I have been asked quite a few times over the past few months why I am running, and I have come to a point where I give the generic response that I want to be healthier. I’ve said that so many times that it doesn’t even seem to mean anything anymore. The reason I am running is because I have Cystic Fibrosis and my lung are failing me. I run because if I don’t keep trying to get somewhere I won’t become anymore then I already am. I run because I’ve lost two friends to this disease and I refuse to sit and wait to be with them again, I will run for them because they cannot.
I have always said that I would never put my name on a charity, that I could never raise money in my own name. It’s always felt like a dirty thing, like a selfish thing to me. What does it mean to raise money in your own name when there are people out their who have no one to do the same for them? When there are people who no longer have the ability to raise anything for others themselves?
I lost two people who I held close to my heart to Cystic Fibrosis. One was completely unexpected and the other brought peace to someone who had been long sick and tired. The hardest part of losing my friends to CF was that they were both younger then I was. Life just felt so out of order knowing that they’d passed and I would continue to live. They say in war when others die and you live you feel a survivors guilt, I can only imagine that is what it feels like.
I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with them and for the memories we shared. It is my goal to bring justice to their loss, and to put meaning behind it. I will do all I can to help cure this disease, not for myself but so no one else has to lose their friends, or their family.
The last year of my life has been a roller coaster. I started living a dream that was better then I could have ever imagined, and I let it be taken away from me. The hardest decision in my life came from leaving my college program with Disney, I made a decision to put my health 100% ahead of my career ambitions. I have been questioned about that decision, and i have regretted that decision but no matter how angry I get with myself for not being healthier then part of me will always be grateful that I made that tough decision. In the time I left Disney and came home for treatment my health continued to decline and it still is today. I’ve reached a point right now where I am not sure if I will be physically able to complete my marathon in a year goal. I have to say the anxiety that thought has given me is becoming more crippling everyday. It will break my heart if I am unable to accomplish my goal because I will have let myself down, and the people that I am running for.
While the anxiety is building and my hopes begins to darken I know that no matter how many miles I run or how many miles I don’t, that I will still be fighting for them every second. That I will be fighting for myself. I’ve spent a long time trying to be more selfless, and I spend a lot of effort trying to be a kinder person though that doesn’t always work in my favor. I no longer want to be ashamed to say that I am fighting for myself, that I am running just because I want to be proud of myself.
I deserve to be proud of myself.