A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step
I've always been a Daddy's girl. From sitting on his shoulders pulling out his hair as a baby, to "helping" him build a deck when I was a little girl, my Dad's been my everything. Smart, strong, wise – there wasn't anything he couldn't do or fix. But in December 2002, my Dad, Bruce Morgan, was diagnosed with a Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma – Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia. This rare blood cancer is chronic and incurable – but it is maintainable. At the time, the average life expectancy was 5-7 years. Almost TWENTY years later, Dad has outlived nearly every statistic. Why? Well, aside from him being the most stubborn person I know, he's had two things in his corner.
1. Amazing doctors who kept current on the latest research. He's had cutting edge therapies, new drugs, and courses of treatments still in clinical trials.
2. An amazing attitude. In 2003 he signed up with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team and Training Program and trained for the Nashville Marathon in Spring 2004. As a recently diagnosed cancer patient, he ran to raise money for the organization researching his disease and to build up his body and strength for his eventual courses of chemotherapy.
Fast forward to August 2021, when I watched the Women’s Olympic marathon. I cried and cheered as American Molly Seidel won the bronze medal.
– I thought, “I want to do that. I want to run a marathon.” (Although much – MUCH – slower!)
– Because I know my generally unathletic-self struggles to finish a half-marathon, I thought, “And if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it with Team in Training to get the coaching, motivation, and tips I need to do it safely.”
– Because I’m a kid at heart, I thought, “And if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it in the happiest place on Earth – Disney World.”
– Because I can’t do anything half-way, I thought, “And if I'm going to do it, I’m going to do the Dopey.”
So yes, for my 40th birthday weekend, I’m going to be training to run a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and full marathon on 4 consecutive days, with a goal of raising $40,000 for the organization that has funded the research that’s made it possible for my father to be cheering on his baby girl at the finish lines – AND to do the 5K with me! I'll be participating in the National Rookie Challenge, a national fundraising competition for first-time Team in Training participants to raise as much money as possible and make an incredible impact for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission. That’s 48.6 miles for charity. That's $40,000 for 40 years. That's 48.6 miles for Dad. That's $40,000 for treatments and cures.
The truth is, I’m terrified. I don’t know if I can accomplish these lofty mileage and fundraising goals I’ve set for myself. But I know I can’t if I don’t try, and I’d regret it forever if I don’t give it my absolute best effort. No matter what happens, I’ll be in Disney World with my family to support me through the tears. Whether they will be happy or sad ones is unclear right now, but I promise – there will be lots of crying!
But for today, I’m starting by asking for your support. All the tax-deductible donations go directly to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the largest blood cancer research program in the nation, to find cutting-edge research and treatments. Your donation will help fund treatments that save lives every day, and you can learn more about their mission here. Click the Donate Here button below to join me as I begin this journey. Please share this page with your friends and family. If you own or know of a business that would be interested in contributing, please let me know!
I'll be sharing more about my training, my progress, and different fundraising events over the next several months. Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement!