Angeli Weller wrote -
Friends, I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I’m getting much better. Please collaborate with me to raise $10,000 for the Lee Pesky Learning Center, a nonprofit in Boise that supports children with learning disabilities. And here’s why…
In September 2013, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Let me be clear: IT IS NOT CANCER. IT IS NOT TERMINAL. A friend who traveled this path before me said, “if you’re going to have a tumor Angeli, this is not a bad one to have.”
And yet, this tumor has turned the past few years my life completely upside down. Because it’s in my pituitary, it created havoc with my hormones. Because it’s in a crappy place (though I’m not sure any part of the brain would qualify as ‘good’), it’s inoperable. The first treatment made me very, very sick - so sick that getting out of bed and getting dressed was a major accomplishment. Never before in my life had I felt so helpless and unmoored. Fortunately, I found an outstanding specialist and a new treatment with fewer side effects that had me feeling better by the summer of 2014.
But that wasn’t the happy ending. It turns out the tumor left me unable to produce adequate amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Though technically in remission, I slid into a deep, deep well of clinical depression. For someone hard wired for optimism and half full glasses, it was terrifying not to care whether I lived or died. I lost all sense of who I was in that spin, and many parts of my life fell apart.
And yet, for most of this journey, I told almost no one what was going. I felt my struggle was a sign of weakness, not strength, and I did not want anyone to see me that way. I HATED asking for help… but when I finally did, a small yet mighty crew circled their wagons and protected me fiercely. They crawled in with me so I wasn’t alone. They held me up until I could stand on my own two feet. They knew not to believe me when I said, “I think I’m feeling better” about a million times before it was actually true. Without them, I could not have gotten off the arena floor and battled back to health.
I was not brave enough to ask you to help me then, but I will ask you to help me now. If the last few years taught me anything, it’s that the only way we are going to get through this life is to show up and take care of each other. I’m running my first full marathon, the Onward Shay, on October 30th, both to celebrate being healthy and to remind myself that I am strong even when I struggle.
I am also determined to raise $10,000 along the way for the Lee Pesky Learning Center, an Idaho based nonprofit dedicated to helping children with learning disabilities using effective, evidence-based interventions. This high performing organization makes a tremendous difference for children who are brave enough to be seen in their struggle to learn and with our help, they can grow their impact.
Please join my race team by supporting the Lee Pesky Learning Center at any amount you can. And thank you, thank you, thank you, my friends. I am so very grateful for your help.