My apologies if you are on my email list and you are getting this in blog form as well!
As many of you know, in 1987, my brother-in-law, Robert, lost a hard fought battle with neuroblastoma. He was 7; Peter was 9. For the last 25 years, there has been a hole in our family where Robert's presence should be. Even though I didn't know him in his short life, as a mother and a sister, it breaks my heart to imagine. Over the last 14 years, I've been blessed to know him through the memories and the love of those who knew him best: his brother and parents, not to mention his aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom have their own reflections.
Part of what touches me about him so much is that he and I were born a few weeks apart. As I have grown from a child into a woman, I can look back at the last 32 years and only wonder how the lives of my brother and my parents would have been changed if I had vanished 25 years ago. Especially now, as a parent and a wife, his story touches me even more. (For more of Robert's story, click here.)
Peter and I were lucky enough to attend the 2011 Lemon Ball, a gala hosted by Alex's Lemonade Stand in Philadelphia which serves as a huge fundraiser for ALSF. As part of that celebration, we won the silent auction for a spot on a Team Lemon marathon event. At the end of this month- almost 25 years to the day of Robert's passing- I will be running 26.2 miles at the Marine Corps Marathon, in memory of my special and courageous brother-in-law. One mile for each of those 25 years without him... and a mile for all of those left behind who miss him every day.
While running a marathon isn't everyone's cup of tea, you can still make a huge contribution towards stopping pediatric cancers like neuroblastoma. In 1987, most children who were diagnosed with neuroblastoma died as a result. Today, due to the efforts of groups like Alex's Lemonade Stand, researchers are finding treatments that put this, and other deadly cancers, in remission, and are saving children's lives.
Will you 'run' with me, by opening your wallet and making a $25 donation in Robert's memory? $50? $1? There is no amount too small, and EVERY dollar counts when we are fighting something as large as cancer. You can visit: http://www.alexslemonade.org/
mypage/79983 to donate for my running of the Marine Corps Marathon. You can also donate by text (pretty cool, right?!): simply text "Lemonade E79983" to 85944 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate by text multiple times if you'd like to make a greater than $10 donation.
Local and want to take physical action? Come out and join Peter, Bobby, Maya, and I as part of our 3rd Annual Robert's Run (our team for the 2012 Lemon Run in Philadelphia). You can visit: http://www.alexslemonade.org/
mypage/90078 to donate or to register as part of our team. (Text donations: text "Lemonade E90078" to 85944.) Runners, Walkers- we want you! Lace up your shoes and come out! It's a great time and we go out for breakfast afterwards.
Whether you are able to financially donate or not, I ask that you say a prayer: pray for all the children and families that are impacted each day by pediatric cancer... pray for our family, who continues to miss Robert and the life we wish we could see unfolding... and please, if you will, pray for me. Pray that, come October 28th, Robert will hold my hand and spur me along those 26 miles through our nation's capital, so that I can cross that finish line the way that, I like to think, he would do if he were here.
Have you lost a child or loved one? If you'd like me to run the marathon with them in mind as well, shoot me an email. For a $10 donation (online or by texting "Lemonade E79983" to 85944), I will wear a bracelet that I've personalized with your loved one's name and will mail it to you after. For example, I will be wearing 4 braclets of one color for my miscarried babies, 3 of another color for Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander, and a yellow one (cancer awareness) for Robert. I'm happy to have two arms full of bracelets!