To me LIVESTRONG means living every day emotionally and physically to the fullest and when life presents a battle in front of you, fight with tenacity.
My dear family and friends,
I hope this finds you well and you’re all having a great start to the New Year! I am writing to you because I am running the NYC Half Marathon on March 16th. This is my very first half marathon and I am honored to be running for Team LIVESTRONG this year! Whoever could have thought with my “sprinter’s physique” I would run 13.1 miles? I have been putting in hard work the past several months and increasing my mileage. As you all know, I strongly support LIVESTRONG and the work they do for cancer patients and survivors. LIVESTRONG helped me during my battle with ovarian cancer when I was diagnosed in 2010. One of my friends reached out to some LIVESTRONG contacts about my situation and the rest was history. Doug Ulman, CEO, personally reached out to me asking if there was anything he or the organization could do for me. I was soon introduced to the LIVESTRONG family by speaking at the kick-off luncheon for the LIVESTRONG runners in the 2011 NYC Half Marathon. With barely any hair and weak and bloated from the drugs, I watched the race in awe the next day alongside LIVESTRONG staff. It clicked in my mind that I would love to run for Team LIVESTRONG one day. The LIVESTRONG staff was so generous and caring about my well-being and this organization lives up to their mission statement. One staff member was a young survivor and I connected with him on how the road into survivorship is often as hard as fighting cancer. I had been very upset about gaining weight and not being able to jog for even a minute without stopping at the end of treatment. I kept him updated as I gained strength back each month. Exactly one year after my surgery, I ran in the 5K in Austin, Texas where LIVESTRONG’s headquarters are. I was invited to tour their office the day before the race and the staff could not have been more welcoming. They were so enthusiastic and thrilled to see I was doing well and joining them for the 5K Challenge. Another individual from LIVESTRONG that related to my frustrations of going from a healthy, active, young adult to a bald, scarred, weak, young adult was Lance Armstrong. I had the privilege to meet my longtime role model that day. I know the news surrounding Lance Armstrong in the past year hasn’t been entirely positive, but what he has done for this foundation, and millions like me, is irreplaceable. I won’t get into the world of cycling and Lance’s personal decisions, but I stand by the foundation because of what they gave me and what they believe in. They gave me the hope and strength that I would get through chemotherapy, accept what had happened and turn it into a positive. And what a positive it has been. Life has been so wonderful to me and not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings that I beat cancer and am living a richer life because of it. I am still proudly working at Memorial Sloan-Kettering where I was treated and I will run this race for the patients I have met during my time here. For all of the wonderful patients who have faced cancer, those winning and others losing this battle, this race is for you. I hope you will support my cause for the fight on cancer. This race is incredibly sentimental to me as it shows how far I have come in the past 3 years since entering remission. I hope you will join me and live your best life, may you always live a strong life emotionally and physically. Thank you so much for your consideration!
Yours truly and God bless,