Thursday, October 3, 2013

Doing It For Denise

I think several months back I did a post about not taking your relationships for granted and not waiting until someone you love has cancer before you tell them how much you love having them with you on the long run.  In that post I introduced you to one of my very best friends, Denise. 
We took this picture on a walk immediately following Denise shaving her head.  She is beautiful.
Earlier this year, Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I don't know how to accurately describe the shock that comes with a cancer diagnosis for one of your friends.  I hate to admit this, but when it happens to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even your parents there is a small part of you that accepts it as part of age (please do not confuse this statement for me saying that it is any less painful.  A loved one being diagnosed with cancer is horrible no matter what).  But, when your friend is diagnosed with cancer, it is devistating.  Our friends are not supposed to get sick.  Our friends CANNOT get sick!!  Why in the world are our friends getting sick?!!?
The immediate feeling of helplessness when your friend is diagnosed is, for lack of a better word, overwhelming. Now that I think about it, overwhelming is exactly the right word.  After Denise told me the news, I probably spent a week begging God for the ability to fix my friend.  Well, not really to fix her, there is nothing wrong with my friend, she is awesome.  What I mean is that I prayed for the ability to take her cancer away.  Maybe that sounds dumb, but knowing what my friend was facing, and feeling like there was nothing I could do about it was awful.
This is where you come in.  This Saturday, I will be participating in the Komen Race For The Cure.  Being able to raise money in honor of Denise eases that overwhelming feeling of helplessness. I can't cure cancer, but I can run.  I can put one foot in front of the other and in doing so, I can help make sure that Denise and all women to come after her receive the best possible treatment.  This is where I ask you to PLEASE donate to my team in honor of Denise.  Or if for whatever reason, you can't make a donation right now, please forward the link to anyone you know who can.  I want to raise as much money as I can in honor of my dear friend and in hopes that your dear friends never have to go through this.  Every little bit helps.  Here is the link to my personal page:

Ever since Denise was diagnosed, she and I have pounded the pavement together for many a mile.  We've being taking these walks since right after her diagnosis, through her first chemo treatments, through her hair falling out, through ringing the bell on her final chemo day, all the way up to right before surgery.  During these walks we've spent a lot of time talking about cancer.  We've also spent a lot of time talking about the usual stuff like food, travel, and our husbands (sorry Paul.  I've learned so much about her during these walks.  Let me tell you, Denise is brave, she is shockingly (only to herself) strong, she is wise (this girl can research better than the FBI!!), she is giving, and open, and I am in awe of her.  I wish I could adequately describe to you what these walks and talks will mean to me for the rest of my life, but it sort of goes beyond anything a blog could capture.  This is the link to Denise's blog so that you can get to know what an amazing person she is.

To all my fellow runners out there, please donate.  Can we all send one giant runner's wave to Denise?

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