Friday, June 28, 2013

Team Lemon

In my first half marathon I raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. I was not a runner, and a friend convinced me to go to an informational meeting for TNT. How could I not be completely affected by the stories of all the incredible runners and survivors? I signed up for a marathon on the spot (although an injury forced me to run the half), and here I am an avid runner seven years, twelve half marathons, two full marathons, and dozens of 5ks and 10ks later.

Fundraising was hard. Not only was I learning to run and dealing with a particularly challenging IT band injury (that plagues me to this day if I let it), I was also trying to raise money in a town where I'd been living for only a few months. It was difficult, and it turned me off of fundraising for a while. As a result I always, 100% of the time, donate when someone asks me to when doing a race. I know how hard it is, and I want to help others meet their fundraising goals. 

I've been looking for a cause that resonates with me, and I found one that, while it hasn't affected me personally, the story is one that makes me want to be part of this effort.  

We watch the show Chopped on the Food Network. It's an awesome show, and during one of the celebrity competitions celebrity chef and Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli was competing for the charity Alex's Lemonade Stand. I remembered the name in passing, and then I was reminded of it again one morning a few weeks ago while watching CBS Sunday Morning. You can see the episode here, and I warn you that if you're not dead inside, you will cry. Alex Scott was born in 1996. Just before her first birthday she was diagnosed with a childhood cancer - neuroblastoma. During one of her hospital stays Alex proclaimed that she wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer. When Alex passed away, at age 8, she and other lemonade stands inspired by her across the country had raised more than $1 million for childhood cancer. This story is compelling, heart wrenching, and I immediately wanted to help this cause.

I grabbed our laptop and looked up the website. I saw that I could run for Team Lemon and started thinking about it. If I intended to raise money for this cause, I was going to run another marathon. You know, like I swear I'm not going to do after each one I run. I talked to my husband about it. He was cautious (mainly because he gets tired of me complaining once the long runs get real). He cautioned me about the beating running a marathon puts on my Crohn's. He reminded me of the time and energy and stress that comes along with marathon training. And I stubbornly insisted it wasn't that bad (please remind me of this in September).

But after weighing the pros and cons I knew I wanted to do it. This amazing little girl lived her short life in a phenomenal way, and I want to contribute to that. So October 27 I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC for Team Lemon, and I'll be raising money for Alex's Lemonade Stand.

I need your help! I will be setting up a donation page in the next few days which I will put out on the blog.  This cause is so amazing, and every little bit helps these incredible children.  I'm proud, overwhelmed and honored to run on Team Lemon.  I hope my small way of contributing will help these kids be able to run someday as well.    

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