In 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting Kate Voth through mutual friends. As it turned out, we shared a common interest (devotion?) to running. For Kate, running was a release, an escape, and a complete joy. Her enthusiasm for life was infectious and incredible. I was immediately enthralled by her outlook and have striven to emulate it since meeting her.
When I met her, Kate and her husband, Mike, also were in the midst of a battle. I choose the term "battle" carefully as they were waging a full-on assault against Kate's melanoma through traditional, experimental, and homeopathic treatments. Yet, Kate remained ebullient, optimistic, and an inspiration.
In 2013, Team Kate garnered 118 members and raised over $61,000 for LIVESTRONG, becoming the largest and most successful team in the Foundation's history. As I scrawled Kate's name on a note to tuck inside my running hat, worn throughout training and the marathon itself, I felt a distinct honor running for Kate, a woman with such a beautiful, warm soul and a heart capable of holding all of those who had the luck of coming near her.
Unfortunately, Kate lost her battle with melanoma on June 1, 2013. But she did not lose the war. Team Kate has continued in the wake of the melanoma to continue the fight.
This year, Team Kate 2014 aims to go further. Our goal is to raise over $50,000 toward an endowment fund for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. This fund will last in perpetuity in Kate's memory, working to provide resources, support, and guidance for cancer patients and survivors, as well as their families.
Kate's melanoma was so severe and aggressive, it kept her from one of her deepest passions: running. Today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter, we pledge to run. We run for those who can't. We run for those who want to. We run for those who dream of it. And we run for Kate.
Please consider donating to LIVESTRONG in Kate's memory and in honor of those running their own marathons every day in their fights against cancer.