I don’t know that I have the words to express what this weekend meant to me. Once again, I don’t know how to feel worthy of all the love shown to me and my family. All I can say is that you all are the very human expression of God’s great love and mercy to us.
I just can’t get over it.
Here are shots of gratitude moments from the past couple of days.
Our dear friend Vipal (kneeling guy above) is serving with the Department of Justice in Afghanistan and has been away from his family for almost a year. He left shortly after my diagnosis and I remember that when I hugged him good-bye that I told him I’d be here when he returned safely to us. I’m not sure I really believed that. Not that he wouldn’t come back safely, but that I would be here to help welcome him home. Thankfully, in about 6 weeks he’ll be home and I’ll still be here.
He sent out an e-mail to some of his friends in Kabul and before you know it had organized a shadow run for our Free to Breathe event. I started seeing donations from people whose names I didn’t recognize. Those donations? They helped push us right over our goal. Total strangers who didn’t know me from Adam two days ago have now partnered up to provide hope for the future. The kindness of strangers indeed.
They weren’t the only ones walking for us. The group above are all friends from DC who walked on Sunday morning to raise money for Lungevity (another lung cancer support network). They raised more than $600! I would have given anything to have been there with them. Next year! That’s a promise!
This is my team from Dayton. I can barely write these words without just wanting to break down into the old ugly cry. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what each of them mean to me. There is so much love in this picture. I’ve said it a million times. I don’t wish cancer on any of you, but I surely do wish you could feel what the true love of friends and family means at a time like this. There are no words.
We had a beautiful day. The sky was blue and it was cold but not too cold. I don’t have the final numbers of runners/walkers but it was certainly more than last year. That was our goal. To increase awareness and change the face of lung cancer a little bit. It looks like the total monies raised this weekend is going to top $30000!
With your help we did just that. The latest donation total was very close to $3500. Combine that with the other races and the fund raiser from October and you guys have helped us raise over $9000 in the last month. That is astounding to me. We just feel so blessed.
I wish I could get my hands on all of you. But I might never let you go……
Here are a few more shots from the weekend and the race. It’s one of those couple of days that you want to live again and again. I am a lucky woman.
That gal on the left? She is the driving force behind the Dayton Free to Breathe events. She has put more effort and energy into making the event a success than I could ever tell you. She is an inspiration to all of us. A tireless bundle of energy who has embraced this cause and made it her own. She is precious to me.
On the right is Bridget from the National Lung Cancer Partnership. They were nice enough to send her all the way over to be with us and we were so thankful to have her here. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of the folks that work for the NLCP. They are dedicated beyond the call and believe that we can all make a difference.
Look who joined us! Dr. C and his lovely wife Emily were good enough to come out and run with us. It was wonderful to get to introduce them to everyone. Know what is even more wonderful? Having a doctor who believes in you. He thinks I can do this. So it helps me believe I can do it. There isn’t a better gift than that.
Finally, we remembered our friend Don. Gone too soon and missed by all who loved him.
Thank you for sharing this weekend with us. We could not do this without you. Any part of it. We love you all.
So very, very much.