You may already know that I’m training to run the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas this November. This will be my fourth race for Team Lifeline, and I hope that this will be my most memorable year yet. I began this crazy journey on a dare, and it was the best risk that I’ve taken in a very long time.
My story started almost six years ago, when I lost my dad. He was a wonderful and compassionate man who loved being alive, every minute of every day. Seriously, this was a man who took joy in schlepping in my mom’s groceries in the middle of a blizzard. It took nothing to make him happy, just a smile or a hug, or someone just saying “Good morning Jeff!”
Fast forward three years later. We’d just finished making a bat mitzvah party for our girls, and I remembered how good cake and cookies taste. All I could think was “Shoot! Now I’m gonna gain back all the weight I lost to fit into this dress!!” Thank goodness, my older brother said “hey, go run a marathon for Chai!” And when I stopped laughing he said “Do it for Dad”....
And here we are, three years later, and I’m feeling slightly bittersweet because this year I turn 40, and somehow we blinked and he’s been gone six years. And in true dramatic fashion, Yartzeit this year falls out on September 17th, THE actual day of my birthday. So did I cry? Oh yeah. Did I feel sorry for myself? For sure! Did I stop making it about me and decide to turn pain into happiness? Abso-freakin-lutely! And the best way for me to do that, is to raise a bunch of money for an amazing organization and spends every waking moment bringing joy to children who need it so badly. I like to think that my Dad would be proud....
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 battling illness is a million times harder. 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. Please be a part of this with me, and together we can make a difference!!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,