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26.2 for Hope

I am running the DisneyWorld Marathon as a St. Jude Hero. I am attempting to make a difference, even if all it leads to is the simple hope to one day be healthy.

A few months ago I was reading a favorite blog of mine when I came across a post about her friend's daughter. She is this sweet 2 year old in Salt Lake City that was diagnosed with leukemia. I read the entire blog in one night, sobbing in bed. When I was done I said a prayer of gratitude and a prayer for Taleah and then went into Caiden's room and held my sweet, healthy, no longer sleeping boy tight. I woke up the next morning wanting to do more than just be grateful that Caiden was healthy, it just didn't feel like enough. So I did some research. In January I am running the Disney Marathon at DisneyWorld. As a part of this experience I wanted to do more than just run 26.2 miles, I wanted to make it worth something to someone, someone like this sweet 2 year old girl, Taleah. I have decided to become a St. Jude's hero for the DisneyWorld marathon. I am attempting to raise $100 for each crazy mile that I run. If I'm going to run this thing, I want it to mean something to someone, and to myself. I want to support St. Jude's Children Research Hospital and their lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children.

Now let me say, I am not a runner. I ran a 5k as a part of soccer tryouts in high school and a few 5k's since. I've enjoyed many team sports and even ran indoor track in high school, but up until training for this marathon I had never run more than 3.1 miles at a time. So naturally I am terrified to run a marathon. But I am a mother. A mother with a healthy 20 month old son. A mother that hates the thought of children suffering with cancer. That just doesn't seem fair to me. That's what gets me up and training. I'm not running this marathon because I like to run. I'm running this marathon because I am attempting to make a difference. An immeasurable and unknown difference that is important to me. Even if all it leads to is hope for these children and their parents. Hope to see their 5th, 20th, 50th birthdays; hope to some day have their first kiss and dance at their own weddings, the simple hope to one day be healthy. These children run more than a marathon each day. It's the very least that I can do.

I'm raising funds as a St. Jude Hero to support St. Jude's lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children. But I need your help to reach my fundraising goal for the kids of St. Jude. Any amount, great or small, is so greatly appreciated. To read more about my fundraising efforts or to donate please click the following link. (http://heroes.stjude.org/chelseyheidorn) The donation deadline is November 20th so please donate soon. Donations made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital are tax-deductible. They will provide a receipt for all online gifts that can be used to claim a tax deduction.

As far as the training goes, I have now pushed myself to run 11 miles as of today. The human body is truly amazing. Between pre-training and training I have now logged over 125 miles. It's crazy to say, but I'm anxious to get out there and run more. I never thought I would be anxious to run, but I've been really excited to see how far I can push myself. For the first time I'm planning run routes that run to the hills of Connecticut, not shying away from them. Caiden runs with me during my weekday jogs. He has been one of my biggest sources of motivation. During a 4 mile jog a few weeks ago my music stopped playing and I could hear him in his jogging stroller saying "goooo mommy go go go!" And just last week after a 5 mile jog he started crying when we reached the driveway and started walking and said "no mommy, go!" Looking at the top of his head while I jog reminds me why I'm doing this. Children are so sweet and so innocent. I'm proud to be a St. Jude's supporter. 26.2 for Hope! 10 miles down, 16.2 to go. With your help I've got this.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pam Zavarelli November 07, 2012 at 11:40 AM
What a great thing you are doing!

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