Nancy Caroline wrote -
If you are reading this, you probably already know or have heard of our mother - Colette M. Abbott... or as her grandchildren referred to her “Coco.”
Our dear mother lost her short-lived battle with kidney cancer on May 4th, 2016, only seven days after her diagnosis. She would have been 60 that June. To say it was unexpected is the understatement of the century. A few days before she passed she was rocking Sara’s newborn at Nancy's bridal shower while laughing at Lulu’s silly jokes. She was happy, positive and energetic. Mom had experienced some strange symptoms during the year, but still... we had no idea THIS was coming.
Our mom was a truly incredible woman. She had the most spectacular ability to light up a room just by walking in it. She made friends with just about everyone she met and, whatever they had going on in their lives, well... that was the most important thing in the world to her. Our dad swears - and he’s right - he never heard her say a mean thing about another person as long as he’d known her. She had an almost childlike sense of adventure taking road trips at the drop of a hat, riding the biggest, newest roller coasters she could find, and sitting in the front row whenever she had the chance. She even planned to go sky diving with us, her three daughters, on her 60th birthday. She was a friend, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, a grandmother... and a runner.
Mom started running when she was 40 years old and ran a staggering 38 marathons before she passed at the age of 59. Her first marathon was the 2000 Chicago Marathon. When she finished she immediately called her identical twin sister, Colleen, and said, “You just have to do this!” That was it... the twins ran almost every marathon together from that point on, often crossing the finish line hand-in-hand. Mom absolutely loved running but, more importantly, she loved the community that surrounds the sport. She got a “runner’s high” like you've never seen before. She would finish the 26.2 and dance her way through the chute to get her medal, grinning ear to ear, talking to everyone around her - all the while her trademark red lipstick firmly applied.
In the last few years, all Mom could talk about was getting to 40. But her last marathon, #38, was the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon in DC. When she passed, we knew we had to carry the torch and run her last two in her honor. Sara and Nancy ran the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon in October - Mom’s 39th, their first. Just like Mom, Nancy and Sara were hooked! During mile 25, Sara asked Nancy, “I realize this is a little like asking a woman in labor whether she’s having another baby but... are we gonna do this again?” The answer was yes, resoundingly yes!!!
For Mom’s 40th, we knew it would be Chicago, also her first. For this one, Lyndsey will join us for her FIRST (!!!) marathon and Mom’s twin, Colleen, will be completing her own 40th alongside us. We are hopeful a few of mom’s nieces and nephews will join us as well.
Together, we hope our journey for Mom benefits others too. For over a year now, the unending love, support and kindness we receive from our friends and family and even complete strangers has been crucial in coping with our tragic loss. We thought it fitting to return the gesture and run on behalf an organization dedicated to providing support for all who are affected by cancer. We run in honor of our mother, sister, and aunt - Colette M. Abbott - and for Imerman Angels.
We ask for you help in supporting this organization so they may offer families like ours hope in their time of need. Any gift, big or small, is helpful and much appreciated.
All our love,
Sara, Lyndsey and Nancy & Family
Why Imerman Angels?
Imerman Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide personalized connections that enable one-on-one support among cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. Participating in the Chicago Marathon with Team Imerman Angels is your opportunity to be the difference for anyone seeking cancer support. In 2017, Team Imerman Angels participants raised over $300,000 and created over 900 connections between those impacted by cancer and a Mentor Angel. To learn more about the important work your efforts will support, click [HERE](http://imermanangels.org).
You’re helping provide one-on-one support to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers - so that no one faces cancer alone. Each time we raise $350, you will be ensuring that someone impacted by cancer (an individual or family) can get the help they need at the time they need it most.