Friday, November 22, 2013

I am thankful, a story of inspiration

by Debi

Just like Janell, I was inspired by a child. I have mentioned before that 2 years ago I read a Facebook post from a friend asking to pray for a little girl named Lucy, and below the post was a link to a blog. I had no idea who Lucy was or why I should pray for her. So I clicked the link and started reading, and I just cried.

Lucy was a five year old little girl that had just been diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer. Her Mom wrote a blog that detailed everything that they were going through, the awful truths of the suffering of a parent of a child diagnosed with such a devastating disease. Maybe it was the way that this Mom shared what her daughter was going through or the fact that Lucy was the same age as my daughter and they look so similar, but it just broke my heart. Lucy's mom, Kate, asked one day if people would sign up to run the St. Jude Marathon, in order to help the hospital raise money to continue cancer research.

I never knew until that time that patients treated at St. Jude are not responsible for paying for their care, the hospital pays for everything so that the families never have to worry about financial issues while dealing with their child's illness. How amazing is that!!! The St. Jude Marathon is the largest fundraiser for the hospital.

Here is this Mom going through the unimaginable and she's asking for this one little thing. So with much trepidation (I had never run before), I signed up. Months later I finished that 1/2 marathon, but I realized during that race that you could sign up to be on a team and there was a team for Lucy. I felt like I missed something.

When it came time to sign up the following year, I took a leap of faith again and signed up for the full marathon distance, and as a Hero on Lucy's Team. (Signing up as a hero means you commit to raising money for the hospital.)

That Summer, Lucy took a turn for the worst, and went into a coma, with no expectation to ever wake up.  Amazingly, Lucy did wake up, and she recovered!!..And she continues to improve. Lucy is a fighter and continues to defy the odds against her with the help of St. Jude and everyone praying for her. The night before we raced, an update was sent out that she had clear scans, no cancer! Can you believe that?

Running the race as a hero is incredible, the race becomes so much more than you ever thought it could be, it's rewarding without the expectation of getting that in return, if that makes sense.

I was so inspired by the courage and strength of this little girl and used that inspiration to overcome one of  my biggest fears (running) to raise money for St. Jude. Lucy's story and her parents testament to God is amazing!

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