Big Sis In Burgundy: Running The Chicago Marathon For Multiple Myeloma
Published: Oct 10, 2011 10:00 am
I finished the Chicago Marathon yesterday. I ran it to raise awareness and money for multiple myeloma, and it was an amazing experience.
First, I must acknowledge my sister, Darrie, and niece, Kate, who are the best pit crew a girl could have. They were tremendous support, especially Kate, who fixed my iPod when it froze. For a moment, I thought I would have to spend 26.2 miles alone with my thoughts.
Throughout the race, I focused on friends and family who have been affected by cancer. I wrote a list up my arm and continued to recite it at the beginning of each mile. The many people I have learned about through this column were also on my mind.
Running 26.2 miles, which I completed in 5 hours 55 minutes, is only but a symbol of what the brave patients and their families and caregivers go through.
Every mile was dedicated to my sister Deana, who is scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday. Next Monday, I will accompany her to her oncologist appointment and hope that we get the news that her plasma cell level has reached the place where we can move to transplant.
Meeting my fellow Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Power Team members who also participated in the marathon was inspiring beyond words. One member just finished his stem cell transplant last month. He planned to walk the race; Darrie saw him at about the midpoint, where he reported he was doing well.
There were many families there, some tears were shed, but we agreed we were all there out of love. Deana was among the younger patients represented, although one woman was running for her husband’s 31 year old cousin, who has been so weakened, he cannot walk or pick up his young son. I am sure he felt her love yesterday.
Jeff Goad, who was diagnosed about 18 months ago right before his 50th birthday, made excellent remarks. He was an accomplished athlete prior to multiple myeloma and shared that he could never understand those who go out and run for charity, instead of taking on the marathon to make a good time. He has tremendous support from his family, including his brother who sounds like he could be my twin separated at birth. Dave has been so involved with raising money and awareness for multiple myeloma – I look forward to getting to know him better.
Team Hoagie was another really impressive group. When a member’s mother was diagnosed, this group banded together with the pledge that the family would not fight this alone.
There are more stories than I can cover here, but I will try to incorporate some more in future articles.
I was also honored to learn that the MMRF has put an article about me In the Spotlight on their website.
As always, I thank all of you for the encouragement and support. It means a great deal to me and my family. I am grateful to have had you on the journey to my first marathon. And, I hope that the $125,000 raised by the Power Team for this race will bring us closer to a cure for multiple myeloma.
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society And Women’s Running Magazine Join Forces To Launch New Women’s Half Marathon
- The MMRF Marathon And Half Marathon Program Seeks Runners
- MMRF Is The Official Charity Of The Rite Aid Cleveland 5K
- The Top Myeloma Beacon Patient And Caregiver Columns Of 2011
- Beacon NewsFlashes – October 2, 2009