Culture

Racing and Living for a Cause

Caitlyn heads into WRS Nashville inspired by a fellow runner who survived cancer.

 

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to chat with Kristi, who is participating with Team Edith on Sept. 27 at the Women’s Running Nashville event. Hearing her story of overcoming a stage 4(!) cancer diagnosis three years ago—which came just four months after a clean mammogram— really recharged my own reasons for running this race, and running in general. Because she missed her first marathon due to cancer treatment, Kristi came back after entering remission to run the Fargo Marathon earlier this year. It was there that she discovered the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, our charity partner at Women’s Running.

“I really firmly believe in their mission. I love that all the money raised [literally] through them goes to research,” says Kristi, who has raised around $1,300 for the cause between Fargo and the event on Saturday. The dedicated fundraiser has also done every Women’s Running Nashville event to date, including the event this weekend. “I want everyone to know that [cancer isn’t a death sentence], and it doesn’t mean you need to stop living your life.”

As I listened to her share her story, not only did she remind me of the power of running, but she also reminded me just how small so many of our day-to-day struggles actually are. A simple story of doing a race for the sake of “unfinished business” seemed so easy. How did she make it seem so effortless? There wasn’t a tone of uncertainty as she explained her race-day goals. Not doing the race was always lesser option than racing SAG wagon to the finish.

I got off the phone and hopped onto Edith Sanford’s website for a little refresher from my days as a charity coordinator under our parent company. I loved what I saw—100% of the proceeds funding necessary research. What a fabulous percentage to read on a charity website! So, on Saturday, I will put my own molehill-to-mountain struggles aside and run for Kristi and other survivors; Edith Sanford and their mission; my friend, coach and mentor, Linda; my late Nana, who lost her battle years ago; and all the people I haven’t had the honor of meeting but take treatment by the horns and crush it.