I’m so excited to be so close to completing a dream come true, running the fourth out of my “The Big 5 for Lyme” marathons, the London Marathon on April 26, 2015. Already I have completed NYC, Chicago, Boston and cannot wait for London (I hope to be fortunate enough to get into Berlin in 2016). However, London will be a bit different for me as I’ll be running for a charity, something I have not run a major marathon for in the past. I’ll be running for Worldwide Cancer Research, the ONLY cancer charity that will give money to any cancer research anywhere in the world.
They fund cancer projects in the best research laboratories around the world, firmly believing, as I do, that the answers will not come solely from one scientist in one lab in one country, but rather in collaboration with others. Though this charity is based in the UK, it is presently funding seven projects in the United States including one at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. (http://www.worldwidecancerresearch.org/research/projects)
My personal connection with cancer
My beloved sister-in-law lost her battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer 4 years ago. She spent the last six months of her life in Maine Medical Center. I would run there during my lunch break and spend time with her, a much needed distraction for her to break up the long, monotonous days, while she knew her life was slipping away. Her last wish was to go home. On April 16, her birthday, my brother took her home. She passed away at 2am April 17. During the time she was in hospital, you would never have known how much she was suffering. She always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. I sadly miss her and all she taught me about being stoic in the face of adversity.
That same year, my sister was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She endured a year of traveling back and forth to Boston for treatment and chemo, going into remission 2 years ago. She too fights with tenacity, courage and determination. She will never be “cured” and will always live with this as part of her life, but she never lets it slow her down or stop her. I’m so proud of all she has done and accomplished and how she helps others go through the struggles she has been through. (pictured left, l-r; me, my sister Annette, Joanna Hoye Connor, on the finishers podium at 2014 Tri for a Cure)
R. C. H.
In May of this year, out of the blue, one of my best friends was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Three weeks after her diagnosis she underwent a double mastectomy. She underwent 8 weeks aggressive chemo followed by 8 more weeks of aggressive radiation treatment (Thursday November 13, 2014 was her LAST radiation treatment). This has all been so sudden and she, like me, is the mother of two small boys, one aged 10, the other 12.
Cancer touches all of our lives. We live in a world where we need to find answers via research, treatment and early diagnosis. To make this a reality for those you love please make a donation to my personal fundraising page for Worldwide Cancer Research here: https://www.justgiving.com/angela-coulombe
Remember, I’ll be doing the hard work, training through what promises to be a brutal Maine winter, all you need to do, is give!
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