Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone. I don't want to inspire others by being perfect. I want to inspire women by how I deal with my imperfections. I have a word called "BLESSONS", A blesson is what happens when you see the blessing in the lesson that your challenge taught you. We all have a story, we all have our own demons, we all have our own issues and fears. Not everyone has the emotional support from their loved ones when you think you need it most. You have to learn how to survive because when you know that you are all that you have, being STRONG is the only thing you can be. Growing up in a very religious and old fashioned middle eastern family, I always knew my life wasn't all about an arranged marriage to my first cousin and popping out kids. I always wanted to make a difference and teach women like my mother who I would see depressed as she raised 7 children at home as her only duty in life. She didn't even finish high school because being married off was more important in those days. I ran away from home at 16 where I was born and raised in Northern California. I took my family to court, was legally emancipated in 1998. I wanted to be free from the cage that was once my home where I had lived in for 16 years. I wanted to be free to go to college, make something of myself that wasn't cleaning, cooking and raising children as my only options in life. As the oldest of 7, it was really hard to take this risk of never seeing or speaking to any of my family members once I brought shame to the family. In my heart, I knew that I had to make this sacrifice, not just for me but for my sisters, my mother and all the other women in this world who feel that they have no freedom to live their own lives without approval from the family. I want to teach all the women that they deserve to be loved the way they want to be. They deserve to be treated the way they want to be. By sharing my story with the world that I can leave home at 16, finish high school while working two jobs, living on my own and getting into college to make something of myself without depending on a man to support me, was one of my biggest goals. Working multiple jobs, only having me as my only provider made it really hard to get through college when providing my own food and roof over my head were priorities before college homework. Life challenges has taught me what it's like to have slept in my car, slept on friends floors, live off 29 cents hamburgers and top ramen to survive those tough lessons. After trying the first few years in college, I eventually couldn't keep up with my grades to maintain the financial aid for school in completing my first Bachelor's degree. I ended up not going back after I lost my aid due to my grades and not having the resources and support to stay in school while working 2 full time jobs. Since then, I have been working on my first Bachelor's degree while making it through life on my own with no family support. I have always wanted to finish my college education. At 26, 10 years after running away from home, I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called Vulvar Cancer caused by HPV. Back then in 2006, HPV was very new. Not much research was done and the only thing we knew was that my body and my immune system couldn't fight off these strands. I was sleeping on the couch at a friends place at the time. In 2007 I had several surgeries and treatments to fight off the cancer. I went through cancer on my own. I have been through many types of emotional & physical abusive relationships. I have had to do what I needed to do to survive and not ashamed of the choices that were made to survive. When I came to Chicago in 2007, after all my surgeries, I wanted to start over. I enrolled into HWC, spent 3 years there while bartending full time and volunteering at a NFP organization called Imerman Angels. Through that organization, I learned how to make a difference by using my legs and started running for charity and growing Team Imerman Angels. I learned that the power of healing by sharing my stories, my experiences, my BLESSONS would also help me make peace of my lessons and to view the blessings that those challenges has taught me. I was able to make a difference for so many cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers because no one should have to face cancer on their own like I did. When I received my degree from HWC in 2013, I couldn't believe how much closer I was to getting my first bachelor's degree. I have had so many challenging lessons since then. It's been a journey to get myself through college. In Jan 2016, I was finally able to go back to school. I'm a Senior at EIU right now, full time at that and all online. I had no idea what was in store for me weeks after school had started. Since November 2015, my cancer check ups started to come back with positive cancer cells again. My doctors are always trying to help me reduce the stress in my life because my body just doesn't take it well and the cancer in my body feeds off of it so easily. That's why I run. I run for many things, but mostly to reduce stress while making a difference. In Jan 2016, I had another biopsy. The cancer cells were increasing and spreading, early stages of Cervical Cancer at that time. I have changed jobs and made some changes in job duties moving forward to reduce stress, have let people go that have been the closest to my heart possibly in my life, as much as it hurt to watch them walk away from me, i needed to be strong so I can reduce the stress. I rescued a dog as an emotional support animal. Since 2011 I have completed 82 races including 3 Bank of America Chicago Marathons, 1 TCS NYC Marathon, February 2016-Sketchers LA Marathon & this past April- Boston Marathon while fundraising for charity over $80,000 to date since my first race. Soon after the LA Marathon I had another biopsy and learned within a week that I have Cervical Cancer stage 1B. Over the past several months I have recently had to accept that even the ones you love the most in your life, may not be as strong as you need them to be. Life sure has it's way of teaching you who really understands the meaning of unconditional love and how much they value you as a human being when you need them the most. Being strong and being in survival mode is all that I have known. Taking care of your health first is something that I have been working on for years. I have decided to take this opportunity to create my own NFP organization that raises funds for scholarships called BLESSONS. Website is coming soon thanks to all of you! I want to continue making a difference by raising awareness for women around the world to see the blessings in the lessons that your challenges teach you. No matter what happens in your life, no one and nothing can take away your education & strength. Knowledge truly is POWER. I'm dedicating the rest of my races in 2016 including my 7th, 8th & 9th marathon and Abbott World Marathon Majors, at the 2016 BERLIN Marathon in September, 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October & 2016 TCS NYC Marathon in November to my new NFP organization, BLESSONS. I want to begin with this new journey and fight with the launch of my own mission, to fundraise and fund BLESSONS Scholarships for women who have had challenging lessons and need support in getting back in school like me and finish their first bachelor's degree. I want to help women learn to love themselves, gain more self esteem, confidence and find that fire that lives within, to see the world, share their passions, to not feel caged up like a bird or be without a voice because of their challenging lessons that have prevented them from going back to school. I want to become an Ambassador of Strength to anyone that thinks they can't overcome whatever challenges they are facing. My goal is to raise enough funds to award 5 scholarships to 5 women in the 2017 Spring semester while completing all 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors in honor of making a difference, being the example of inspiration by sharing my story and by sharing my strength to others who need that support. My dream is to teach others the value of sharing their own stories and using that fire to do more good as I run for good. Funds that are raised will be to help build dreams for other women in addition to my own, by building this organization and all that it entails. Please help me continue to make a difference while I face another cancer journey, be an example as I continue in finishing my own education one day while I train and run Berlin, Chicago & NYC Marathons this fall in honor of all women who still need to find self love whether it's through abusive relationships including sex trafficking, cancer fighters/survivors, first generation women in the U.S., mental illness including eating disorders that challenges a woman's opportunity to an education while not having the resources available to them for a college education as a traditional college student. Thank you all for supporting my project, BLESSONS Scholarships NFP. Khit Masoud Founder & CEO BLESSONS email@example.com Website coming soon!!!!