Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I Run

Since I've started my training and fundraising with TNT, I've had many people ask why. Why I get up at 5:30 every Saturday morning, why I bombard friends and family with donation letters, why I set my sights at $1,800 and 26.2 miles.

There are many personal reasons why I initially joined. And now I have many other reasons that keep me going. Kids like Austin Moreno is one of them -- I mentioned his mom and one of our TEAM mentors, Kim, in my last post. Austin is now more than half-way through his three-year treatment for Leukemia and just celebrated his fifth birthday in December.

I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing kid last month while at Run On. He reminded me of my nephew -- running around with his buddy playing tag, shooting imaginary guns, toting around his Thomas the Train backpack. I noticed he was wearing colorful beaded necklaces and just figured he had made them himself for fun. I wasn't even close to being right. My coach, Mark, told our TEAM later that Austin participates in a program called Beads of Courage.

Beads of Courage is a unique program designed to honor the challenging journey kids take while experiencing cancer and related treatments. Through the program, the collection of beads symbolizes courage and serves to honor milestones achieved along each unique treatment path. Each individual bead Austin wears has special significance about his treatment:
  • Beige - A Bone Marrow Biopsy/Aspiration
  • White - A course of Chemotherapy
  • Orange - Central Line/port insertion or removal
  • Blue - Clinic Visit
  • Magenta - Emergency/Ambulance/Unusual Occurrence
  • Brown - Hair loss/thinning
  • Lime - Isolation/fever/neutropenia
  • Tortoise- Lumbar Puncture
  • Purple - Morphine/Dopamine/PCA Infusion
  • Silver/Black - Pokes (IV starts, Blood Draws, IM Injections, Port Access)
  • Glow in the Dark - Radiation treatment
  • Light Green - Test/Scans (EKG, ECG, MRI, CT, Bone Scan)
  • Red - Transfusions
  • Aqua - tube Insertion (Catheter, Chest)
  • Yellow - Overnight at Hospital/ Inpatient Admission
  • Dark Green - Stem Cell Harvest/Dialysis/TPN
  • Silver - Surgery & Dressing Change
  • Square Heart - Transfer to PICU
This picture speaks louder than anything I could say:

So when people ask me why, all I can think is -- Why Not?


TNTcoach Ken said...

Katie, that was an awesome post. Can I pass this along to my team? I'm sure that it will inspire them also.

Katie said...

Of course, Ken! Austin's story is truly an inspiration, and I hope it will continue to inspire others like it has our TEAM.

Adam said...

This was a great post. I've passed it on to a few of my friends as well.

Running Around Acres said...

It cannot be said enough - great post - I had to wipe a tear. And kids (and adults) like Austin are our heroes. I too am part of TNT and will be coaching my first team for the summer session in central Illinois. I have been proud to be a part of TNT for 3 years and can't wait to say "I had a very small part in eradicating blood cancers". We WILL do it.

BeachRunner said...

All the best to you, Austin and all the heroes. You inspire us and make us proud. Well done.

Marlene said...

That is seriously touching and inspiring. What an awesome motivator.

Hopesrising said...

I woke up not feeling that great today. So just seeing this post and comments..It made my day!!
Katie the way I see your effort on our behalf one mile at time is awesome. So many helping so many that's what its about.

Racn4acure said...

This is a great post Katie. We all need those reminders of why we are working hard at this, sacrificing sleep, doing miles in all kinds of weather while sore and tired. It is all trivial compared to what little guys like this go through every day. No little child should have to experience this. I will be sharing your post with my mentees as well. Thanks and enjoy the day. Art

lindsay said...

thanks for stopping by my blog! i honestly don't remember smiling that much, and i usually look more 'focused' (non-smiley) in my race pics in general. oh well!

this is a great post! the 'beads of courage' program sounds really cool. good luck in your journey to 26.2, i look forward to following along and especially seeing how it goes in dallas!

Sonia said...

Inspirational reason to run... we're all working hard for great reasons!

cures_rock said...

Amazing post! Thanks for sharing. I'm a survivor of leukemia and still fighting my battle with cancer. I cannot even imagine a child facing this disease so bravely and would love to share your story with our San Diego team. You are inspiring and a hero for all you are doing for the Mission. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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