image via 6abc Action News
One week until Ironman Lake Placid!! Departure in four days. I’m not quite sure how to begin or write this blog today but know I have to because I’m definitely behind on blogging. A lot has happened and I want to be able to look back and remember everything. The past two weeks have been extremely busy, mostly filling these final two weeks with final efforts for the MMRF. Truth is, I feel extreme exhaustion the past three days. I’m a little embarrassed to share this but it’s important to be honest in my blog so that I can look back in the future and learn from my experiences. Sitting down to blog feels a little overwhelming because I feel like there is still so much more to do with my projects but I want to get some thoughts down in writing. Over the past week I haven’t been eating, hydrating or resting properly. I just talked about the importance of getting REST six days ago although I haven’t followed my own advice on this one. On Wednesday at 10pm I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. I’ve been staying up until 3:00 or 4:00am in the morning working on projects for MMRF and then waking up by 7:00am. I chose projects over training on Thursday. I just can’t seem to put it down and want to know that I did all that I can when I show up to the starting line. This is my #1 priority of 2015 and as long as I know I gave this my all I will be happy when I arrive the start line.
I woke up today with a massive headache for the second day in a row so I headed over to my favorite cafe in Philly, Down Dog Healing Cafe. I first stepped foot into this lovely cafe on October 14, 2014 just a few weeks after signing up for Ironman Lake Placid. I remember sharing my goals for Ironman with the owner. I remember setting out to share what the MMRF is with everyone I meet. I remember her response when I told her. She paused and then told me “Thank you.” Yes, she smiled and said thank you. She shared with me that her father lives with Multiple Myeloma. It was just weeks after signing onto the MMRF Team for Cures that I met someone other than my aunt who lives with Multiple Myeloma. Their family helped me host Sing to Celebrate Life! It was my first big event for the MMRF and I had a chance to meet her wonderful father. Little did I know that I unfortunately would meet so many more people with MM through this journey. Kei owns an Ayruvedic healthy cafe just blocks from me and it’s my favorite cafe in Philadelphia. Every time I walk into her cafe I feel peace, comfort and positive energy. She always knows what to serve me so I’ve stopped looking at the menu. Today I just said “headache/tired” and she knew the proper remedy. Kitchari with a special Hibiscus-lemongrass tea followed by hot Root Boost tea (licorice root, ginger, astragals, elderberry, ginger, and orange peel). It was delicious and I already feel better already.
6abc Action News was the highlight of the week. It was so much fun to meet Ducis Rodgers a few weeks ago and then have the opportunity to meet Jeff Skversky on Wednesday to share my story, the MMRF, and do a little training with him. HUGE thank you to 6 ABC Action News Philadelphia for featuring my story. http://6abc.com/853901
The Bacon Boy Challenge was another exciting part off that same day! They raised over $500 with this awesome and hysterical challenge. I can’t thank Greg and Darren enough for their humor and recent efforts to jump aboard and help me raise awareness for Multiple Myeloma and the MMRF.
On Thursday the MMRF Team for Cures featured my story as one of their IMLP MMRF Team for Cures Athletes. Their words mean a whole lot to me and I appreciate that they shared a little more about who I am. Special thanks to Endurance event manager Kelley Ward, who has encouraged me and reminded me to keep going. Many times. Another huge thanks to Chuck, who is racing on MMRF Team for Cures. He is one of my greatest inspirations these final months leading up to the race and I am so excited to see him next week.
Yesterday is when I hit a point of serious exhaustion. At 9:00am I saw online that my sister dedicated the entire day to donating 50% of sales from her store on instagram spearmintcloset All day long she listed items for sale and her followers were grabbing the items rapidly. My sister did more than funds for MMRF. My sister Shari raised awareness to her 41,000 followers on instagram educating them about Multiple Myeloma and the MMRF. Thank you so much, Shari. I love you.
So what a week, right? But it wasn’t a week filled with all happiness. It was one of the most sad weeks since I began my journey with the MMRF. How is this possible? Sunday, my friend shared that she lost her paddling coach to Multiple Myeloma. She shared with me that he was a giving, dedicated, inspiring coach and friend to her. Thursday, another friend shared she lost a patient she was close with to Multiple Myeloma on that day. One hour later another person I know shared that their co-wokers husband passed away from Multiple Myeloma on Tuesday. Why? Why did three people I know who lose someone to Multiple Myeloma in the same week? If you get a chance please watch my video on suffering. Think about it. Think about how fortunate many of us are to be racing Ironman Lake Placid. Since the 6abc news story more than 20 people who have family that lives with MM or family who have passed away from MM have shared their story with me. One of my goals with the MMRF Team for Cures is to see that EVERY athlete that shows up to the start line knows what the Ironman Lake Placid official charity is. Yes, I want to reach my personal commitment too but I want ALL athletes to know what Multiple Myeloma is and what the MMRF does. Together, we are making a difference. Every time someone shares they are educating another friend about Multiple Myeloma or reaching people who are affected by Multiple Myeloma. Raising awareness is key. So are raising funds for research. I understand many of us have causes that are special to us and not everyone can make contributions. This I completely understand. But you can still make a difference. May I please ask everyone reading to consider just one thing? May I please ask you to consider sharing one post, one fact, or one thing you have learned about Multiple Myeloma with someone you know today. Please, help me spread the word about what Multiple Myeloma is and the important work of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. It is thanks to the incredible communities coming together that we achieved so much. If you have been part of the journey for the MMRF I want to say thank you. Thank you so, so much.
If you’d like to learn why I am racing on the MMRF Team for Cures, more about Multiple Myeloma, or would like to make a contribution please visit here to donate.
With love and gratitude,