BENEFITING: CHRISTOPHERS CHALLENGE INC
EVENT DATE: Sep 20, 2015
I care so much about this cause, so I choose to share brief pieces of my journey. Thank you for taking the time to read.
Cancer sucks, it just does. I have lost my grandmother, my sweet Aunt Anita, my beautiful cousin Dana, and high school and college teammate Nancy, to either breast or ovarian cancer. In addition, my father in law, Mike, was recently diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma. He continues, however, to fight the fight and get stronger each day. Because cancer has touched my family, it has always been a passion of mine. I have attended fundraisers, volunteered for various causes and donated to others.
About ten years ago, I placed myself on the marrow registry—a simple cheek swab, that’s it, and my name was added to the list. In the fall of 2012, I was called and notified that I was a potential match. Several tests later, I was told, that if I agreed, I was the donor. I donated stem cells; a fairly simple procedure. About 4 weeks later, because the cells had not engrafted, I was called to donate bone marrow to the same person. A different process but all the same, a no brainer for me, I donated again. All of this was simple, and I would do it again and again in a heartbeat. It did involve several visits to doctors, but I met the most beautiful, caring nurses and others along the way. They say that everyone has someone in the world that is a marrow match-pretty powerful. That means each of us has the power to potentially extend, enhance, and/or prolong the life of someone else through a swab of the cheek!
Next chapter-In June of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I won't bore anyone with the details but this diagnosis forced me to get genetic testing and I found out I was positive for the brca mutation- so in a sense I was very lucky. This knowledge afforded me choices that my relatives did not have. Four surgeries later, all test results have been the best that they could be. I have felt so lucky on this journey. Why had everyone else in my family passed away, and why had I survived? I could get philosophical now, but I won’t. I do, however, believe that all of this, the marrow donation and the cancer diagnosis, is a sign that I have to do something more.
Because of this, I am training for the Rochester Marathon to take place on September 20th, 2015. Here is where you come in; I ask that you message me the name of someone you have lost, or someone who is fighting the cancer battle. As I draw strength from my relatives, I will draw strength from all of these names. I also ask that you donate, a dollar, a hundred, doesn’t matter, to my fundraising page. These funds will all go directly to Christopher’s Challenge, a not-for-profit organization that pays for the typing of individuals willing to become potential bone marrow donors through the Be The Match Registry, as well as other costs associated with bone marrow transplants (this is how I was identified( http://christopherschallenge.org) By donating, you have the opportunity to give someone a 2nd Chance At Life!
Because each day is a gift, and I am so lucky to be here, I thank you all and will use these names to draw strength from. I plan to put every name on the shirt I run in the day of the marathon. Thanks for reading my story.
Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness. ” ~ Unknown