In October 2008, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. I was 43 years old and my life would be forever changed. At first came the shock of the diagnosis and then the dread of telling my husband and 12 year old daughter. I would be fighting for my life and I needed them. I also needed my work family at Okeeheelee Middle School. They were with me every step of the way with support, prayers and encouragement. I ended up having surgery and 6 months of intense chemotherapy. As part of my recovery, I started walking and jogging to strengthen my body. Brian and his young Road Warriors were always there with running advise and positive messages that helped me through training for my first half marathon 6 months after I completed treatment.
When I found out that they planned on running from Florida to Michigan to raise money and awareness for colon cancer, I was honored. The fact that these athletes would train so hard to run over 1300 miles for people affected by this killer disease is amazing. It is a cancer that is striking more and more people under the age of 50, and is over 90% preventable with proper screening. I will be there on June 9th with my entire family to see the Road Warriors off on their run and praise them for their commitment and dedication. When you get cancer you are given the gift of seeing the things that really matter in life. Moments matter, laughter and happiness matter, memories matter, people matter. The Road Warriors get it too. They know how important it is to help others and make a difference. I thank them!