Walk Like You Mean It

We’ve discussed my aversion to running before. If you see me hightailing it with walking or running shoes on, it’s going to be for a really important reason – like being chased by a bear. Yet every September, I’m reminded of one of the most important reasons to get up and get walking. Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

On September 24th, my son, Denver, and I will be walking in a 5K walk/run to help end childhood cancer. Not only is this a great way to support a charity close to our hearts, it’s a perfect way for us to get some exercise and keep our own bodies and minds healthy.Childhood Cancer

Denver was – let’s say – shocked -when I asked him to do a 5K with me. “Wow, mom,” he said, knowing my avoidance of running. But also knowing that we’d be walking in memory of my 10-year-old cousin, Markus, he agreed to join in.

Childhood CancerThe first thing we had to do was to come up with a name for our team. After some deliberation, we decided on “Walkers for Life”. Denver, a friend, and I are looking to add more members to our team and raise a total of $1500 in donations between now and the race. We may be walkers instead of runners, but our cause is no less pure:

Markus was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, at the age of 8. He spent most of his last year in and out of hospitals. Markus was a regular superhero when it came to his hospital stays, so we gave him his own superhero name – Markusman. He even had a cape.

Markus desperately wanted to go to Disney World, to see his favorite superheroes. In early July 2014, Markus received exciting news from the “Make a Wish Foundation” that his wish had been granted! The foundation was sending him and his entire family on a one-week vacation to Disney World.

He and his family arrived in Orlando on August 19th, 2014. The trip from South Carolina was difficult for Markus, as the cancer had spread, making him very sick. Even though he was not feeling well, he found an inner reserve of excitement. That very next afternoon, he had an appointment to meet the Transformers, his favorite heroes.

Markus never made the appointment. The morning of August 20, 2014, Markus passed away in the arms of his mother in the happiest place on the planet for a child, Disney World.

I think of Markus often and his strength right up to the end. And if Markus could find joy in the midst of a battle no child should have to face, I can find the strength to walk, to fundraise, and to raise awareness so that one day, childhood cancer will be a thing of the past.Childhood Cancer

Happy and Healthy Monday,