Everyone has a bucket list, and number one on mine is to run a marathon. I've done two half marathons, but I’ve been hesitant to sign up for a full. Recently, I learned about charities that provide the opportunity to run for a cause. After a little research I learned about Project Purple.
Many people have a family tragedy or experience that brings somber memories. For me personally, it was hearing of my Aunt Connie's cancer diagnosis. The memory is the most vivid one from my high school years. I entered through the front door to see my sweet little Yiayia with the phone up to her ear, tears in her eyes, and panic on her face as she turned to me and practically whimpered, "Connie has pancreatic cancer." Her baby sister, 11 years younger, had just been diagnosed.
Needless to say it was hard seeing our special Aunt go through this. Watching her handle it with such grace was nothing short of inspiring. She gathered her jewelry to pass down to us girls, wrote her own obituary to be sure no one was forgotten, and asked we never acknowledge the inappropriate number she celebrated as her last birthday.
I’m humbled at the opportunity to run for Project Purple and bring awareness to one of the most deadly kinds of cancer. Project Purple has one mission: to beat pancreatic cancer. They are making strides towards this goal by raising funds for research, providing assistance to those affected by the financial burdens of this terrible disease, and rewarding scholarships to future medical students. I’m running for my uncle who lost his wife, my cousins who lost their mom, and the grandchildren who never had the chance to meet her.
My sisters and I still receive compliments every time we wear her necklaces, a small reminder she remains with us. For me, running for a charity puts training into perspective; knowing the battle I’m pursuing is nothing compared to the one others have fought. Help Project Purple and me reach our goals, to beat cancer and cross the finish line.