Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Be The Match Walk Run

A couple Saturdays ago, my family and I participated in the Be The Match Walk Run at Lone Star Park. I love supporting this organization, because it has made a profound impact on my life. I donated bone marrow four years ago to a young boy with leukemia, and he's alive and well today, thanks to Be The Match.  I would not have known about donating bone marrow, and we would not have found each other, without this registry. Donating to help a stranger was a profound moment in my life, because it gave me purpose.  If I do nothing else in this world, I've done that.  I know I'm a broken record about this Nelson Henderson quote, but it guides me: "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."  I hope my posts about the process have at least prompted a few more people to sign up.  (If you haven't, do it here).  Another reason I try to promote BTM is in memory of my uncle Pete.  He died of leukemia before I was born, leaving behind a wife and three young boys.  It makes me sad when I think about my cousins having to grow up without a father, and I wonder if things could've turned out differently for him if there had been a registry back then.  I can't dwell on "what-ifs," but I can do my part to ensure fewer and fewer people have to grow up without family members. Last plea: Donate to Be The Match, join the bone marrow registry, and spread the word!

I created the team, Hup Holland, when I signed up for the 5K and encouraged family members to join. I was thrilled when my husband, my brother-in-law, both my sisters, my mom, my niece, and my nephew signed up too.  I planned to ask for monetary support from friends and family, but didn't realize just how generous everyone would be. My bone marrow recipient's mother actually made an amazing donation, and she is a big reason for our team's success!  I'm happy to announce that our team came in third overall for money raised, and I was second on the individual level.  What a wonderful support system we have around us.  THANK YOU!

When I signed up for the 5K, I wasn't sure I'd actually be running. I haven't run a 5K in more than a year, thanks to all my back problems. I had been walking a lot lately, though, and even attempted 1 mile runs twice in the previous month. My back wasn't horrible after those, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I could always make it a walk/run, or just walk the whole thing completely.  I didn't have high hopes, because my fitness has definitely been lacking lately. Once I started running, though, my pride took over!  I decided to force myself to keep running, just to prove that I could.  To my pleasant surprise, I was able to run the whole thing without stopping. It really is a mental, more than physical, challenge! My time was 31:54, which is quite respectable for someone who hasn't run that distance in ages.

The more impressive results were the fact that my 23 year old niece had never participated in a 5K race before and finished in 30:29. My 14 year old nephew finished 10th overall and 1st in his age division, with a time of 22:55.  Kick ass!

Way to go, Michael!

Before the race, they called up all bone marrow donors, recipients, and patients waiting for donations, to take a picture.  

Happy to be a part of this group

Enjoy some more pictures from this fun day!

Hup Holland!

Can't go wrong with balloon animals!

Good talk

The 5K girls

Proud of my niece!

Dutch with his cousin and Dad

My mom walked the full 5K, pushing Dutch.  Thanks, Mom!

In Memory

We were up WAAAAAY early for Dutch!

Another 5K in the books for the sisters!


Chele said...

Hey! Did you meet Christine Fleming from the foundation? She is actually my good friend's stepmom and I told her about you the day before the race. I knew you were running and bragged about you to her about your donation. She was so happy to hear about it! Just wanted to let you know.

vanweezy said...

@Chele - Yes, I did meet her! When I went up to receive my fundraising award, she pulled me aside and introduced herself. I'm hoping to get more involved in the organization before next year's race, so hopefully I will come across her again!