Reaching for a Cure

So, why do you race?

Testing your limits? Focus on fitness? A sense of accomplishment? An adrenaline rush?

I run for all of these reasons, but to me, there is no greater race, then running for a cause, and raising awareness, and funds, for something you are extremely passionate about.

On Sunday, I raced in the 16th Annual Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF)Reaching for the Cure, 10K Run. The race was part of theRenegade Race Series and took place over two days, March 29-30, at Irvine Valley College.

This race meant more to me than words can say. About a year ago, I met the sweetest little boy, Brody, and his amazing mother, Elizabeth, at a localFit4Mom class. He immediately stole our hearts with his loveable smile. After talking to his mom, I found out Brody, was actually a cancer survivor.

Brody was born on February 20, 2011. He was always a happy baby. Around 8 months old, he began to have trouble keeping his food down, was vomiting daily, and coincidentally, tilting his head to one side. The pediatrician and specialists suggested that physical therapy and reflux medications should help. After numerous sessions and trying different medications, Brody’s vomiting only increased and his weight dropped substantially. His parents rushed him to the emergency room to demand answers.

On January 13, 2012, a CT scan revealed that Brody had a 2 inch by 2 inch tumor on his brain stem. He was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and scheduled for surgery three days later. The neurosurgeons removed 99% of the tumor. The risky surgery was successful, at least they thought.

A week later, Brody’s parents received the devastating news the Brody had atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), an extremely rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. According to statistics, only 30 children in the US are diagnosed with AT/RT each year. The neurosurgeon explained that even after surgery and chemotherapy treatment, Brody would have a very low chance of survival, roughly 10%.

His parents learned about a doctor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who specialized in brain tumors, as the basis of 20 years of research. Under his guidance, Brody began the fight of his life. His treatment lasted 7 months and included 2 rounds of intense chemotherapy, 3 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, followed with stem cell rescue, and 28 sessions of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) photon radiation.

Brody completed treatment in August 2012, and has been cancer free ever since.

Each year, cancer kills more children and adolescents than any other disease. I was completely shocked to learn that pediatric cancer research only receives 3.8% of the total funding raised for cancer research each year! During the PCRF Reaching for the Cure Ride/Run race, 80% of all funds raised, go directly to research! Pediatric Cancer Research, saved Brody’s life.

This weekend, I ran for Team Brody.

Over 100 members signed up to be a part of Team Brody, to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer Research. Team Brody, alone, raised over $8,000!

I’ve heard many people say, they are running for their lives. This weekend, over 7,000 people gathered in Orange County, to not only run or walk for their own life and health, but to take strides, to bring hope, and fund the crucial research we desperately need, to cure childhood cancer.

For updates on Brody’s progress, please follow his Facebook page:
Blossoms for Brody www.facebook.com/pages/Blossoms-for-Brody/170995623005581

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Posted on March 31, 2014, in Run Mama and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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