For 7 years I have stood outside the barricades on Boylston Street watching runners finish the final stretch of the Boston Marathon. I have seen the joy, the pain, the excitement and the frustration that can be the marathon. This year I am thrilled and honored to be chosen to run on the inside of the barricaes, down Boylston Street representing St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
I first became a St. Jude Hero in 2015, raising money to run the St. Jude Memphs Marathon in Memphis, TN. Thinking I would only do this as a one time thing and call it good. As I learned more about the hospital and the mission behind St. Jude, I was hooked. I toured the hospital, saw the research department and left feeling like I needed to do more. Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude said that no child shall die in the dawn of life regardless of where they live or their financial situation. Becuase of this belief, the hospital does not charge families for treatment, housing, food or travel and believes that all a family should have to worry about is caring for their child.
In 2016, I once again returned to Memphis for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend as a St.Jude Hero, doubling what I raised the year before. Attending the pasta dinner and listening to the mom of a St. Jude patient speak, running through the campus of the hospital and running for a reason greater then myself again left me feeling whole and like I wanted to do more. I left Memphis excited about how I could become more involved and raise more money.
In 2017 I had my heart set on trying to do more and just as I was starting to plan one of my big fundraisers, I got the call that no 33 year old should ever have to recieve. I got the call that I had breast cancer. Yes, me, the girl who poured her heart into raising money for children with cancer is now fighting for her own life. I had to put my fundraising on hold and spent the spring and summer of 2017 fighting this disease. I underwent 5 months of chemotherapy, lost my hair, my eyebrows and my eyelashes. I had to stop running and working out and just had to take things day by day, managing my role as a mom, wife and professional. On August 18, 2017 I had my last day of chemotherapy and then prepared for my next fight, a double mastectomy. On September 19, 2017 at the too young age of 33 I had a double mastectomy and that is the day I consider myself cancer free and a survivor.
Now that I have poured every last ounce of energy into fighting my own cancer, I am ready to fight for those kids again. I am doing something that is totally outside my comfort zone and commiting to raising 10,000 for the kids and families of St. Jude. Knowing what I know about cancer treatments, I just cant imagine any child having to go through what I went through and I find it so unfair.
So here I am. Ready to chase that unicorn... the one I have watched so many others capture. I'm ready to fight the pain that is the marathon and to live in the joy of running down Boylston Street. Everyday that is ahead of me is a true gift and I do not take for granted.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support. xoxo sarah