I will begin by sharing the sorrow I experienced this week, because I want to end my blog on a positive note. Several months ago I shared with you the story of our close family friends that have a little caboose child like my little Eoin. As cancer inevitably does when it has taken over your body, her amazing father was taken from this life the day before Mother's Day. On the one hand, I know that this friend of ours lived life to the fullest and that even though he passed, he had a wonderful life! However, on the other hand, I see his beautiful wife and three children left behind without his continued guidance and care. Cancer has robbed them of the opportunity to have him at their graduations, their weddings, and everything that is important to them. And their little three-year-old may never really know how wonderful her father was because she was too little when he passed away. My heart is so heavy thinking about what the next few years will be like for this family without his guiding presence.
While all this is going on, I also experienced great joy and pride in spite of cancer. This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to go and watch my friend Kay compete in her first triathlon since her cancer recovery. To watch this individual who fought cancer with every bit of her body go out there and be ready to give everything she has to her swim, bike, and run was such a gift on a very difficult weekend. As I watched her prepare to compete, I was so thankful that her husband Jim did not have to go through the same loss that our other friend's wife and children are going through at this very moment. A victory against cancer! Cancer doesn't always win!
This week I also had the privilege of getting to know a little more about my 0 to 100 Mile Hero teammate Debbie Jett. I already think the world of her for allowing the extra five girls to benefit from the ultra marathon training when she could have kept the help all to herself. That alone showed what a giving soul she is, but this week she was featured on a San Diego news segment that I would like to share with you. Debbie, like Kay, is a colorectal cancer survivor. And like Kay, she has turned her cancer journey into an inspirational example for other cancer patients. Debbie, who lives in La Jolla, runs races for colon cancer patients that are too sick to do those miles themselves. She takes photos and videos along the way so these patients can feel like they were really doing the race themselves. At the end of the race, Debbie sends these patients the photos, videos, and the medals she receives as a finisher. I never thought I would meet another person that inspires me as much as Kay does. Watch this video and I know you, too, will be inspired by her huge heart! SDLive: Debbie Jett
So while this week my heart is very heavy because of the loss of a dear friend and the hole this loss has left in his beautiful family, I also have two friends that remind me that cancer doesn't always win. And not only does cancer not win, but cancer's power is weakened by people like Debbie and Kay who shine their light on all those around them and remind those people to get their regular check-ups and remind them to fight to the very end because cancer can be defeated! I am thankful to have these two women in my life, and I am thankful to have know my friend for almost fifteen years before he passed away. I think what I want to take away from this week of severe ups and downs is that life is precious, and we need to enjoy life to the fullest every day. Take care of yourself, you never know when your health will be taken away from you. Make time to go out and play in the world. Run, bike, swim, whatever makes you happy...just go out there and do it!