You can’t run from cancer, but you can run to end cancer.
On September 26 our family is going to be participating in the St. Jude Marathon Walk/Run.
Last year in the beginning of December Scott was taking the last of one of his hardest chemo. It was called Cisplatin, and it made him so, so sick. The chemo would kill his body to the point of being too tired to want to do anything, but the medicine they gave him to keep him from nausea made his mind wide awake.
As he lay in chemo that weekend, we were told that on Saturday was the big St. Jude Marathon for 2014. Runners were flying in from all over to run miles through Memphis and through St. Jude campus to raise money for those kids. They had been training for months, they were ready.
The morning of the marathon Scott was sick. I remember coming up to the 2nd floor to tell him the runners were going to arrive soon. The shades of the huge glass window of his hospital room had been opened and I paused and stood watching him from the hallway. He was sitting up in bed, his head in his hands and the blankets wrapped around his legs. It made my heart ache a little to see him so tired and so sick. But when I came in Scott unplugged his IV pole from the wall and grouchily told me to hold the door for him so he could wheel it out. I followed behind a little as he waddled down the hall, wrapped in several blankets and a jacket while dragging his IV pole behind him. We met the rest of our family by the road where the runners were racing past. It was cold outside and the wind blew his blankets around.
We all stood watching as Scott wheeled his pole up to the very edge of the road, stopped, and slowly raised his one good arm to highfive the first runner that passed him. A huge smile broke out on his face as the runners all veered toward him, each raising their hand to slap it against Scott’s. Tears began to roll down many of their faces as they saw this boy. They began to shout encouragement to him, even though he had come all this way to shout encouragement to them.
These runners had come so far, they were tired, their muscles were sore and so many of them probably wanted to stop. But they were doing for these children what they could not do for themselves. Scott was in no condition to walk a far distance, let alone run miles and miles. He was in a sense at that moment, physically broken.
These runners where fighting for him in their own way. and they were fighting hard.
Let me tell you that I can still remember those runners faces. I still remember the sweat and the tears and the smiles. I still remember the runners that wore the shirts that said I AM A ST. JUDE SURVIVOR. They had once stood in the shoes of that boy with the IV pole, they had once been to weak to move. But now they were strong. Now they ran for those who could not.
The picture above was taken that day in early December 2014. The pictures below were taken only a few months later in July of 2015. I promise it’s the same boy, but look at him now.
He’s ready to run.
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