November 11, 2011

Running for Carson

When I decided I wanted to run a full marathon, people thought I was crazy. At the time, I was fresh off the high of running my first half marathon, and I felt like I could do anything. But 26.2 is serious business. I knew it would be hard, so I was selective about choosing my first race. I wanted a location that would have lots of crowd support, one without massive hills, and ideally, I wanted a race that means something to me. It's my first marathon; it's a big deal. And that's why I chose the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on Dec. 3.

St. Jude is a special place, and I'm thrilled to be able to support such a worthy cause if even just in a small way -- because St. Jude saved my family. My 8-year-old cousin, Carson, was treated there when he was a baby for a rare brain tumor. The medical care there rivals no other, and after months of harsh treatments, surgeries and therapy, Carson made a full recovery. 

But you'll notice I said St. Jude saved my family -- not just Carson. While he got the best treatment in the world, his tireless parents and his sweet twin brother had a place to live. They weren't left to find a hotel far away from their child in a city that was already far from their home; they were able to stay on the St. Jude campus with him...and remain the family they were so desperately trying to be. The beautiful thing about St. Jude is that no child is ever turned away for the inability to pay for treatment. So when families are living their worst nightmare, they can focus on the only thing that matters -- making sure their babies get better.

Carson's mom, my cousin Ginger, has been running the St. Jude Half Marathon for several years now as a St. Jude Hero. That means she puts together a team and raises money each year as a way to give back so other kids can have the treatment Carson received.

In fact, several members of my family take part in the weekend races -- in the 5K and family fun run. So when I decided to run a full marathon, I knew I wanted to run for Team Carson. I'm also running as a St. Jude Hero to raise money for the hospital.

I have a fundraising site HERE, and I hope you'll stop by and make a donation. All donations go directly to St. Jude. Every single one of us knows someone who has been impacted by cancer, and when children are the ones who are affected, it's absolutely heartbreaking. So please consider making a donation. Thanks in advance for your support.

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