Sunday, May 19, 2013

Memorial Marathon

When I was growing up, one of my biggest role models was my grandma. She was to me, the pinnacle of independence, courage, strength, and  grace. My grandma lived her life with a strong yet graceful dignity that I admire. After seeing her maintain those qualities despite losing the ability to walk and talk due to ALS, I know that I should always utilize the abilities I have because I could lose them at any time. I do value my ability to walk, run, and be active, so I know that I should take full advantage of those things. I also know that I should use the abilities I have to help other people. My grandma was always doing whatever she could to help others.

The combination of my grandma's influence in my life and the suffering she encountered at the end of her life have reinforced my determination not to give up on the goal I set for myself to run a marathon before I turned 26. My grandma was not some running junkie who would be pumped about my marathon endeavor, but she had a strength that I admire and channel, and she believed in me with a pride and confidence that most people, even myself, often do not. She was also a fighter since the day she was born. She was the only sibling born in a set of triplets to survive, and that was only the beginning of the fighting to survive that my grandma would do in her lifetime.

My grandma was so giving. She gave whatever she could, whenever she could, and she often did so silently. There were so many people my grandma helped, but when she died, my family learned even more stories from people whom she had touched, but that she had never spoken a word about to anyone. My grandma was selfless, in a strong confident way because to her, it wasn't important that anyone knew of the deeds she was doing. She just believed strongly that it was what should be done, so she did it. It may have been monetary, lending an ear, saying a prayer, or giving a gift, but my grandma had an eye for those who were in need or suffering, and she always stepped up to do what was right.

When I add all the factors together, I see the best way for me to honor my grandmother's passing is to run my first marathon before my 26th birthday and the one year mark of her passing which fall on the same day, while raising money to help those in need. I have set up a fundraising page in my grandma's memory through The ALS Association national chapter. I know that this is a tough economic time, but almost everyone can afford to give even a couple dollars. Please view my fundraising page, and don't forget to cheer me on as I begin my training for my first marathon this week.

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