One of my BIG motivators for running is Lung Cancer, specifically running with the Lung Cancer Alliance's Team Lung Love. Team Lung Love runs Marathons and Half Marathons across the US all with the goal of raising funds for the Lung Cancer Alliance.
A little bit about the Lung Cancer Alliance, it is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to providing support and advocacy for people living with or at risk for Lung Cancer. Having referred several people to the Lung Cancer Alliance and have gotten huge THANK YOU in return for the support and information the Lung Cancer Alliance was able to provide; I am even more convinced I picked the right Lung Cancer advocacy organization to become involved with.
Check out the Lung Cancer Alliance website for all the services they offer the Lung Cancer patient, those at risk for Lung Cancer, and the families and caregivers of Lung Cancer patients. Truly an amazing and wonderful group of people. I'm honored to have met (and run) with many of them!!
The Lung Cancer Alliance and it's supporters, along with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PAN CAN) lobbied federal hill to ensure the Recalcitrant Cancer Act was published into law. Today the President signed this in to law!! What does this legislation included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, require? It requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop scientific frameworks for addressing cancers with survival rates of less than 50%, with first priority attention to lung and pancreatic cancers. See the Press Release for more detailed information.
This is one of the reasons I run. I am motivated by this cause, my mother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2007, she is a 5 year survivor. There is a 15% 5 year survival rate, the same as it has been since Nixon declared War on Cancer in 1971. Many other cancers are survivable, people live with them like any chronic condition. Someday, and sooner rather than later with this landmark legislation, Lung Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer patients will be living with the disease and not dying from it. Why do I run? My mother would not let me shave my head in support of her loosing her hair through chemo, she suggested I find something more productive to do than be bald in the middle of winter. She then proceeded to remind me how I was nearly three before my hair actually started growing and now that I had hair, why mess with success. Even in the throws of chemo and chemo brain she was on her game!!! My father found the link to Team Lung Love and forwarded it to me with a note saying "This may be a better option than shaving your head."
Most people I run with have lost a family member to Lung Cancer. A few of them are even surviving WITH Lung Cancer!!! At times I feel so guilty my mother has survived, when so many mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives lives have ended far to early from this bastard of a disease. Once I get out of my funk, I remember that it is the survivors and the loved ones of those lost to Lung Cancer that can and will make the difference. They shout out, No More Lung Cancer. No More Excuses. Would the Breast Cancer mortality rates have plummeted so dramatically if the women, and the men, surviving Breast Cancer,and their families, didn't band together to increase awareness about the disease and funding for a cure? They were able to take advantage of Nixon's War on Cancer, kudos for them! Now it is time for Lung Cancer, the Recalcitrant Cancer Act kicks it up a notch (in the infamous words of Emeril Lagasse) bringing Lung Cancer out of the shadows, ensuring people can be diagnosed earlier when there is a fighting chance of managing and defeating this disease!!!
I have so many supporters, both who financially donate to the Lung Cancer Alliance for the races I run and who encourage me when the going gets tough and I feel like giving up.
Thank you all! You all are a part of this landmark legislation!!!
Beth, who sees no problem with the date of 1/3/13!! Double thirteens mean good tidings!!
PS OH yeah, I did run today. 3.6 miles in 20 F. My fashion consultant would have had a coronary had she seen my outfit. Orange and white striped hat, green shirt, black and white skirt with black capris and black socks with blue polka dots finished off by dark gray Asics with green and purple accents. I was quite the sight to behold. Channeling Blossom, perhaps? One of my co-workers actually stopped me and said "Beth, you usually are so pulled together what the hell happened?" as I was skittering out of the gym to start my run. At that point I KNEW it was bad if these words came out of a guys mouth. Alas, I did not snap a picture, it may have broken the camera!!