My mom has been called just about everything…A once in a lifetime kind of friend… A gift… An angel on earth... She was unique and vibrant. Mom always had an easy, simple way about her. To me, she was simply Mom, and she lived with my husband, Mark, and I for the last six years of her life while fighting stage IV breast cancer. This year, I will run the 13.1 mile Rock n Roll San Antonio Half-Marathon in memory of my mom, Sharon, who lost her life at age 63 on the evening of September 29, 2009. I am ready to run and to honor her tenacity and love for life with every training step and every race mile! She would be jumping up and down in encouragement on the sidelines of this race if she was alive today, and she would encourage you in the very same way!
My goal is to raise a dollar to fund finding the cure for breast cancer for every single day that my mom fought her second diagnosis - stage IV breast cancer. When I think about the pain and treatments that she endured with a smile on her face, I realize that the marathon training I am doing pales in comparison. Every day that she woke up since that fateful diagnosis on January 4, 2004 was a blessing. Every round of chemo, ICU stay, ventilator treatment, and doctor visit she emerged from with that smile still spread wide across her face, a miracle. Living with my mom taught me a lot about toughness, about choosing joy in the midst of pain, and about the strength and grandiosity of spirit that can be held in a thin, tiny frame.
My mom would tell you to do the important things today, and not plan and wait for someday in the future. Because she knew all too well, that tomorrow does not always come and the next day is never promised to us. Thankfully, she made it long enough to witness the birth of my son, Ryan.
Cancer accompanied my mother everywhere she went for the last 15 years of her life. The disease powerfully twisted everything we thought to be true about life and broke the mold of our expectations about how life should go. But the cancer also acted like a crucible, forcing authenticity to the top, clarifying what was important over what was urgent, and giving us all the chance to think and talk about the important things in life.
My friends and family, as well as my mom’s friends have been so caring during her illness and since her death, and they’ve been extra supportive of this goal I’ve set out to accomplish. It feels so good to be able to do something positive to bring attention to this disease which attacked my family. I am ready to fight back and raise awareness about stage 4 breast cancer. The weekend of the race would be her 64th birthday, and I am excited and ready to reach my training and fundraising goals to honor her memory by completing this race. I can’t imagine a better way to spend such a special date!