My Reason For Running
There are many reasons people take on the challenge of attempting to run a half marathon. Some people do this because it sounds like a great way to challenge yourself, lose a few pounds and improve your overall health. These are all very big side benefits for me, but not the true reason why I signed up for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. When I first heard about Gilda's Gang offering me an opportunity to run the 1/2 in loving memory of my Daddy, I simply couldn't resist. And I knew it was something I was meant to do.
I have missed my father for more than a year now. He fought a hard battle with Pancreatic cancer, and it took him from us long before we were ready to let him go. I think about him often, and I have wondered if he knew just how much he meant to me. We always made sure we told each other just how much we loved each other, but there are so many conversations that I would love to share with him even now. I am so deeply grateful to have had my father in my life. His love and influence did not die with him. His lessons will live on through me and my children. As I run this 1/2 marathon, I would love to be able to see him at the finish line. I know he would be proud. And even though he won't be there physically with me, He is and will be with me every step of every training day, every step of the race, and ALWAYS in my heart. He told me just before he died, "B, be the best B you can be." Well daddy, this is me trying to be the best B I can be to honor you, the wonderful memories, and all that you did for me!
So why did I choose Gilda's Gang? When Dad was first diagnosed wiht Pancreatic Cancer, I was searching for local support groups that could help me or my family. It was not until he passed that I actually chose to walk through the Red Door at Gilda's, and that is when I learned what Gilda's Club stands for. When comedian Gilda Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986 she quickly realized the importance of emotional and social support when dealing with her cancer. She realized it was not only important for the patient, but also for their friends and family to have support throughtout their walk with cancer. After her passing in May 1989 her husband, Gene Wilder, and Joanna Bull founded the flagship Gilda’s Club in New York City. Today the signature Red Door at Gilda's is open to men, women and children with any type of cancer and their families and friends. Even though dad had finished his journey, mine was still revealing itself to me. Through Gilda's Loss of Parent Group, I have met many dear friends or "sisters," as we refer to ourselves, who are all going through some of the same struggles as me. We laugh..we cry..we laugh and cry some more, but it is a place of understanding that I would have been lost without. The donations you give will help support a place that means so much to not only me, but to people living with cancer in all of Middle Tennessee. Gilda’s Club offers not only support groups like I attend, but also lectures, classes and activities free of charge… and while everything is free, it isn't always cheap. As long as people have cancer, there needs to be a Gilda’s Club – to ensure no one faces cancer alone.
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