This message from my first year will explain why I run.
You may already know that I’m training to run in the Miami Marathon with Team Lifeline this January. What you probably don't know, or remember, was that I attempted to do this seven years ago. My little nephew had gone into remission, and after having seen Chai Lifeline in action from the families perspective, I was determined to give back. A few nights a week I'd go over to my mother-in-laws house and train on the treadmill. She'd sit there typing up reports for work, I ran, and we both watched our shows together. I'll admit that while I was determined to run, the fundraising aspect scared the heck out of me and I chickened out. Fast-forward seven years. My wonderful mother-in-law whom I called "Mom" is no longer with us after fighting stage 4 Lung Cancer for 5.5 years. Mom passed away this summer and it's still so hard to believe that she's no longer here. My mother-in-law was an incredibly strong person, continuing to raise her three boys after her husband passed away at an early age. She renewed her degree, went back to work, and married off all three boys on her own. Mom was a speech therapist, and we're continuously finding cards and letters from her clients thanking her for doing such a wonderful job with their children. She had patience for children like you wouldn't believe. Her grandchildren were her life and they loved when she would read them books for hours on end. She participated in school functions right up till a few months before she passed away, even though it was extremely difficult. But the children were everything. I know some people have difficult relationships with their mothers-in-law, but Mom always took my side and I felt like I could always talk to her.
Cancer is ugly. It is a terrifying experience watching a loved one suffer, and not being able to help them. There are organizations however, who can alleviate some of that suffering. Chai Lifeline/Camp Simcha is one such place.
Chai Lifeline is a wonderful organization that provides year–round emotional, social, and financial support to more than 4,500 children and their families every year. Chai Lifeline´s programs and activities change their lives forever, returning joy and hope and enabling them to live full and happy lives despite the presence of illness. Its most famous program is Camp Simcha and its sister camp, Camp Simcha Special which offer 450 kids a chance to forget about illness and just be kids again. My husband Josh spent 8 summers working in Camp Simcha and Mom was always very proud of the work that he did there, and especially enjoyed hosting his campers for Shabbat.
We've been left with a great big hole in our lives, and while thank G-d I have plenty on my plate, I was searching for a productive way to channel my grief. And then I remembered those long ago nights in Mom’s house that we spent together and I knew I had to go back and finish what I started.
Running is a personal challenge, but I’m not in this just for the glory. I’m running for something important. I am running to raise money for Chai Lifeline, a wonderful organization dedicated to helping very sick children and their families. I know Mom was a big believer in their cause, and I know she would want me to do this. The money I raise will be an aliyah for her soul and help her soar higher and higher. However, I know I can’t do it alone. I need your help and support to raise as much money as possible for the children of Chai Lifeline. So please, push the donate button and help me put smiles on the faces of sick children. Let's do this together! Let's #run4mom