Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Boston Marathon, April 21, 2008

For several years now I have had this intimidating desire to run a marathon but never the motivation to commit, until now. Several months ago my dear friend Catie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, called Ewing’s Sarcoma. This is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or in soft tissue. Catie was 22 weeks pregnant when she was first diagnosed and because of the progressive nature of the cancer, it was imperative that she begin chemotherapy immediately. It overwhelms me to imagine being in her position: a mother of two and pregnant with her third with seven months of chemotherapy, medical appointments, surgery, and radiation ahead of her.

Sarah was born on October 3, weighing 2 pounds and 4 ounces. She is doing remarkably well as of today she should have been sent home from the hospital—a month early!

Catie is so courageous, strong and beautiful. And Steve is steady and full of humor. Leave it to Catie and Steve to make this insurmountable trial seem manageable! I owe them the world for the lessons they are unknowingly teaching me. Soon after I became aware of Catie’s diagnosis, Michael and I became involved locally with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through this involvement I have been invited to race in the 2008 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team. DFMC directs 100% of funds raised to this program, which enables scientists at the leading edge of discovery to achieve better cure rates and to enhance patients' quality of life.

This April, I will embark on one of the biggest challenge of my life: completing the Boston Marathon. But my personal effort, no matter how difficult, can in no way compare to the challenge facing those diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, nearly everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer, either directly or through a loved one. To support cancer research, Michael and I have set a personal fund-raising goal of $7,500. In a few weeks we are kicking off the fundraising by holding a formal cocktail party at a reception center in downtown Boston. (www.hampshirehouse.com)

If you happen upon this blog and you are interested in supporting Dana-Farber and cancer research, you are more than welcome to donate to this great cause by following the steps below.

Here's how to donate:
1. Go to www.RunDFMC.org.
2. On the left side of the page, click on the "Support a Runner" button.
3. Enter my first and last name: Jennifer Smith, and follow the prompts from there.


Regan said...

I'm in tears! What an inspiring story... it totally puts my "small" trials into perspective. Joel and I would love to donate... can we do it right away? Or do we wait until after your launch party?

Jen said...

No need to wait! The fundraiser was just an idea to get things started but is in no way a hard date on when I can start receiving donations. Thank you so much Regan! We'll see you soon in California. Love you tons!

Ashlee said...

Jen, I can't beleive that Catie has cancer. Please tell her that she and her family are in my prayers. She's beautiful even without hair. Her smiling face is an inspiration.

callie & steve said...

what a tiny, precious little baby!

and good for you to run a marathon...and for such a good cause! i am way to lazy to do such a thing

Dave and Mandy said...

Jen, I am so excited about this - we are all inspired by Catie and Steve and I'm pretty darn inspired by you and Michael too. Hope we can meet up in CA for some long runs before the marathon.

Dacia said...

Hi my name is Dacia Mumford. I am a good friend of Catie's and she gave me your blog because some of my family would like to donate, so I will follow the steps! We found out about this marathon and fundraiser from Ron and Meg Ellis. We just moved here from Califonia (we were at Stanford which is how we know the Stubbens). The Ellises are in our ward and helped watch my kids when I flew out to see Catie right after Sarah was born so Meg knew the story and we were all touched when she received your letter about the fundraiser, small world. I am so touched by the gift you are giving Catie. You are a wonderful friend! Thank you!!!

Jessica said...

Hi Jen,
I accidentally found your blog, as I was looking for my co-worker's blog, whose name is also Jennifer Smith! I am truly over-come with emotion hearing the story of your friend Catie. As a mother of 2, I cannot imagine finding out that you have cancer, especially when you are pregnant. Such a huge threat that could easily destroy all your hopes and dreams as a mother and a wife, and not knowing if your family will have to live the rest of their lives without you.... I just can't imagine. I have never thought about cancer in this way before. It is such a horrible disease, and I have seen the pain and suffereing that it has caused many innocent children and their families through my work as a Child Life Specialist. It has definitely made me a more anxious parent, thinking that any leg pain my child has during the night must be leukemia. I'm so glad that Dana Farber is doing research to find a cure, and that 100% of the donations are going to resesarch. I did a relay in our local Burlington City Marathon in Vermont this past May and ran 5.5 miles to raise $ for Vermont Children's Hospital where I work. It was my first race, and I caught the "running bug"! Unfortunately, I suffered an achilles injury after the race and was sidelined from running for most of the Summer, and my inspirations to try to do a 1/2 marathon this Fall became unrealistic. I am now looking toward the Spring, and am sheepishly thinking, could I possibly do a marathon? I went to college in Boston and have always been drawn to the Boston marathon, so I have been thinking about giving it a try if I could get a # through a charity. Dana Farber seems like the best choice, as all the $ goes toward cancer research and it seems like they are very good to their runners. Did you have a good experience running for them and would you reccommend it? I am just not sure about training through a Vermont Winter though. And weighing most heavily on my mind, is the question of is it selfish of me as a wife and a mother, who already feels that b/c of work I don't have enough time with my family, to need to take more time away for training? On the other hand, I think it would be such a positive thing to do and I need to get this baby weight off! My youngest is 18 months old, but the weight didn't come off so easily with the second and I love to eat:) Did you find any weight loss from your training? And the other piece is what training program to follow. Did Dana Farber give you one that you followed or did use another beginner marathon training program out there? So many questions, sorry! If you have a chance, my email is jessrabidoux@gmail.com or jessica.rabidoux@vtmednet.org. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Jess Rabidoux