St. Jude Marathon and Urgent Team Garrett Update

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Hi friends!  I wanted to get in another quick post this week updating you all on my training for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon.  The race is a little over 6 weeks away and I have entered into the really time-consuming part of my training.  We’re talking like 25-35 miles of running each week . . . I’m flat out exhausted.  I’m remembering now why after training for my first marathon last October I said I didn’t want to do another!

I am starting to get excited though too. I got my St. Jude Heroes running tank in the mail over the weekend, and I’m looking forward to sporting it during my race.  I also managed to convinced my dear childhood friend to join me and run her first 5k.

Here we are circa 1985, aren’t we cute?1928961_7249285314_7226_nIt’s such a blessing to have a friend who you have known since you were 3 years old.  I’m so thankful that we still have a relationship (even stronger than ever!) and that we get to share this fun experience with each other.

I shared with you a few months ago about why I started running and why in particular I chose to run this racer (if you missed that post, read it here).  Having grown up in Memphis, TN, I am very familiar with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I loved the idea of running a race not just for myself, but also running as a fundraiser–so I signed up for the St. Jude Marathon’s Hero Program and committed to raise $1500 for the hospital.

My reasons for supporting St. Jude go beyond where I grew up though.  I have some dear friends from high school who have a son that is currently being treated at St. Jude.

Remember Garrett?10518832_894201953938249_306841431073508055_nHe is the 11 year old son of my friends Matt & Jenni, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and cancer at age 10.  Last summer, Garrett lost his right eye to Retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer, and has been receiving treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ever since.

Tragically, the family received word earlier this month that Garrett’s cancer had returned, and that no additional treatment options will provide a cure.  So tonight, Garrett will return to St. Jude for another surgery that will attempt to remove as much of the cancer as possible, in hopes of saving his other eye, and ultimately, his life.

After they got the news, the family decided it was time to take a trip, so off to Orlando they went 🙂1959908_542659079169015_1457753826235409479_nThey spent time at the beach, Universal Studios, and Disney World, celebrating Garrett and enjoying some precious time together as a family.  We weren’t aware of it, but we just missed seeing them at Disney by a few days.

I ask you all to just stop for a moment and think through the challenge that is facing my friends.  A special needs child, undergoing radical surgery, fighting a rare disease . . . as they say on their Team Garrett Facebook page, “We will keep fighting with everything we have and always keep praying for a miracle.”

My friends are just one of countless families who currently have children being treated at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  As a mother of three healthy children, I am so moved by the struggles of these families.  That is why I am running this race, and fundraising as a St. Jude Hero.

Amazingly, NO family EVER gets a bill for the care they receive from St. Jude.  The entire hospital is run by donations.  What an amazing blessing!  And, St. Jude has been pivotal in leading the fight to cure childhood cancer through groundbreaking research.  PushingSurvivalRatesThey continue to seek a cure for every child and every cancer, including Garrett’s.  By joining in my fundraising, you can be a part of their amazing mission.

I need $500 to reach my fundraising goal.  Will you consider giving?  Donations can be made online by clicking here, and are completely tax deductible.

A donation would be a wonderful Christmas gift for the person in your life that has everything. Or for someone special you know who has a tender heart for children.  We have begun giving my boys’ teachers donations to children’s charities in their honor, as their holiday gifts.  Along with a basket of homemade goodies, their teachers have been moved and so grateful for the thoughtful, and purposeful gift.  Really, does any teacher need another coffee mug?  Just an idea!

I am sure that Garrett’s family covets your prayers.  Even more though, I can confidently say that they covet your support for St. Jude so that their son, and others, can continue to receive life-giving treatment.

Please consider helping me reach, and maybe even surpass my fundraising goal for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I know we can do it!

Thank you!!!!!


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

Tuesday 21st of October 2014

Thank you for sharing Garrett with us, Melanie!


Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

Thank you so much Linda, and I so appreciate your gift :)

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