I am NOT a runner, but the CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Lauren’s Run event has turned me into one. Three years ago, my baby boy, Knox, was in the midst of battling pediatric cancer. It was so painful to watch, incredibly stressful, and completely unjust, but an experience that has given me a platform and a voice to help give back. Life is unfair, and things happen that we just can’t explain. Children that have to battle childhood cancer is one of those, but we could be doing so much more to help put an end to this devastating beast. That’s why I run.
We were in a space that no parent wants, deserves or plans to be in. We were thrown a curve ball the size of a basketball and at the time, didn’t know much about pediatric cancer. Looking back on it, it’s so terrible and something you don’t want to believe exists, until you’re thrust into it to see it first hand. To witness how many children in our own backyard are fighting, it made me cringe with frustration, fear and confusion. I wish I had known more, done more and given more prior to our experience, but as Maya Angelou says, “When You Know Better, You Do Better.” That’s why I run.Three years ago, I ran a race for the first time in my entire life. Not even being in shape or knowing what to expect, I chose to run the 10K over the 5K, not having a clue if I could even finish. I did it to honor Knox and prove to everyone, that if he could take the agony of a seven hour spinal surgery, a trip to the hospital every week (sometimes more), have needles stuck into a port in his chest, and chemotherapy pumped into his veins for a year still keeping a HUGE smile on his face, than I could certainly endure the pain of 6.2 miles. That’s why I run.Last year, I tried to remove myself from the world of pediatric cancer. Knox finished treatment and I thought that by stepping away, I could heal. I did not run last year, but attended the picnic. As soon as we walked in, emotion consumed me and all of the feelings that comes along with this disease hit me like a ton of bricks. I kept my glasses on, but cried tears of relief that Knox is healthy, mourned for my friend Anna, who was spending her last precious days with her son Lake, and was overwhelmed with sadness for all of the precious children and their families that are dealt this hand. That’s why I run.On Sunday, I am doing it again. I am still not a runner and signing up for the 10K is so intimidating. Just thinking about it as I’m writing about it makes me shake my head, remembering the moment after the last time, promising I would never do this again. It hurt and I was in pain for days. I could easily do the 5K, but this year is different. I have to endure that pain and stand up to cancer in honor of Knox, Lake, Mary Elizabeth, Ava, and every single one of the babies that have had to fight this deadly disease until the bitter end. That’s why I run.
There is so much work that still needs to be done, more research for finding a cure, so the sweet lives of precious children like Lake, Mary Elizabeth, and Ava could be spared. And that’s why I continue to run. To honor children whose lives were taken entirely too soon, those that fight this unfair and difficult fight year after year and those that have not yet been diagnosed. I will be running for each one of you, thinking about your precious spirits and being inspired by your strength. To find a cure for all of them: that’s why I run.If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to run you must sign up by noon tomorrow, Friday, May 22nd. If you would like to donate to help find a cure, or attend the carnival and picnic you must register. There is also a Tot Trot and a 2K if you just want to walk or let the kids exercise! It is such a fun morning for the whole family filled with tons of games, bouncy houses, elaborate face painting and your kids favorite Disney characters and Super Heroes! You can find all of the details HERE at www.curechildhoodcancer.org Can’t wait to see y’all there and update you on whether I made it to the finsih line or had to catch a lift from a motorcycle cop! LOL. Follow me on Snapchat at CrockpotEmpress to follow live! Also, if you feel compelled to help find a CURE you can support my endeavors by donating to my page! No matter how big or small, every dollar helps to fight pediatric cancer! As always, friend, thanks for reading, for your sweet love and gracious support!