my love for life, children, great causes and overall pursuit of being a better version of myself each and everyday that I choose to run, I choose to fight, and I choose to raise awareness for DIPG.
I can not end my journey there though, as to why I am running this marathon. I am also running to pay tribute to a Michigan field hockey player that came before me, who gained her angel wings way too early -- Rachael Geisthardt Townsend. In 2003, Rachael collapsed 100 yards after crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon. She died of an arrhythmia caused by a fairly common but usually harmless heart valve disorder, mitral valve prolapse. This really hits home as well, because you just don't know. We are not guaranteed anything in this life. One minute you can be on top of the world and the next minute your whole word can come crashing down.
I learned through an article I recently read, which was written about a month after Rachael died -- her goal in the Chicago marathon was to finish in less than 3 hours and 41 minutes, the time required of women her age to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon. After crossing the finish line in Grant Park, Rachael had stopped her stopwatch with a time that would have qualified, said her husband, who was waiting at the end of the chute. "When she crossed the line, she knew she made it and it was pleasing to know," he said. "She had worked so hard and she was goal-oriented and she knew she made it. It's kind of bittersweet."
Rachael, we may have not been teammates on the field, but we are teammates through the block M we both wore on our chests and it is because of this that I will run for you on April 17, 2017! I will carry you in my heart and on my shoulder as I face my fears of heartbreak hill and I will think about how much you would have loved to be running up that same hill all those years ago.
I have never backed down from a challenge. I actually tend to rise to the occasion and do everything in my power to far exceed expectations. So, I ask you all to help me in raising awareness, hope and funds to give all who are facing pediatric brain cancer a fighting chance.
Any amount you might consider giving is greatly appreciated. Thank YOU and GO BLUE!!