Her, Them, Me, You – The Shrinking Jeans of Lisa


January 1, 2010 By lisa

I am running the Rock n Roll San Diego 1/2 Marathon in June 2010 as part of the Team Shrinking Jeans.

1/2 Marathon = 13.1 MILES.

We will be training and fundraising as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma’s Team in Training.  I have thought about this non-stop ever since the idea was introduced to me.  While running 13.1 miles is a very big deal, it has to be more than just about a run for me (I thought I would NEVER say that!).  It has to be in my heart.  If I am going to work hard at fundraising for an organization and if I am going to put in long hours training my body to run that distance, than my heart has to be into it.

My heart is into this.

My Aunt Elma died at the young age of 9 years old to leukemia.  She was one of 14 children to my grandparents, the youngest in the brood and a twin to boot.  She was diagnosed at the age of 7 years old in the early 1970′s.  She died a fast two years later, leaving her parents (my grandparents) devastated and her 13 other siblings reeling from grief.

What makes her story all the more real for me is that my grandparents spoke little to no English.  Thankfully, her oncologist spoke Spanish and was able to relay important information to them.

What makes it all too real for me is imagining my grandmother staying in the hospital with her youngest daughter as her body rages war against a beast, hoping and dreaming and wishing for a miracle.  Imagining what must have running through her Spanish-speaking head.  Imagining her missing her other children and having to leave them in the care of others.

What makes it all too real for me is imagining what my Aunt Emma, my Aunt Elma’s twin sister must have been thinking through all of this, missing her sister, the one she shared a womb with.

What makes it all too real for me is imagining my grandfather unable to bear the burden of taking his youngest daughter to chemo treatments and leaving that task to his oldest son to do- my father.  My dad took his baby sister to each of her treatments.  He was barely a father himself.

What makes it ALL TOO REAL for me is looking at MY own daughter, who is 6 years old and IMAGINING what my poor grandparents had to live through with their own child, experiencing the worst, most horrible nightmare that I can ever imagine.

Losing a child to cancer.

cancer sucks.  It sucks when it happens to an adult.  It sucks when it happens to a friend.  It sucks when it happens to a family member.  It especially sucks when it attacks the youngest in our world.

The fight to find a cure continues to this day.

This 1/2 marathon is a BIG DEAL for me personally- I have never run that distance, I just started running a few months ago, I never imagined that I would take part in a long distance run-  It will be a huge physical accomplishment for me.  It touches me in my body, it touches me in my heart, it touches me in my soul.

This run, this 1/2 marathon, this fundraising for LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)- it’s deeply personal.  I will train, I will fundraise, I will look cancer right in the eye and flip it the bird.

I run for her (my aunt).  I run for them (my grandparents, my dad and his siblings).  I run for me.  I run for you.

I run in the hopes that LLS can continue their research to find a cure for blood cancers and put an end to it for one and for all.

Please consider a donation to support my participation in Team in Training and to further LLS’s mission of fighting blood cancer research, education, and patient services.

Just click here to make a donation : ). Any amount is greatly appreciated.