First of all, WELCOME new virtual running buddies! I love connecting with other runners, and I look forward to hearing from you and visiting you in bloggyland (if you are also a blogger, of course).
In the past couple of months, I’ve started highlighting runners who are raising money as part of their training. Last week, I got an e-mail from Jen S., a mom, who also described herself as “not even very athletic” and “not a runner at all,” and then tells me she started running last summer and is training for her first half (on May 7) with Team In Training!
Jen, you ARE a runner! Everyone, if you manage get yourself out of the door and run, jog, shuffle, sprint a few steps, whatever; you ARE a runner. Sometimes, just getting outside (or on the treadmill) for a run is the hardest part, so if you make it that far, then you are a runner and should think of yourself as one!
Here’s Jen’s story and, at the bottom of the page, a way for you to earn bonus entries into my giveaway. Thanks for reading!
“I remember the night my mom came over to tell us (the) horrible news,” writes Jen S. about her mother, an oncology nurse, who was shielding her daughters from the tests she had been undergoing for a couple of weeks. “We were totally blind-sided with her diagnosis; we didn’t even know she had been feeling sick.”
The tests Jen’s mother had been receiving confirmed that she had Stage 3, Grade 3 Follicular Lymphoma. It was November 2010. Jen, a 35-year-old mother of two young children, writes that the news of her mom’s diagnosis put her in a fog so dense, she couldn’t think straight. “I was driving to work the next morning, crying, when I heard the commercial on the radio for TNT (Team In Training). I had no clue what it was, but heard the words ‘raise money,’ and ‘Lymphoma.’”
|From L-R: Jen and her children, her mother, Jen’s sister and her children.
At work, Jen immediately pulled up the Team In Training Web site. “I read what it was about, and was pretty sure I couldn’t run a half marathon,” she writes. She’d just started running over the summer and, at the most, had run a 5K. But that didn’t stop her. When she saw there was to be an informational meeting that night right by her house, she felt it was fate. “I needed to make this sacrifice for my mom. If her body had to go through chemo, then mine could run a half marathon.”
Jen shared the devastating news about her mom that day with her best friend. “Not only was she my shoulder to cry on,” writes Jen, “but she jumped right in with the plan to go to the TNT informational meeting that night.”
At the meeting, Jen was still in shock. She felt helpless. “I thought and hoped if I signed up that TNT would give me a sense of purpose, and a way to support my mom and everyone else that has and will have to battle Leukemia and Lymphoma.”
Jen will run her first half marathon, the CAP City Half, on Saturday, May 7, in honor of her mother, who began her treatment just about the same time Jen began her training, and in memory of her grandfather, who lost his battle with Lymphoma five years ago. Jen’s mother’s scan was clean earlier this month and she is now officially in remission!
|Jen will wear this during her first half on May 7.
Even though Jen’s mother is recovering, her body is “…weak, and has been devastated by cancer and chemo. I run because my mom and others like her cannot…” writes Jen. “I run because I can!”
Jen is asking MvM readers and their friends for help reaching her fund-raising goal of $3,000. She also will be running the Nike Women’s Half in October as a part of her fundraising. As of publication of this post, Jen is at 11 percent of her goal. She needs our help! Can you skip your latte this morning? Can you make your lunch at home one day instead of eating out?
Everyone who donates (any amount) through Jen’s TNT link, HERE, now through May 7, will earn you an extra entry in my RunLove Compression Socks giveaway. Please send me an e-mail if you donate and I will make sure to count your bonus entry.
Are you running to raise money? I would love to feature you on Mom vs. Marathon. Please send me an e-mail: kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com.