Sunday, October 6, 2013

Acceptance and Closure

For the last 5 years of my short life the third weekend of October has meant just one thing to me, serving as Team Captain of the NF Endurance Team at the Long Beach Int'l Marathon. If you are a long time friend, you may be surprised to read those words without them being highlighted in yellow and followed by a seemingly preposterous amount of exclamation points. You have probably just now realized you haven't recieved any emails or social media alerts from me encouraging you to join us, to get off the couch and on the course, or to consider monetarily supporting the Children's Tumor Foundation in quite some time. I have recieved numerous emails from team mates and supporters asking for this year's plan. I kept saving the emails into a folder to respond to once I had a better answer, but no answer ever formed... The truth is, I simply do not have the energy and stamina to participate in an endurance event anymore... I have not deluded myself into believing anyone was waiting with bated breath for me to finally address this issue, but I feel the need to specifically respond as a form of self-acceptance... The fact is people with NF get sick. We get really fucking sick. We don't fundraise for kicks, we are terrified to be the next person on the NF Memorial page. It is why we see so many NF Moms doing the leg work, literally, because a lot of us just can't run. I have been upset about not being able to participate in the NF Endurance Team for quite a while now, and enough is enough. My life is filled with joy and beauty, and so rather then lament my inability to continue on one path, I am saying a fond farewell and finding another. To every single one of you who have donated in my or JT's name, shown up to cheer, run or walk for us, been a teammate, a friend, a supporter... Thank you. Being a part of this team has been the motivation I needed at some of my darkest moments. When I felt helpless, it gave me an avenue to fight for myself and my son. I loved every second of it, and this Sunday when the Long Beach Marathon happens without me there in bright yellow for the first time in 6 years, I will try to simply be happy for the memories in my heart. To each of you who contacted me and went unanswered, I apologize. I am still here, and will continue to be a part of the search for a cure in any way I can for as long as I can, just not through running. To those of you still on the course, run strong friends, be grateful for every step you can take, and NEVER GIVE UP.

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