Robert Parks Johnson via Crowdrise
March 21, 2012
BENEFITING: YMCA Of Central Kentucky
EVENT DATE: May 06, 2012
Mileage Tracker: 404
In 2010, cancer challenged me to a battle to the death.
In 2011, I ran my first half-marathon to honor my loved ones who died fighting that battle.
In 2012, I'm running the Pittsburgh Marathon, my first full marathon to raise money for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, for the cancer fighters coming after me.
Because just surviving just isn't enough.
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a program for cancer fighters. It's for people who have looked cancer in the eye and said, "Oh, no you don't. You can kill me, but you can never beat me."
When I went to the North Lexington Family YMCA for my intake interview, they asked me what my history was. I showed them the scar, the missing muscle from my right shoulder, told them about losing all my teeth and 90 pounds during treatment. I told them about the days I couldn't cross the street without stopping to rest.
They asked me what my goal was.
"I want to run a half-marathon."
They didn't laugh. They went to work. And with the help of our trainers, Melissa, Carrie, and Chelsea, on Sunday, October 23, 2011, 18 months after the doctors gave me a 50% chance of survival, I finished the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway KY. I couldn't have done it without the strength and courage I found through LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.
And there are other stories. Pam was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, practically a death sentence. That was10 years ago. This December, I walked the Reindeer Ramble 5K with her. Ladonna had the same kind of cancer I did. That's her picture at the top of the page, finishing her first race, the Embrace Your City 5K in September. Some of us are cancer free, some are in remission, and some in our second or third relapse, but none of us is alone, and all of us are fighting. Together.
The program in Lexington started with a single group of eight cancer fighters, three trainers, and a pilot grant from the LIVESTRONG foundation. Today, there are more groups, and in February, I will become one of the trainers for the next team of cancer fighters at the Y. We meet, we laugh, we work out together, we support one another. We fight cancer. In 2012, the YMCA of Central Kentucky has plans to expand the program to every Y in the city.
I want you to help me make that happen with a contribution to Living Strong at the Y. Because every cancer patient deserves the chance to become a cancer fighter.
Cancer may kill us. But it can never beat us if we keep fighting.. if we keep living strong.