The Chicago Story

My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of razzmatazz

And it has, all that jazz
- Frank Sinatra

Several months ago I noticed that one of my friend's posts on Facebook were looking a little grim. And, during a phone conversation about something of similar weight and gravity, she revealed to me that her oldest daughter had recently been diagnosed with (and had surgery for) a rare brain tumor.  She explained to me that her daughter (Peyton, who turns 9 this year), had essentially had to re-learn to walk because of the surgery. At this point, there's no way of knowing if she can ever really be "fixed" or "cured." We still don't know for sure if her pituitary gland was damaged in the surgery - they'll have to monitor her as she grows.

I wish there was a way to describe how I felt at that moment.  I've had cancer, many in my family have had cancer - we're no stranger to tumors.  And yet, hearing that this child (who I've known since before she was born) had endured as much, if not more, than any of us have . . .well. it horrified me.  And it's stuck with me ever since.

As I've mentioned, I had my name in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon this year. When I saw that A Kids Brain Tumor Cure was looking for athletes to fundraise for their organization, it did not take me long to decide that I wanted to give up on the lottery and agree to fundraise for AKBTC instead. 

L-R: Peyton's dad, Peyton, and little sister Layla
I try to do a big fundraiser for a cause I believe in about every other year, but this one is extremely special to me.  For one thing, AKBTC sends a large percentage of their funds to the actual research and clinical trials.  For another, I don't want other families to have to go through what Peyton's family has gone through.

So my 8th marathon will be run in Peyton's honor.  I'll be wearing her favorite colors when I run the race in October. She and I will be working on different events together for the next few months - we're going to have some virtual events so family and friends in Wisconsin and Florida can participate. And, since this will be my 8th marathon, I've decided to call it P8on's Race.

If you feel moved to contribute or share, it would be most welcome.  If not, wish me luck as I begin to crossover my tri training and marathon training this June for Peyton's Race.

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