I always told myself that if I were ever to race a 70.3 it would be long after college. But here I am, age 20, registered for my first half ironman. Why? Because I have been given the opportunity to compete in this race and donate every cent that I spend on it to the Bonnie J Addario A Breath Away From the Cure Foundation.
I’ve always been intrigued by cancer. It is such a miserable illness that I want to learn more about it, in order to find the best ways I can give back to finding a cure and helping the cancer community.
I joined Camp Kesem shortly after going to college. Camp Kesem is a non-profit, student run organization that puts on a week-long free summer camp to kids who have or have lost a parent to cancer. Through joining this organization, I have been given to opportunity to help kids with the struggles they face at home, give parents a week where they know their kids are able to get away from the illness at home, and witness how horrible this disease truly is. After designating my time and energy directly to the families, I would now like to devote myself to completing this race to help find a cure.
Secondly, I am doing this for my cousin Al. Cousin Al is the first of my mother’s generation to pass away. His cancer came out of blue and took his life away shortly after. Through reading constant updates of the disease taking him away from us, and watching as his body continued to get weaker, I was unfortunately able to directly witness how horrible the illness is. I can’t think of a better way to say it than just simply stating the fact. Cancer sucks and it needs to be stopped.
Finally, this is for Dr. Speirs. Dr. Speirs was my English teacher freshman year of college, which was the time I first got into triathlon and endurance running. He too was a marathoner, so our office hour conversations always turned into a discussion on my running goals and how I was going to achieve them. On November 24, 2013, he fell to a heart attack at the Berkeley Half Marathon and deceased less than a month later. I promised him I would break that 1:30 half marathon time. With every training step and race I know I am that much closer to having him look down on me and smile. This one is for you Doc.
Cancer is such an awful illness that it has had an effect on just about every individual worldwide. This is my story, but unfortunately, you most likely have one too. If this speaks to you, then I ask that you make a donation to the Bonnie J Addario foundation and make me one step closer to my $3,000 fundraising goal.
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