After being diagnosed with brain cancer at 17, I had no idea where to turn, who to talk to or what life was going to be like moving forward. That's where Chai Lifeline came in. A day after my diagnosis a volunteer was outside my house honking his horn and signing. We went out that night and spoke for hours. While we were speaking, I mentioned how much I missed the beach. 2 mornings later we were on a plane going to Miami to hang out at the beach to relax before surgery and the road ahead.
After coming back from Miami the "cancer times" started. I was going to the hospital multiple times a week, seeing all types of doctors and taking numerous different tests. I underwent a 14 hour brain surgery at Johns Hopkins where the doctors were able to successfully remove my brain tumor. After a few months of recovery, I was able to attend Camp Simcha.
There are no words to describe Camp Simcha and the strength it gives to the campers. Camp Simcha is the happiest place in the world and when you tell people that they think you're crazy and usually ask "how is a place full of sick kids the happiest place on earth?" and my answer is always "that's the power of Chai Lifeline". I was privileged to attend Camp Simcha for 3 incredible summers where I met some of my closest friends and had an incredible time.
After Camp Simcha I went Mass. General Hospital in Boston where I had 3 months of treatment. Chai Lifeline volunteers came to Boston to visit me there too!
It's been a little over 5 years since my diagnosis and I decided I wanted to challenge myself and do something in memory of the many Chai Lifeline friends that have passed away.
I will be running the 2020 NYC Full Marathon (26.2 miles) in memory of all the Chai Lifeline Kids who have passed away and in honor of the incredible work that Chai Lifeline does on a daily basis.
I can tell you first hand as a recipient of Chai Lifelines work that they saved my life and countless others. They give us the strength to fight and stood by our side from start to finish.
Training and running this marathon won't be an easy task but seeing Chai Lifeline constantly move mountains for there families isn't easy at all.
I'm excited for the challenge ahead and ask you to join me in supporting an incredible organization. Any and every size donation is greatly appreciated and goes a long way.
Thank you and stay tuned for training updates!