I’ve been waiting to share this post, and since today is World Cancer Day, it seems like the right time. This month I have been a cancer survivor for 8 years. When I was 22 years old, just one month after my college graduation, I found a lump on my neck. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy at St. Luke’s Hospital in NYC. My world was pretty much rocked. I have always been athletic, so I tried to stay as active as possible through my treatment, which wasn’t always easy. I used to curse the high heavens when we headed to the track to do a conditioning workout in college. However, when I was sick, I would have paid large sums of money to be sprinting around on the turf, rather than sitting in the hospital. An Andover classmate of mine heard about what I was going through, and asked if she could run in my honor as part of Team In Training for a marathon. I was overwhelmed by her generosity, and of course, agreed. I got to know the TNT folks in NYC, and in May 2006, just 3 months after my last chemo treatment, I started training for the Chicago Marathon as a TNT Honored Teammate. It was a long 26.2 miles, and I ran pretty slowly, but I loved every single second of it.
This year, I am immensely proud to be running the Boston Marathon, my hometown marathon, as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon Team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center to help the world’s youngest patients achieve their dreams, and survive. This time I will be running next to my best friend, my sister, and counting down the miles to Boylston Street. I will be running in honor of my late father-in-law, Ken Johnston II, whom I never had the honor of meeting, but whom I know is helping me every step of the way. There are so many people to thank for getting me to where I am this year: my parents, my sister, my husband, my daughters, my extended family, my friends who lived with me through cancer, my friends whom I met after cancer, my running friends, my CrossFit family, my co-workers past and present, my other survivor friends, Dr. Grossbard at St. Lukes and all the doctors at the MGH Cancer Center who took care of me in Boston so I could be home for the holidays.
These 26.2 are for you!
* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *