I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. She was dealing with the devastating blow of her daughter having recently being diagnosed with Leukaemia. We were talking about how she was going, and what she and the family needed for support.
Since breaking the news to family and friends, they had been inundated with offers for assistance. They were so, so grateful, but what my friend pointed out is how all of this doesn’t really have any effect on the end result. At the end of the day their daughter still has a fight on their hands, and no progress has been made towards fixing that issue for good.
For example, take the offer to make some meals for them.
What seems like an offer to make their lives easier on the surface only actually served as a painful reminder of their situation. The meals were offered as family-sized portions, yet the reality they faced was they may not be sitting at the table as a family for some time.
There’s a chance that some people may see this as being ungrateful. Not everyone is lucky enough to be in their situation, where financially they have the means of supporting themselves while going through this battle. Of course, there are people that when struck down by an unexpected illness they face horrific financial pressures, on top of everything else.
What my friend was trying to point out is that they’re in not in that situation. In their personal situation, they have the means to buy meals, or whatever else they need. And for every single offer they have received they’re completely grateful, and overwhelmed by how many people have shown so much love.
The point my friend was trying to make is:
Help us by helping to stop anyone else from having to go through this ever again.
Help by raising awareness, or making a donation to the cause, by trying to improve the science that treats and prevents these diseases.
How my running helps
On the surface, running can be a selfish sport. It’s all about you. Trying to run faster, or further, or longer. It’s a solo sport. You want to beat everyone else.
But then you start to look a bit deeper.
In the past I’ve run in an event wearing the shirt of the Cystic Fibrosis foundation “65 Roses”. A friend’s son unfortunately has CF, and they have been actively fundraising for the charity as a way of bringing awareness and hopefully one day, a resolution for this nasty thing. Their own fitness community, Cross Fit, held a very successful fundraiser day for CF, including running a large distance.
On top of that, my run club has an extensive amount of events during the year. Each one of these events has a different charity partner, and a portion of the entry fees go towards the charity.
In 6 years they have raised over $2.1 million by running over 12 million miles.
The last few charity partners have been:
- Wildlife Protection Solutions (for the protection of animals from poachers)
- Music & Memory (Alzheimers)
- Project Purple (Pancreatic Cancer)
The list continues….and I could go on, but I won’t. Which brings me to my next point.
The most recent event, running this month, is for Cerebral Palsy (CP) – a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture (thank you Google).
I threw out a call on my personal Facebook page for friends who knew anyone with this condition that I could do my run in honour of. My friend brought my attention to Precious Emily.
I started following her Facebook page, and was blown away. Emily is a beautiful little girl with CP. The page is run by Emily’s mother, and shares the trials and tribulations as Emily works to overcome the condition.
I am blown away by Emily’s strength, ability to just never give up, and her absolute killer smile!
I reached out to Emily’s mother to ask if I could run in honour of Emily, and she immediately accepted my request. I explained that I wanted to bring awareness to their page, and Emily herself.
So to introduce Emily, beyond the girl with the condition:
Emily’s favourite colour is brown, like the hyena’s in Lion King. Her second favourite colour (or colours?) is rainbow.
Here’s her Facebook page, so you can learn a bit more about her, and what she’s been up to.
My next run is for Emily.
What I can do
If my entry into an event gives the CP foundation $1 more than they had beforehand then it’s worth it. If wearing a shirt makes someone else think about Cystic Fibrosis, it’s worth it. All of this helps to fund a fight against a root cause.
And posting about this conversation with my friend – that’s something else I can do.
I can talk to all of you about what’s in your power, and what you can do.
Make a donation, raise awareness, and do something worthwhile for the root cause.
By all means, I advocate checking in on your friends or anyone else you know going through something like my friends are. You should always see what they need, and make sure they’re coping.
But please don’t go for the token gift just because it’s the norm. Make sure it will truly help.
And finally, think about donating to a cause on their behalf.
Help make sure that no one else ever has to go through this ever again.