My name is Melissa Eichele, I am a Lexiebean Board member, nurse, wife, and a mom to 2 beautiful boys, Tanner & Chase. Tanner lost his battle with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (a brain tumor) at the age of 3 1/2 in April 2011. He was the light of our lives, and I am determined to raise pediatric cancer awareness by keeping his name alive in as many ways as possible. First and foremost, through the Lexiebean Foundation, I can help other kids in his situation, be a support for other families, and be a part of a group of people who understand what it is like to lose a child to cancer. I have been running for a year now, and have found stress relief and comfort in running - I use it as my meditation time to think about Tanner and all his brave warrior friends. If they can battle cancer, I can certainly run another mile - for them.
**On September 29th, 2013, I will be running a 10K (6 mile) leg on a team of 8 runners, covering a distance of 50 miles in total from Jones Beach to Oyster Bay. We at Lexie's Legs love this event because it is a true team event and shows how with a little effort from a group of people, we can really make a difference. If 8 people running for pediatric cancer tell eight of their friends, then 64 people made aware of pediatric cancer and the great need for The Lexiebean Foundation. Imagine the ripple effect it would have if that kept multiplying. We will be running as a team, but everyone who donates, sponsors us, and spreads the word is also a part of our team. It is a team effort to spread awareness about pediatric cancer, and everyone needs to join. I will run to the ends of the earth to tell Tanner's story, and I am so grateful for so many people who have supported us, Tanner, and his memory along the way.
A beautiful friend once told me "often we do not choose the charities we advocate for, they choose us because of the circumstances life presents us with". How wise and true. Before Tanner was diagnosed, I thought pediatric cancer was rare... Did you know that every week day 46 children will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer and every weekday 7 children will lose their battle with cancer?? It's not nearly as rare as you think. And, with my beautiful baby boy Tanner being one of those 7, that is one too many for the rest of my life.
Tanner endured multiple brain surgeries, 1 1/2 years of chemotherapy, radiation, blood draws, blood transfusions, infections, pain, and ultimately paralysis. A 3 year old should be able to run, play and have fun. When Tanner was 3 1/2, he was stroller bound and the last month of his life he couldn't hold himself upright. Tanner's last words to us, his parents, were "I love you momma, I love you daddy". Even in his most difficult time, he was able to let us know how much he loved us, and we are so glad he knew how much we loved and still love him.
Your donation will help The Lexiebean Foundation show other children how much they are loved, although they are suffering, they are not forgotten. We need to support them, their families, and advocate for them. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. What better time to be running for Lexiebean's children.**
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