You may already know that I’m training to run the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas this November for the second year in a row. 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.
My inspiration is my incredible mother-in-law, Sarah Taub, who passed away in November of 2017. She never gave up hope in beating the hardest obstacle she, along with many others, had ever faced in her life: cancer. Here's a little background.
When there were points where she was well enough to do so, she would walk 1 mile for an annual summertime 1-mile/5K in support of those that we call "touched by cancer" and survivors. In June of 2017, I was going to walk that mile with her for the first time (I had never even ran at that point), but as June approached, she became too sick to do it. So, I went anyways with her team, cleverly named Sarah's Starrs (Starr was her maiden name.) She passed away less than 6 months later, so we never had a chance to walk together. In early 2018, I thought about the 1-mile/5k she would do every year and decided I was going to run 3.1 miles by June with her same team, because why not? My time was not great, but I got to the finish line!
Shortly after that, a friend talked to me about joining a team for Chai Lifeline. That involved running either double or more miles than I had ever run before. I was so nervous for many reasons (not raising enough funds, making it out alive after running for so long, going all by myself for a couple of days, etc) but somehow, I did it! I struggled (my headphones for my music decided not to work!!) but I made it out alive. And I did it for these kids. And I did it for my mother-in-law.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 I ran the local annual 5k with Sarah's Starrs again. I don't know why, but for some reason over the past few weeks of "training", I focused on beating my time from last year. Impressively, I beat it by a lot more than I expected! How? Less than 5 minutes in, I truly acknowledged the fact that I was running alongside many cancer survivors. This sounds cheesy but its very true- I felt their strength and determination as I ran with them. I remembered the whole reason for why I was doing this in the first place. Support. Recognize. Raise awareness that nobody suffers alone. We all supported each other. And that is why I am planning on doing it again this upcoming November with Chai Lifeline.
Chai Lifeline is a wonderful organization that provides year–round emotional, social, and financial support to more than 5,800 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. Every year these two camps offer nearly 500 kids a chance to forget about illness and just be kids again. To get a better idea of what Chai Lifeline does for families, please watch the videos below. I know they will touch your heart the way they touched mine.
Training is not easy, but neither is dealing with illness. If the children of Chai Lifeline can fight each day, if they can push themselves to go through hospital stays and treatments, I can do this for them. But I can't do this without your support. I need your help to raise as much money as possible for these kids. So please, push the donate button and help me put smiles on the faces of sick children. Let's do this together! Let's make dreams come true.