My reason to run and my true motivation behind wanting to complete the Boston Marathon all stems from an unlikely source. When I met my husband in 2014, he confided in me that his ex wife, and mother of his 2 older daughters, Sandie, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Gliobastoma and was recently recovering from having her brain tumor surgery. In all honesty, I had been very fortunate before that point to never have been exposed to cancer. In fact, it was not a word I thought of often because it had not yet affected anyone whom I knew closely. However, that changed for me entirely upon meeting, getting to know, and then eventually becoming family with Sandie. Cancer is something that we live with every single day and think of quite often. However, as Sandie's attitude and perspective on life have more than demonstrated in the time that I've known her, cancer does not define someone. Sandie has more love in her heart and hope in her soul than most people are even capable of comprehending. She is not defined by her cancer or her circumstances. It is truly a miracle to witness someone look cancer in the face every single day and still say to herself "you will not beat me", regardless of the hardships it has caused in the past and could cause in the future.
When I asked about her experience specifically as a cancer patient, Sandie did not tell me a story about a timeline she was given, or how she felt like she was just another patient at just another hospital in Boston. In fact, she lit up when she told me about Beth Israel. When she spoke of the nurses who cared for her there, it sounded more like she was talking about friends who were helping her. When she spoke of her doctors, specifically Dr. Wong, it sounded like she was talking about brave warriors who were in the fight to help others persevere. And lastly, and most impressive of all, when she spoke of her cancer and the treatment she was receiving, she described something that she was battling against and overcoming, not the other way around. After hearing about Sandie's time at Beth Israel, it is abundantly clear that her experience there has aided her to have the beautiful perspective on life that she does. If I can help in any way to allow more people to have this same type of experience at the Beth Israel Cancer Center that Sandie continues to have every time she is there just by doing my part through fundraising and training, then running a marathon will be an extremely small task to complete in comparison to the affect it could help to have on someone else’s life.
Please donate today to help those like my friend Sandie! All donations will go to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, specially to the Cancer Center.