Proceeds are being collected by Stephanie Berry
Based on 157 estimated miles, each worth $62.59
Welcome back 2019 Halfs for Hope friends and greetings to my new friends for 2021. I am pleased to say that after the race-halting year that 2020 was due to COVID-19, all races are planned to be on this year!
The 2019 campaign was more successful than I ever could have imagined, and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of your generous support. In summary, we raised a grand total of $8,000 for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC). As many of you saw, I was invited to Chicago to meet the foundation, further share my story, and present them with the check. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! As near and dear to my heart as the FWC is and will always be, I have a new cause to support this year that is just as special.
In January 2020, a second aunt of mine passed away after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She suffered from ALS for a little over two years. If you aren’t familiar with the disease, please consider yourself lucky. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. Over time, the motor neurons break down and stop working. When this happens, the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement is gone. More or less, the disease progresses to a state where you aren’t able to move your arms or legs anymore, and it eventually leads to the point where you lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. In case you were wondering, your mind is still fully functional while all of this is happening.
My aunt was an incredible woman and was the epitome of the Christian life. She was kind, compassionate, and caring. She was a farmer’s wife, so she worked hard every day and loved helping on the family farm. In true Christian form, she always thought of others first and put their needs ahead of her own. There are three very distinct memories of her I will always keep with me until my time on this earth comes to a close. My favorite memory with her was going to church together on Christmas Eve for candlelight services, along with my cousins and my uncle.
The two other memories took place while she was sick. Christmas of 2018, I gave her a gift of a framed photo of her and my uncle holding their grandson. It brought tears to her eyes and it meant more to her than I could ever explain. That photo was placed in their living room so she could see it every day. The third memory was towards the end, in November 2019. During a visit with her, she was asking how my 2019 race season was going, as she knew I was raising money for FWC. Let me clarify some points here, at this stage of her illness, she wasn’t able to move at all or speak anymore. Our conversations (and any conversation she had) took place through a computer that she operated by moving her eyes to spell out the words, and the computer would say them out loud. I explained to her how successful the campaign was and that I had one last race to finish out the season. Then, my amazingly selfless aunt asked how she could help and what she could do to support me. I told her she didn’t need to do anything and just asking about my races was support enough. She argued with me and said she wanted to help, and then told my uncle to write a check so they could donate to the cause - which he did as he knew better than to argue with her (lol). In the middle of everything she had going on, in the midst of her trials and struggles, she still thought of others before herself. And this my friends, was the last conversation I had with her and the last time I saw her as she passed away a little shy of two months later.
As Philippians 2:3-4 teaches us, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” My aunt lived out that verse daily and I challenge myself and everyone reading this story and following my race season to do the same. The world we live in today could use a little more care for others. One of the final thoughts I’ll leave you with, that my aunt left with me, was to never take for granted the use of your arms and legs. So with that in mind, I will continue running for as long as I am able whether for a cause or fun.
This year I am going for a new record of 10 races. Previously, the most I have done in one year was eight, so this will be a challenge! With the success that the 2019 season saw, and how quickly all of you helped me reach $8,000, I have increased this year’s goal to $10,000. With your help, I know we can do this! All proceeds for the 2021 race season will be going to the ALS Association - Northern Ohio Chapter in my aunt’s honor. If you are not familiar with my original story please go to: https://pledgeit.org/halfs-for... to learn how Halfs for Hope began. Peace and love friends ✌ ❤.
|4/11||Union Hospital Run for Home Half Marathon||13.10||$820|
|4/25||Glass City Marathon||13.10||$820|
|5/2||Hall of Fame Marathon - Canton||13.10||$820|
|5/29||Medina Half Marathon & 5K||13.10||$820|
|7/10||Akron Trail Marathon||13.10||$820|
|8/14||Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k||13.10||$820|
|9/11||2021 Run to the Wall - OH Veterans' Memorial Park||13.10||$820|
|10/17||Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon||-||-|
|10/30||Heart and Sole 5k/10k/Half-Marathon||-||-|
|11/13||54th Annual Churchill's Half Marathon||-||-|
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