I’d like to share with you the chain of events that lead me to register for the New York City Marathon with the hope that you will show your support with a contribution to Gilda’s Club of New York City.
Gilda’s Club of New York City provides FREE support groups, workshops, and social activities for everyone living with cancer along with their families and friends. I have come to know Gilda’s Club and all the great work it does through my life-long friend, Julia Budnick. Julia joined Gilda’s associate board in 2009, ran the NYC Marathon for Gilda’s in 2010 and is running again this year! With Julia, I’ve attended Gilda’s fundraisers and volunteered at Gilda’s events, seeing first hand the comfort and joy Gilda's Club brings to its members. Gilda’s provides a community that can be so elusive for many people living with cancer. I am running the New York City Marathon with Gilda’s Club, because I believe in Gilda’s work and in the power of human relationships to transform and to heal.
Many of you know that I had a transformative experience when I studied abroad in Brazil and lived with a family in the city of Belém. My host family showed me the best of Brazilian culture: strong family values, unrestrained affection, and a standard of kindness and limitless generosity.
One of the most significant things that happened during my stay was my host sister, Carol's, diagnosis of Stage II Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Carol and her brother and parents are fortunate to have a large family and network of friends who have been immensely supportive since the diagnosis. When Carol and her mother travel to Houston for treatment, however, I see the emotional difficulties they face when they are suddenly apart from their community. Language barriers and lack of transportation isolate Carol and her mother in their hotel, without any distraction from the painful reality of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
I know that a community like Gilda’s Club would provide a needed outlet for Carol and her mother if it were available to them. But rather than get discouraged that Gilda’s Club doesn’t yet have a branch in Houston, I celebrate the fact Gilda’s is able to touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in other cities and in New York. I have found the strength and inspiration to run 26.2 miles in Carol’s unrelenting fight against her cancer and in the power of human relationships that Gilda’s Club of New York City channels so gracefully into a healing community.
Please watch the video on the left to hear directly from members of Gilda's Club New York City.
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