I'm proud to say I'm running the Denver Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October, 2015, as a part of Team Project Purple and for my fellow running friend, Tonia Smith, who was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2013. That same year before her diagnosis, she ran 3 ultramarathons, including her first 100 mile race. Tonia is an incredible person who has been through so much, including having half of her pancreas and her spleen removed. Since then, she has received many rounds of chemotherapy and everything that goes along with it, but that has not stopped her from continuing to train for other races, including a 50 mile ultra marathon, 2 marathons (one which she received a Boston Qualification), and the Bryce Canyon 100 mile race.
Running has always been a big part of Tonia's life and has helped her get through the pain and suffering of this horrible cancer. My goal is to help Tonia raise money to help improve the survival odds for Pancreatic Cancer. If you aren't aware, pancreatic cancer is the 4th largest killer of all cancers and the least funded of the top 10 deadliest cancers. It also is the only cancer in the top 10 that has a single digit survival rate after 5 years.
Along with all her treatments, training, racing, being a mom and wife, Tonia is a spokesperson and blogger for Project Purple, which is the non-profit organization with the mission of raising awareness and funds towards a cure for Pancreatic Cancer. Tonia is one of the most amazing and strongest people I know, and one of my biggest motivations for running. I think of her and all she has done and continues to do and this helps me each every time I hit the pavement, especially on those longer and more grueling solo runs. I hope you will join me in giving to this great cause and to help Tonia and others like her who are in need. Go Project Purple, and go, Tonia!!!