As I have done in years past, I will once again be running in memory of Christi this October.
Running has become somewhat of a therapy for me, a refuge of sorts. The last few months have been difficult. Running has helped me deal with some of my stress and sadness. And since I've started these Christi runs four years ago, it's also something that I do very much with Christi in mind (and heart). I carry her spirit with me in this way.
I run for Christi because it's a way I have found to share her name with others, to keep her memory alive in the world, and to thank her. I owe Christi so much. If it hadn't been for her I wouldn't have been so persistent about volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House (and as a result would never have met Ylaria), I would never have gotten to know Jennifer, the founder of Kids Cancer Crusade, or Christi's family who I now count among my dearest friends. I would never have really known what neuroblastoma was or become so passionate about raising awareness of this devastating disease. I would never have found the courage and comfort I have now to talk as openly about my brother. In many ways, Christi brought me closer to Manny. For this most especially, I am incredibly grateful.
All of the money raised in this year's run will be donated to Kids Cancer Crusade, an organization created in honor of Christi. KCC provides a network of much needed support and love for children with cancer and their families. KCC currently serves 111 children and their families. Of the 111, 30 have earned their angel wings. Thirty. All children in treatment (& siblings) receive care packages full of cute hats, clothes and fun games.Parents are sent gas and food gift cards to help them with their expenses while their children are in treatment. Jennifer even accompanies some of the children in her area to their chemo appointments. Through KCC's work, Jennifer is ensuring that Christi is never forgotten. Kids Cancer Crusade is simply an amazing organization that helps bring in the sunshine in some of the darkest moments.
Whatever amount that you give, if anything at all, just know that in giving you are giving a piece of Christi to someone else. Someone who may have never even known her. And in sharing her spirit in this way, she lives on. (You can donate here: http://www.active.com/donate/christirun2010)
To learn more about KCC's amazing work, please visit: http://kidscancercrusade.org/.
Thank you so much for all of your support, it is greatly appreciated!
I love you,