Posts Tagged With: huntington’s disease

The Eagle Has Landed. Literally.

If you haven’t seen my blog in a few posts, here’s the dealio: I’m currently running ten miles a day for ten days. I wanted to do the challenge anyway, but asked for donations for my cousin’s fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease to get me to do it NOW.  I’ve been able to raise almost $500 to help the cause, and I’m writing about my challenge as I go. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the fundraising.

Yesterday, I had some good company with Paul from Running Wild, who was in town for work, during my third ten mile run in three days. It was nice to have a distraction from the running and a nice conversation. I find it really cool to be able to meet other bloggers who happen to be runners, as I did in Boston.

Day 3

Day 3

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

My legs are feeling really good, but I’m having a few issues with my toes.  My baby toes sort of go under the one next to it, so they’re bruising. It happens on and off (my toes are shaped like triangles), and unfortunately, it’s ON right now.  Will it stop me from completing my ten miles a day for ten days? Hell no.

Today’s run wasn’t bad at all, except for the toe thing. Two of them hurt a little with every step and one (the one who hasn’t got its full nail back) hurts a little here and there. The humidity is killer. I’ve actually started running without my shirt (yes, I’m wearing a bra, I’m not into showcasing) so I won’t have it sticking to me for 6 miles. It’s gross. I’m drinking during my runs which is unusual, and I’m drinking TONS after I run.  But I feel good. And I know I’ll finish this challenge. I “only” have six more days to go. Today, I even saw what I believe to be a baby eagle.  This spring, I heard some baby calls and my son looked them up on the internet, and it sounded just like baby eagles. The nest is eagle-y too, so I just have to put two and two together and assume they’re eagles. So. Cool.

Day 4 Complete

Day 4 Complete. Not bad considering I stopped to get and put band aids on my toes without stopping time!

Eagle's nest

Eagle’s nest with baby perched and looking out (I swear he looked right at me)

 

Way back about a hundred zillion years ago, when I would run and race for fun, I ran a race that served as a fundraiser for the local cancer center. Each year, they made a wish list of a big purchase they wanted/needed for their patients, such as TV’s in the rooms so the people getting chemo could have something to distract them and give them something to do. It was a fun race too, and little did I know, my mother would end up getting treatment at that same cancer center. I’m glad I helped just for the sake of helping. ANYWAY, the weather was pretty bad on the way over to the race start, if you call torrential downpours “pretty bad”. I wanted to turn around and go home. Then something hit me. I almost laughed as I thought to myself, “You big dumbass, running in the rain is a lot easier than getting chemo!”  So I got out there and ran my race.

Sarah, my cousin who I’ve been talking about and who is determined to raise as much money as she can to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, lost her mom from Huntington’s. It hits very close to home for her. Like bullseye close, which is why she’s so determined to make a difference. Sarah let us know that a friend of hers, Kayla, lost her battle with the disease.  She was only 26 years old. Sarah challenged everyone to run/walk/bike 5.2 miles (the length of the run/walk/bike in her fundraiser Bar-2-Barbara) in honor of Kayla.  So today, as I thought about having to get up and run in eight million percent humidity, I thought about Kayla, and dedicated my run to her.

We go through a lot in our daily lives, don’t we? We have good days and bad days. Some people have more difficulty, such as Kayla, and some people are healthy their entire 100 year lives.  There’s not always a rhyme or reason to all that is life. What I do know is that, as a runner and especially as a marathon runner, you learn how to push through discomfort, push through pain, fatigue. We thirst, we sweat, we chafe, we bleed, we fall down. But we keep going. We fight through, we push ourselves, will ourselves forward.  I have to believe that being a runner has and will help me through issues that have and will arise in my life. Just like I don’t give up in training or a race, I won’t give up with life challenges. And I will NOT give up on my 10 miles a day for 10 days challenge.

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Running For A Reason

Over the course of many years, I have raised money while doing something that I love. I raised $2500 with Team in Training back in 2001 and ran the Disney Marathon. My grandmother had and survived leukemia, so I knew it was something I needed to do in her memory since she WAS the one who got me into running (she passed away the year earlier from heart issues.) I raised $2500 in Sioux City, Iowa, for a local cat rescue that I was deeply involved with, and ran the marathon there in town. The effort in that was titled “Running For a Paws”. I tried very hard to raise money for a horse rescue when I lived in Texas, and honestly, I don’t know if one dime was collected due to my efforts, but I certainly tried.  That effort was titled “Hoofin’ It For Horses” and ended with me running the Houston Marathon.

I love doing what I do (run) and helping others along the way. I will make this very easy, simple, and to the point. Er, I’ll try anyway. My mom heard me talk about a running challenge that I was thinking of doing, but could never decide for sure, so obviously, didn’t start. Then I told all my friends and family that I wanted to help my cousin raise money for Huntington’s Disease (more info on that below).  I said “Would anyone dare me to do something for a donation to the Huntington’s Disease Society?”.  You see, my cousin started a huge fundraiser in Fontanelle/Greenfield, Iowa, called Bar-2-Barbara, that involves, walking, running, and riding bikes. Greenfield is a small town in southwest Iowa 45 minutes from where I grew up and is also where I visited frequently to see my grandma, cousins, and aunts/uncles. It is also the home of the now famous “Freedom Rock“.

The Freedom Rock

The Freedom Rock

 

Bar-2-Barbara started with a dare to do something for money, so after the run/walk/bike ride, she has a “dare show” where she and others complete their dares they took for donations.

cropped-b2b-logo-21

They pretty much do ANYTHING for donations. Some have shaved their heads. Some have eaten ants. Some have had mustaches written on their faces with a SHARPIE.  Well, I don’t live anywhere near Iowa but believe in her cause, her passion, and I want to help. This is the 5th anniversary of her fundraiser, so she’s trying to raise $35,000. And she can do it, too.  So to help me with my goal to help my cousin, my mom challenged me to complete my running dare for $50.  I was also challenged to wear a Gamecock shirt during the Palmetto Bowl this fall. To anyone familiar with Clemson and USC, they have a huge rivalry (I even hear it’s state law for them to play a game every year), and my husband is a HUGE HUGE HUGE Clemson fan AND alum. He’s not really thrilled I took that challenge either.  But I did because it’s just a shirt.  The dare did not require me to actually cheer for USC.  And I’m trying to make a difference.

 

See what people do for money?

See what people do for money?

Anyway, I thought about it a while, and I thought that my challenge is a pretty big one and I think I might need a little more than $50 to get me to say yes. I pondered and weighed my options and thought for a few days. I decided to put it out there to my fellow runners, athletes, and friends. Would anyone else help me help my cousin? I hate asking for donations. Yes, I’ll do it, but I always feel weird about it. So I’m going out on a weird limb for something I believe in. You see, my cousin’s mother was diagnosed and passed away from Huntington’s Disease. Sarah, THE cousin, had a genetic test done and found out she does NOT carry the gene that causes Huntington’s.  She decided to take advantage of that diagnosis and make her mission to help find a cure for this horrible disease. She’s raised THOUSANDS of dollars for her cause. It’s amazing the event that she’s created in a very small town in Iowa.

Sarah with her two kids and mother.

Sarah with her two kids and mother.

So, my friends, I’m asking for you to donate to help me help her. If you decide to make this tax deductible donation, please go HERE (www.bar2barbara.com) and you’ll be directed in how to go about doing it.  THEN, please email me at kellikerk@gmail.com, or comment here and let me know that you did.

Oh, you want to know about the challenge??? Not so fast. I’ll let you know if I get enough donations to go through with it. Deal? Deal.

BTW, during the time I was writing this, I got one additional donation.  Please, come on, help out a runner here!!!! I’m soooooo close!!!!!

Please check out the Bar-2-Barbara page at http://www.bar2barbara.com. Everything you need to know about Bar-2-Barbarba is on the page. Sarah has created an amazing event that I’m hoping to be able to attend next year. Yes, it’s that awesome!!!! I’ve made two videos (below) for her that are featured on YouTube that detail how it all got started as well. Check ’em out!

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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