I am not a fundraiser. In fact, I joke with my friends that I wasn’t even good at selling Girl Scout cookies when I was younger, and people love those cookies! However, 2016 kind of shook me up in all sorts of ways and it made me really grateful for people who have gone out of their comfort zone in the past to raise money for organizations like the National Brain Tumor Society. It is likely because of funding from people like you and I that cancer treatment is where it is today.
When my friend, Megan, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, myself and another friend, Erin, decided to use a planned race in a Florida Half-Marathon as a platform to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research. Running is what brought Megan, Erin and I together. It is what started this friendship.
Megan has been a huge inspiration to me from the moment we met, and the way she has faced this battle doesn’t surprise me. Undergoing cancer treatment can be overwhelming and exhausting. However, Megan was outside walking with her husband and I DAYS after having an insane surgery. She was also RUNNING during chemo and radiation. Part of her will to get out there and be active is just a testament to the type of person she is, and part of it is due to the fact that her current treatment plan is not preventing her from some of her passions. (Yay research, right?!?!)
But if I learned anything from five years of studying cancer biology it’s that cancer research is hard; it takes time and it takes money. Lots of money. I wish those were not the realities, but they are. And so, throughout this process, we really didn’t want people to focus on our race performance — we just wanted a platform to raise awareness for brain cancer research.
We selected to donate to the NBTS because we did our research! We knew that if we were going to do this, we wanted to specifically advocate for brain cancer research and awareness. We used Charity Navigator and a few other methods to make sure that if people donated to our cause the money would be put to good use. We also looked at the policies that the NBTS is advocating for, and the current research projects being funded.
All the support we have received was a huge motivation for us to run hard on race day. We want to thank everyone for helping us feel incredibly #megstrong.