Seven years ago my grandma Catherine appeared healthy and happy. Little did my family know, pancreatic cancer had begun to take control of her body. Upon diagnosis, she was given a short time to live. A teacher of primary children, graduate of the Milwaukee State Teachers College (now UW-Milwaukee), and a woman with not-so-good knees, I follow in her footsteps as I am a teacher of young children, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee School of Education, and a young woman with not-so-good knees ready to run a marathon. In honor of my beautfiul grandma and the life she lived, I am running the Chicago Marathon to put an end to the unexpected trauma people experience when they find out a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Not only am I running for my grandma Catherine, I am running for my step-dad's brother Joe whose life was taken far too early. In the words of my step-dad, "My brother Joe lived 46 very full years. He loved his family and had a lifeong love of the outdoors. He was well known as an expert hunter and fisherman. He fought cancer as hard as anyone could. Because he loved his children he did not want to leave them. We miss him and I wonder what adventures he and I would be on if he were still here."
For grandma Catherine, Joe and for all others who have left Earth a bit early due to pancreatic cancer, I am running for you and your family. The pain of any cancer is unbearable physically and mentally. I completed my first half marathon in Thailand, my second half marathon in Devil's Lake, Wisconsin and my third half marathon in my hometown Milwaukee. Please help make my first full marathon in Chicago meaningful and support me in my journey of 26.2 miles to help Project Purple find a cure.
Love and Gratitude,