In Nashville today, several of my fellow Heroes ran their first Marathon or 1/2, raising money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I was unable to run with them again this year, however I was so proud of each and every one of them. To see why St.Jude’s holds a special place in my heart, you can see my blog from last year below:
All my life I have competed in one way or another. Swimming, dance, pageants, riding horses..the list goes on and on. In that time, I developed a since of competition with a purpose, knowing that win or loose, the efforts were still contributing to something bigger than yourself. Nothing held more true than the night of June 5, 2010 when my own idea became reality and hit home.
The final night of my National competition the phone rang and my worst nightmare came true. My little cousin, Aaron, had lost his battle with Leukiema and I was far away from home and far away from my family. However, I could not leave the competition. Not because I physically was unable, but because I made a promise to a little boy lying in bed at home that wanted nothing more than to come watch me compete at my big event that I would stay. Aaron told me the night before I left, “I am so proud of you and promise me whatever happens, you will finish. Win or loose, you will always be my queen. I love you.” The last words he would ever say to me before he died and big words at that. These words came from a child who had spent months at St. Jude’s fighting a Leukiema that was extremely aggressive and caused much pain, and knowing he barely had much time left. Regardless of what he felt, he found the strength everyday to put others before himself in every aspect of his life and his treatment.
Aaron was the child, growing up that loved unconditionally and without cause. When he spoke to you, he made you feel like you were his favorite. A gift that truly was unique and special.
During his illness he was more worried about his family being o.k and going through the process of treatments,traveling , and the education of his cancer, than he was for himself and what he would and did endure. He never wanted tears and he never wanted pain for all around him and spoke of that often. He wanted everyone to be happy and enjoy each day they had. A remarkable young boy with a huge heart filled with wisdom of love and kindness that normally takes a lifetime to obtain.
I truly believe, that with the help of St. Jude’s , that thousands of child’s lives will be saved because of Aaron. That they will find a cure to this rare and aggressive form of cancer normally found in adults, that has discovered its way into children.
Aaron taught me my own life lesson. A thought and moral standard my parents instilled in me for years. He brought it home, he lived it no matter how bad things got. If he can go through, numerous treatments, bone marrow transplants and tests and still put himself above others, then I can run 13.1 miles in his honor to help St. Jude’s come that much closer to finding a cure to save the lives of thousands.
Aaron did his part in contributing to this process, now lets do ours. Please donate for this worthy cause and support me in raising my monetary goal in Honor and Memory of Aaron. The boy who loved others the way they wanted to be loved, the one who put others before himself no matter what he endured and the one that saw his purpose in the big picture.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,