Running For A Cause

Dear Friends,

On July 31st, I will be running in the San Francisco Marathon (26.2 miles) for a very personal cause; to raise awareness of cancer and to honor the memory of my sister whose life was cut short by it.  She was only 45 years old and full of life.

When I ran in my first San Francisco Half Marathon last July, my sister Cheryl and her son Sean were there to cheer me on.  Little did I know then that she would not be around to watch me run the full marathon this year.  She was diagnosed with late stage cancer last October.  Unfortunately, despite her strong will and advances in cancer treatment, my sister lost her fight to cancer in February of this year.

It has truly been a life changing event.  Over a short time span, I have experienced first hand the emotional and physical impact cancer can have on the patients, their families, and their friends.  From the initial diagnose and prognosis; through the numerous doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy sessions, visits to the hospital for blood work, and even a surgery to remove the cancer growth; to the final phase when her body (but never her spirit) succumbed to the cancer, all my family and I ever prayed for and hoped for was a cure or just a bit more time for my sister.

Cancer is a very nasty disease, and unfortunately too many people’s lives are changed forever or even lost because of it.  Cancer can affect people of  all ages, physical fitness, and health conditions.  Per the LIVESTRONG foundation, over 28 million people world wide are living and coping with cancer.  And this year in the U.S. alone, over 1.5 million people (new cases) will be diagnosed with cancer and over 1/2 million people will die from cancer according to the American Cancer Society.  It’s hard to imagine the impact of these statistics unless you have been personally affected by it.  But I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

I’m writing you and running to raise awareness, in the hope that one day there will be a cure not just for the common types of cancer that affects the larger population, but also the rare forms of cancer such the one that left my sister with little chance of survival.  While I do not fully understand the physiology and the medical research behind cancer, one thing I have learned from this experience is that early detection and access to the right treatment is absolutely key to survival and overcoming cancer.

This is a fight that can be won, but it needs to be a priority.  There are many great organizations and research institutions whose charter is to education people about cancer and to advance the research on cancer.  Until there is a cure, individuals like you and I need to be vigilant and be educated.  We can help the cause by learning about cancer and spreading the word among relatives and friends.  As I mentioned previously, early detection is key.  Who knows, your action may just save someone’s life one day.

Lastly, if you believe in the same cause, please also consider making a monetary donation to one of the many great cancer organizations.  I will be running in the San Francisco Marathon in 2 weeks and I hope to raise some funds for the American Cancer Society.  I would be extremely honored if you are able to contribute to my cause.  Any amount helps.  And knowing I have your support, I will be re-assured that I am not running alone in the fight to end cancer.  Thank you for your attention and support!