Why I’m Running is a series of inspirational stories surrounding breast cancer. Why are you running?
We have temporarily suspended our story submission form as we work on a new website. Your story is important to us, and we can't wait to hear it and share it with everyone! Please check back in April 2013 when we are back up and running.
Why I Run
Two years ago,my brother Danny was diagnosed with breast cancer,he had just started chemo therapy when Donna had her 4th marathon.I had always stood on the side lines,cheering from the start of the race ‘til the very last runner went by my house.That year,after talking to Tim Deegan during the race,I decided to train for the 5th year marathon.The year went by fast,my brother went through chemo,surgery and then radiation therapy,of course,to him the year seemed to go by too slow but he never gave up,had amazing Faith,never lost Hope and a wonderful support group from family and friends.He went back to MD Anderson Hospital this past December and everything is looking great!He’s now a SURVIVOR!! There aren’t many men diagnosed with breast cancer,he’s found out that most men don’t want to talk about such things so he’s writing a book about his journey to bring awareness to male breast cancer,it’s now my mission too,so everytime I get a chance,I talk about my brother Danny and that’s why I will be running on the 6th 26’2 with Donna Finish Breast Cancer Marathon.
Jacksonville Beach, FL
My Inspirational Sister
My sister Lourdes is the reason I am running! She is a fighter and a survivor. She was the first in our family to go to college and paved the way for me 10 years later. My life and my children’s life are different because of how much she believes in education. She has been a first grade teacher at the same school, in the same class for 34 years and been voted Teacher of the Year several times. The year she went through treatment she still spent as many hours as possible in her classroom with her substitute teacher. She has a passion for education and for helping children realize all things are possible and our lives are limited only by our dreams. So, I run to honor her and for all that she means to her students, her family and to me not only as a sibling but as a friend.
San Mateo, CA
I Run For Raejean Echegaray
I’m running to support and honor my Wonderful Wife Raejean who is a breast cancer survivor. Raejean is my Hero. She is my inspiration, watching her fight bravely through multiple painful surgeries, debilitating chemotherapy, problematic hormone therapy, merciless physical therapy and the daily fear of the unknown.
Raejean wakes up every morning with a beautiful smile on her face and an enduring positive attitude to guide her through the day. She never gives up, she never quits. I Love her more than anything in this world.
I’m running to FINISH breast cancer once and for all, so that Raejean and others will never ever have to face this terrible disease again. I’m running for Raejean. My Wife, My Best Friend, My Hero.
Because I'm a Survivor!
On March 9, 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. My immediate thought was,"Well cancer isn’t gonna kill me!” My husband of 10 months was devastated. This was something he couldn’t protect me from. One week later, he showed up at my office with a giant pink ribbon tattooed on his left chest area, with my name through it and 03/09/12 on top. On March 20, 2012 I had a mastectomy. Three days later, doctors told me my lymph nodes tested negative for cancer, and they were confident they got it all. Told ya cancer wasn’t gonna kill me! My husband was so proud of me for surviving and for having faith through it all. So proud, in fact, he took every opportunity to show his tattoo. To strangers, family, friends, my boss, our pastors. It was his Facebook profile picture. Sadly, he suddenly passed away from a heart attack May 28, 2012. But I am not alone! I have the MOST AMAZING friends and family!! They have been by my side, helping me through the toughest times in my life. And 6 of them will be doing the half with me. I know my husband is cheering us on from Heaven, and I know he’s proud of me, because I’m a survivor!
Fort Myers, FL
I run for my mommy
I run for my mother Linda Singer. For the first time I will be attempting to complete the 26.6 mile run. I do this in honor of my mother who passed away on May 12, 2012. She passed away right before my High school graduation. She had stage 4 breast cancer that had spread all over her body. She was my hero. I love her so much. I run for the cure so that other kids do not lose their Mommies to this terrible cancer. I run for the children who have lost their Moms. Most of all I do it for me.
Why Deryl Runs
The first year I ran in honor of my sister in laws caouage when fighting breast cancer. Now i still run in honor of her, but also in memory of five classmates that are no longer with us due to breast cancer. I am only 59 years old and have a handfull of friends that are gone. they will never see their grand children grow up some didn’t see their children marry. How sad this disease is. I run to help end it.In memory of Susan, Sandra, Dolores,Renee’ and Danny.
Fleming Island, FL
I run for Jan McAllister for the 5th year!
This year will be my 5th year running!! I have a magnet on my car the reads: “26.2-The Courage to Start, Strength To Endure, Resolve to finish”! It definitely applies to a marathon but really it can be applied to any challenge we face in life! Ten Years ago my husband Sean, my daughter Zenia and I moved to Jacksonville Florida from Philadelphia. I was 8 months pregnant. . Once I had our 2nd daughter Halle we started to settle in to our new lives! For the first time ever we used a babysitter that was not a family member. I really feel things in life happen for a reason. We used a neighbor, Amanda McAllister, who at the time was 16. Amanda would babysit every weekend and eventually summers and her wonderful boyfriend (now husband) Graham would join her! During that time we became friendly with Amanda’s parents, Jan and Dave. I quickly found out Amanda was good at crafts, baking, and cooking because she had a great example in her mom Jan. Jan is the type of person who whips up a meal and makes it look like a feast. She pulls out toys and lets the kids just play and have fun. She makes every person who comes in contact with her feel at ease and loved. In 2006 we found out were having another baby!! The surprise of the pregnancy was totally overtaken by the shock a few months later that we were having twins! By this time, the McAllister family, Jan, Dave, their son Ryan, Amanda and Graham became our family in Jacksonville. Things were going smoothly during the pregnancy until suddenly at 6 months pregnant I had to deliver the babies during an emergency C-section. It was scary. Jan and Amanda were the first people we called while heading to the hospital. We knew they were the only ones who could jump in and help take care of the girls and make their lives feel as normal as possible because we did not know what would happen. It was a challenging and difficult time. We welcomed Emmett and Sean Jr. into the world. They lived in the NICU for 2 months. One thing that was constant was Jan and Amanda. Sean told me he was taking care of many of the household chores (mom things) but I knew he was delegating to Amanda. She had the girls taken care of as well as everything else a Mom would do with the help of Jan. These people are not even our relatives and unconditionally love our family would do anything for us. In 2007 we were moving again, to Charlotte, NC. At the very same time the McAllisters received devastating news. Jan was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I felt helpless. This amazing family who had helped our family during our biggest crisis was in need and we were leaving. I often worried about Amanda. We were leaving and she was in our daily lives so much. At that time she was finishing college and planning a wedding when she had to deal with this news. Jan spent the next few months in surgery and treatment. I really wanted to help in some way. But we did not live close by and there was not much we could do. I had heard about the Inaugural National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer that was happening back in Jacksonville in February of 2008. I had been running for years but I never ran more then 5 miles at a time. I told Sean about it and with total confidence he told me he knew I could do it. He said you have to do it for Jan. I started training that month. I trained for 18 weeks in total. It was physically challenging but I always tried to think about what Jan was going through as she was trying to beat breast cancer. I ran my first race in 2008, 26.2 miles!! It was such a satisfying experience. Not so much for the run, but to run for this cause and honor someone you love. Jan was at the race that day. It was amazing to see her there and how proud she was felt so great! I have run the marathon for the past 4 years. The last two years Jan has been in remission. Each year I run for Jan and try to raise money in her honor! I run it for her! The last four years we have lived apart but our families’ bonds have grown so strong. We spend holidays and birthdays together! It is really special. It is actually hard to put into words the bonds we have created!! This year is different. We have now moved back to Jacksonville!! It is such a wonderful turn of events. We moved back in July and were able to be with so many people that are important to us, especially the McAllister Family! In August Jan was diagnosed with cancer again. My heart ached when we found out. I ask myself how can such a wonderful person, a wonderful family, a person my kids love more then anything be effected by this? The logical answer I have found is Cancer does not discriminate. It does not attack just the poor, just the mean spirited, just women, just adults....it can happen to anyone or anyone we love. If you cannot tell how much I admire Jan and love her already, what I will tell you now will explain how wonderful she is. Early in her recent diagnosis when surely she had not felt her best, she came to our house to celebrate Zenia’s 12th birthday. Zenia requested “Ms. Jan” to be there. Jan was there with her beautiful smile! She sat next to Zenia and made her feel special as she always does. October came around and Sean and I had our annual Aruba vacation scheduled and this year Jan and Dave were taking care of the kids. As you can imagine I was trying to make other plans not to burden Jan as she is going through treatment. She insisted that she still wanted the kids with her for the week. Most of all she wanted Sean and I to go have fun and celebrate our anniversary! I know it was a lot for her but she never let on how tiring it was. Thanksgiving came this year and Jan had the most beautiful dinner for her family and us. .It was true Thanksgiving, a wonderful family day! Jan mad an incredible meal for 18 people! Christmas came and we had a great family celebration at Jan’s house and Jan got the kids all the most wonderful presents! The boys had a Christmas program and she was there! All of this going on and Jan is going through treatment. There are events in each of our every day lives that we are exhausted from. What I can’t imagine is going through my every day life and going through treatment once a week but still managing to go above and beyond for those I love. Jan does that. She lives her life and if you walked past her in Target or the Grocery Store you would see a beautiful women, loving wife, devoted mother and dearest friend to so many!! She has the courage to start, the strength to Endure, the resolve to finish this battle! She is my hero! I will run this race for the 5th year for Jan. I believe that some day there will be a cure.
Why Loanna Dempsey Runs
I run because there are women who always thought they would run and no longer can. I run because there are women who want to run but are not able to, I run because I can. I run because I do not want to see another woman go through chemo and lose her beautiful hair, so another person does not lose a mother, an aunt, a wife, a grandmother, a neighbor, a teacher, a coach, a friend. Cancer does not care what race you are, does not care how much money you have or do not have, cancer does not care if you have an excellent support system or not, cancer does not care how old OR young you are. Cancer does not discriminate. I run to finish.
Why Kelly Brant Runs
I signed up to do this run in honor of my two aunts, Moni and Beth. They both survived breast cancer. I’ve been saying that I was gonna have a bib made with their names on it, and have been putting it off. Well, I just got a phone call from my brother and my aunt Moni just past away less than an hour ago. She survived breast cancer a couple of years ago and has had some minor health problems sense than buts nothing major. She wasn’t feeling well yesterday and went to the doctor, they couldn’t find anything but kept her over night. Her heart just gave out on her. I am very sad and will miss her dearly, I remember when I was a child she had long brown beautiful hair and I used to love to brush it and play with it. She would always let me too. My favorite thing to do was to put her hair over my shoulders and act like it was mine. I love you Aunt Moni and will miss you! Needless to say I am going to order my bib right now!
I Run because I Can...
I am a Cancer Thyroid Survivor, the year I was diagnosed a very close friend of mine lost her battle to Breast Cancer. During my treatment / recovery they (the Drs.) realized I had Lupus which was causing me not to heal or recover as quickly. Three Years ago, due to Lupus I was put in a wheelchair. I was in the chair for about 4 months non-stop, after that I used a cane. I continued to use a cane if going for long walks or Disney, etc, up until August of 2011. In August I talked to my Drs and decided I needed to do something, the meds they had me on made me gain weight, I was not getting any better. I had a close friend who started running and she was able to curb and control her Diabetes. So I started reading, I found the Galloway training program run/walk. This I could do. My original goals were to race in 5K’s. This is major distance for someone who just a few months ago was still using a cane. In Oct 2011, I kicked asphalt and hit a PR of 13:48 s min/mile in a 5K. I then decided that I could run further. I signed up for the WHM in St Pete along with the 1/2 Marathon that is part of 26.2 with Donna and also Disney’s Half Marathon (Jan 7 2012). In 4 months I have lost 47 pounds, have helped to inspire some of my friends to just start walking, and have brought awareness to Lupus and fitness to many people in my community. I started a Blog for people who live with Lupus along with Tweeting about staying fit and feeling good. Running for me is simple, Today I run because I can, I run for those who can’t. Today and each day I put my running shoes on, I feel a sense of new accomplishment and power that I can for once gain control over this disease that has controlled my life for the past 7 years. I run simply because I can!