In 2000, I experienced one of the proudest events of my life. I was the top fund-raiser in the Rocky Mountain Region for Leukemia and Lymphoma as part of running a marathon for Team in Training. I remember seeing a family on the sidelines... a little bald girl on her Dad's shoulders wearing a 'Hero' T-shirt and a mother mouthing 'Thank you' to me as I ran by. This moved me so much that I vowed to never be intimidated by fund-raising again.
Since then I've done three other TnT events, raising thousands more. I'm so overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of so many people that I can't even begin to express it.
For years I've been telling people my final marathon and fund-raising event would be in 2010. I have been training for a marathon, but I have not been doing the fund-raising. I know that most people have been hit by this poor economy and I just didn't want to put all those friends who have been so generous in the past on the spot to give once again. But I know there are so many people who are in need of support.
So, instead of asking for money, this year I'm going to ask for prayers.
Now, I know not everyone prays, so... I'll leave links to charities, just in case you'd rather go that route. But whether you donate, pray, or support the causes and people in your life in different ways, just know that you make a difference.
Please pray for:
* Craig Dunham, his family, and all those who are suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Craig is the bravest man I know. His smile and strength will keep me going as I run on Sunday.
* My Dad, Terry Francino, who lost his fight with cancer on August 26. Pray that his spirit will be running with me (Please, a lot faster than he could go in life!) And pray for his wife of 53 years, Suzanne. I am so blessed to have her as my mother.
* George Dunham (Craig's father) and Butch Warren (the mother of a man who's donated over $1500 for my causes) who recently have lost their battles with Alzheimer's. Pray for all families that are either suffering from or caring for people who are battling this illness.
* The continued health of my beautiful friend, Rebecca Ritter, who is proof that you can survive breast cancer, still compete in triathlons and century bike rides, and look sexier than a 25-year-old model.
* The incredibly generous people who have supported all these causes. Keep them healthy and strong.
As I run those 26.2 miles at the Denver Rock'n'Roll, I will be remembering how lucky I am to have health and that I live in a world where people support, love, and pray for one another. (I'm hoping that will take my mind off of my aching legs.)