Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Running for Courtney

I've started an additional blog. It's probably the most important blog posting I've ever written. Feel free to add it to your list and watch my progress--I'm officially "in training".
Running for Courtney

Here's a copy of my first post for you to see.

I'm going to become a runner. Sure, I've said it before....I've even bought some kick-ass running shoes. Turns out I don't have much motivation though. Sure, there's the whole "I need to lose weight and get in shape thing," but when it's about ME, it's easy to quit....I'm the only person holding me accountable, and I'm too busy thinking about ice cream to hold myself accountable.

I really do want to do this though. I want to be a runner. I've really been inspired by my younger brother-- not only is he a runner, but he runs marathons---without anyone chasing him with sharp objects. Not only that, but he's a do-gooder too. He ran a marathon with Team in Training and raised money for LLS. He's running the Chicago Marathon next week for The Alzheimer's Association. He does a good thing, and does good while he's doing it. (yes, I mean GOOD, not in the mother Theresa kind).Hmmm, that got me thinking---maybe I can't motivate myself enough--but maybe a cause can. I can't turn my back on that once I start. It wasn't hard for me to decide on my cause, it's Courtney. Courtney is the 5 year old daughter of two of my best friends from college. I often refer to her as my niece. Technically, she's not my niece--well, not biologically. Courtney was the first born child of our group of friends from college. In so many ways, she was everybody's baby. We were all excited when she sat up, crawled, walked, said her first words, etc. It's been so wonderful watching her grow up.

In March, Courtney was diagnosed with Leukemia. Although she's now in remission, she'll be on varying intensities of treatment for about 2 more years, before she can officially be a survivor. She's been so brave through the last 7 months, still smiling even though she's now bald and on a myriad of different medicines and suffering aches and pains. Things got a little tougher lately, as her chemotherapy caused a rare but very serious side effect, VOD. Within the last 2 weeks, we almost lost Courtney twice due to this liver disease and associated complications. Through it all though, both her and her parents, Matt and Becca, have remained strong. Their strength and their faith amazes me.

Yesterday, they were able to take Courtney off the ventilator, after being on it and asleep for 2 weeks. It was a beautiful site, seeing her eyes again. We missed her. Her liver is looking good right now, and she's on track to make a recovery, going back to her scheduled Leukemia treatment. They say good things come in small packages..........this miracle came in a 32 pound package.

Courtney is so selfless, she amazes me. After her first day of kindergarten, and a tough time on the playground where some kids were afraid to play with her (she got a ride to the playground in a wheelchair, and the kids may have been nervous by her lack of hair), her Mom asked her if she'd like to have a nurse come to class and explain about Leukemia to them. Courtney immediately said yes, but her response as to why is what's amazing. Courtney said "because then if they ever get Leukemia, they won't be scared." She wasn't thinking about herself. She amazes me.

So, what can I do? Sure, I can (and will continue, don't worry Courtney) bring her presents, read her books, make her laugh......but how can I really make a difference? I can raise money for research. I can run. I can think about Courtney every time I want to quit.....because she's not a quitter. I can think about her every time I have a cramp, because she's suffered far worse. I don't need someone to chase me, because I have something to chase. A cure.

So, there it is. And here it is--my decision, I'm going to run the 2008 Chicago Marathon. It's just over a year away. (my brother is running the 2007 this coming Sunday). I guess that means I'm officially in training.

I'm running for Courtney.


Blogger mssgrz said...

It's good to see that you are posting again on your blog. I have missed your fun spirit. Good luck on your training, and I am sure Courtney will be proud of you.

October 05, 2007  

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