If you've read anything from me over the last year - the blog, my Twitter feed, or Facebook pages - you've heard me mention #CorralG over and over again. This past week we celebrated our anniversary of coming together at the start line of the Walt Disney World Marathon and it has been an amazing year.
One of the members of #CorralG happens to be the Social Media Butterfly for the 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville, Florida. Marcia is our coach and an amazing woman. Shortly after we ran together at Disney last year, she was heading to the start line of the Donna - completing the half marathon option since she was still recovering from an injury from before the Disney Marathon. She was also fundraising for this race, and I donated to her efforts and enjoyed tracking her virtually to the finish line. After being officially appointed the Social Media Butterfly for the event, the excitement built within our entire little group to join Marcia at the start of the 2014 event. Some of us went whole hog and signed up for the full, and some decided to scale back to the half. I have committed to the full 26.2 with Donna, and now that I am finally getting over this nasty sickness I've had for about two weeks, I am getting back into training.
The other thing that I've decided to do, having signed up for the race while at lunch with Marcia in Chicago, is to join her fundraising efforts to help finish breast cancer. I have set a small goal of $500 this year, but I'm considering raising that goal in future years. This race and this charity is personal for me, because I have two important people in my life impacted by breast cancer. The first person is my aunt, my mom's sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, and successfully went through treatment and has been in remission since.
The other person is my pastor - a man who reminds us that this is not just a woman's disease. My pastor was diagnosed in 2000 and successfully went through treatment, but in 2010 cancer reared its ugly head again, and had spread to other areas of the body. He continues to receive treatment, all the while preaching multiple times almost every week, and leading a congregation of over 2500 members! He proves not only that this disease is not just a woman's disease, but that you can continue to live your life while receiving treatment. He's also very honest about how his treatment is going.
I believe in the mission of the 26.2 with Donna, and am so honored to run for and raise money for an organization that works hard to finish breast cancer - for women and men - once and for all! 100% of funds raised go directly to research and care. 70% to the Mayo Clinic genome (individual) research and 30% to the Donna Foundation, to help those in treatment not have to decide between anti-nausea drugs or bread and eggs for their family. From the website: "The Foundation provides temporary assistance for women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. In partnership with Catholic Charities, the largest social services organization in the area, recipients are screened to ensure proper stewardship of contributions. The ultimate goal of The Donna Foundation is to fund a program that focuses on early intervention, and provides regular screenings and diagnostics for women who could otherwise not afford such services. Since its inception in June of 2003, The Donna Foundation has been successful in assisting over 7,000 local women and raising over $2 million."