Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Toughness is in the soul and spirit,not the muscles."~Alex Karras

Four years ago today, Zoey Grace was released from treatment of leukemia and fittingly, today happens to be National Cancer Survivor Day.

June 2, 2009 culminated 8 months of intense chemotherapy to rid her body, once and for all, from the a blood disease that threatened to take her life.

 When Zoey was first diagnosed, the end seemed so very far from sight. The protocol set in place on day one, looked terrifying and simply horrific. I just could not wrap my head around the fact that soon my precious 19 month old daughter would have toxins, poisons, for lack of a better word, streaming through her tiny body. Eventually I came to some semblance of peace with the process and as each infusion began, we would refer to it as "liquid hope"and surrendered to the process as we tried to stay focused on the goal. Cure.

We relinquished control, control we actually never had to begin with, and we did what needed to be done. Hour after hour. Day after day. Month after month. All in the name of cure. And those months spent in the hospital, living on that floor, opened our eyes to a life we could never have imagine. Ever. A life filled with the deepest of sorrows and dwelling oddly and uncharacteristically beside that sorrow, were some of the greatest beauty I will ever experience in my life. The children and their forgiving and fighting spirits taught me what living was truly about.

Those same sorrow and blessings are why I am raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Trying to do just a little to honor all those that have crossed our paths over the last 4 years. Whether it has been people who we have gotten to know and have forged great lifelong friendships because of our common bonds or whether it is the faces, that perhaps I only passed once in the hallway of 4 East or in the clinic on check up days. These are whom I run for. Our fervent  hope is that one day a diagnosis of a blood cancer will immediately translate to a cure. We should strive for no less.

We lost far too many of our friends on that floor. Children with their entire lives in front of them, cruelly taken from this world. Families left shattered and broken and forced to begin navigating this life without them.  I am running in memory of those who never reached cure. The ones who should be here. The ones who touched my heart on 4E and become the wind at my feet. I run for Sol Merie and Sunudo and Leah and Kai and Christopher and Klein. And all those behind the doors, and inside rooms, that I never met, that never found their way home. It's not my muscles that will get me to that finish line but rather the souls and spirits of all those that go before me.

*One of my favorite photos. Our buddy Christopher, who loved sweet Zoey and who spoke to her in baby talk, "Goo-goo, gaga", every time he saw her. We miss him and his family, they miss him more.

Please join me as I run for a cure. Please consider sponsoring me as I run with Team in Training the Nike Women's Marathon. Visit my fundraising page. Easy to donate and of course tax deductible.Truly every little bit counts and I am grateful and humbled by every cent that helps me reach my goal.


Anonymous said...

Just look at sweet Zoey Grace today! Good luck with your run Heather

Only a few weeks till we see you all at the wedding!


Scrappy quilter said...

WOW, I remember it has if it was yesterday. She still has a very special place in my heart. Hugs

Elizabeth said...

She is irrepressible. And I love how you love her.

krlr said...

Yes. Hugs and wicking socks. And a little money next payday.