To Make a Donation to the 2016 team

Please visit my fundraising page to make a donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.runDFMC.org/2017/jennies). Please help me reach my goal of $50,000 to fund important basic cancer research! With your support, we have already provided over $312,000 to Dana-Farber researchers over the past 8 years. Please give as generously as your means allow!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy

This week of Thanksgiving stirs a lot of different thoughts and emotions. Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends, and to consider all the gifts in our lives for which we are grateful. It's almost too unreal to consider what changes our family has gone through in the past few years. In having lost Molly and John to cancer since we were all together as a family for Thanksgiving just 2 short years ago and to still be struggling with Mary's ongoing issues, finding reasons to be thankful can sometimes be difficult. For me, experiencing these tragedies has forced me to be more appreciative and grateful for the little things in the life. I pay more attention to many things that might have gone unnoticed before. These life changing events push me to appreciate the tiny moments in our lives instead of just living for the big ones. It is all of these little things that make up most of our days, and in turn, the bulk of our lives. Letting them go by unnoticed allows so much to slip by unconsciously. I feel like there have been so many days where I just go through the motions, without really considering what I am doing or what is going on around me. I try now try to stop and be thankful for all of the daily things I do that I may feel like chores. Walking the kids to school in the rain. Going for a run. Making a quick run the grocery store every day. Cleaning the bathroom. Getting up before the sun. And to express gratitude for the "little things" that really are gifts in my life: like having coffee with a friend, or a telephone conversation with my family every day, a clear night for the full moon, or the kindness of our good friends, the laughter of my kids, or even to have the chance each year to complain about the winter. And so, I am thankful this week for many things, even as we learn to negotiate through so many life changes. We do so with heavy hearts as the holidays have been a time that we as a family hold so dearly. It would, however, be wrong to not have learned from the past and so we seek to find the gifts in our lives each day.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to stop and smell the turkey.

Be good. Be strong.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Remembering....



Off to the right side of this blog page is information about the inclusion of the names of your friends and family members who have been diagnosed with cancer on my shirt on Marathon Monday. The beginning of the list of names for 2010 is also there, and has starting growing already. Participating in this marathon is about all of these people more than anything else. While carrying these names with me won't bring about the cure that we are seeking or bring back those we have lost to cancer, it is a small way to honor them and the energy and fight they have given or continue to give. It also allows all of the spectators along the 26.2 mile course to see why the members of the DFMC team are out there every year. It makes this journey personal and real for all of us. Please leave a comment here or send me a message if there is someone you would like to remember. This picture is from the shirt that I wore during last year's marathon. There was also a list of names of a other friends and family members that I carried in my pocket that were last minute additions, and I didn't get in time to have printed on the shirt. The new shirt won't be printed until the week before the marathon in April, so there is still plenty of time to let me know.

As far as the running goes, my 18-week training program doesn't start until December 14. I have been maintaining a long run of about 10 miles on the weekends for the past few months so when that day in December rolls around, I am ready to get started. I'll build my long runs slowly until 3 weeks before the marathon when I will do the last big run before tapering off.

Thanks for following along, and for your support. This week, there have been contributions of $975 to Dana-Farber in support of my participation. Humbling to say the least.

Be good. Be strong.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wonder Woman turns 34

Today is my sister's birthday. Today M (aka, Wonder Woman) turns 34, and she put her all into this past year as I know she will give to the coming year. She has been living strong with a melanoma diagnosis for the past 3 years despite tortuous treatments and surgeries, including a total hip replacement when melanoma was found in her hip bone. In spite of all she has been through, M has the most upbeat and outgoing personalities of anyone I know, and she just keeps on plugging away EVERY day. She still finds a way to put others first and to give so kindly to her family and friends, when she has every right to focus all of her energies on herself. Recently, she found out there were a couple of pesky lymph nodes in her hip that were found to have some of these nasty disease cells in them so she is, again, facing additional treatment and is trying to find the best option for her. This involves visiting no less than 5 treatment centers in 3 states, and sorting through mounds of information meant for people with medical degrees, but she is going strong and will make the right decision. So, I am wishing you, Mary, a very happy birthday, and a fabulous year to come. Thank you for the gifts of inspiration and strength. You are why I run.