Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Run for a Cause!

Gary & Thelissa Zollinger, founders and organizers of the fundraiser for Early Lung Cancer detection research.  Gary valiantly fought for life and survived a double lung transplant, it was while he was recovering that he determined to do something to help prevent this dreaded disease from taking lives. . .

The answer:
An endowment was begun and the run was the momentum for research to begin that would provide a test to be performed during the annual routine physical lab work that would trigger alerts for medical professionals to catch Lung Cancer while it is treatable.  Gary had been seeing doctors and thought he had a bad case of asthma, he wasn't diagnosed until he was well into stage-4 Lung Cancer.

That is how this 5K race, staged at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, located in Aurora Colorado, was begun.

Lung cancer is a silent killer that takes life one breath at a time.  because symptoms usually do not occur until late stages, it is difficult to treat and cure.  For this reason, there is a great need for an early detection screening.  Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the US.

2010 Lung Cancer Statistics:
    222,520 newly diagnosed in the United States
    157,300 deaths
    Remains the #1 cancer killer

Lung Cancer will kill more people this year than:
Colon Cancer
Breast Cancer
and Prostate Cancer 

For more information than I have quoted here or to donate to this cause visit their website
(click on the colored text and it will magically take you there!)

So Why do I run?

 Gary:  Cousin in-law - more like close family!
Robert: Late Husband
Sharon:  Friend, who is currently battling Lung Cancer herself

 The setting of this run has additional meaning to me. . .

This is the same hospital, formerly known as the Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, where my late husband was treated for Cancer in 1990, he passed away on January 2, 1991.

Although Robert died of Liver Cancer, it was at this facility that he was treated, it was here and during this time of my life that I came to know Gary and Thelissa Zollinger and their amazing family.  They are my friends, they are part of my family

 The journey was exciting!  I flew to Denver instead of driving like we normally do.  Because it was just me going it just made more sense.  Flying is fun because you can be in a storm of grey and rain and within minutes it is sunny and beautiful!

 As a child I used to dream/imagine that I was in the clouds all soft and poofy all comfy without a care in the world, kind of like the snugly bear in Downy Fabric Softener commercials.  Looking at the clouds from this perspective I still believe that it would be wonderfully awesome!

 The frontier plane I was on had a picture of an Elk on the wing, their slogan "a whole new animal"  each plane features a different animal on the plane.  kind of fun I think

 Back down on earth, Saturday was cool, but beautifully sunny, a perfect day for a run!

 waiting to begin, with race officials and friends

The official start line

Two years ago when I was here as a volunteer, the night before we blew up balloons and then arrived at the race site at the obnoxiously early hour of 5:00 AM to get the balloon arch assembled.  The weather was not cooperative in the least with the wind blowing and it was COLD!  the about 30 minutes before the race began the entire balloon arch broke loose and floated away into the sky. . . I think it was looking for sunshine too.

This year they added timing chips!  way cool, no fudging your time. . . data is data  
Gotta love it!

the start line, I was somewhere in the middle.  My goal for this race was to finish in less than 30 minutes!  No time for loafing or pictures this time around. 

People kept thinking I looked like a real pro, I kept telling them that half the battle was look the part and people think you are better than you really are.  As for my time, I missed my less than 30 minute mark by :29 seconds, not bad, I think to myself!  but still room for improvement.

Helping to clean up, Jamie and I found these perfectly good, unopened bagel holes and decided to "dumpster dive" and saved them.  While we felt a little odd in the process, they weren't that great in the end, and now. . . I can honestly say I've been dumpster diving. . . officially. . . well okay not quite dumpster diving, more like trash can diving, but close enough for me!

 the final clean up, we had to haul all this trash to the dump site!

It's time to go home, getting ready for a race is exhausting, but a worthwhile and happily tired
I will look forward to coming again next year!


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