I’m currently travelling out of the country, so over the next two weeks I will be bringing you guest posts from my friends who have been so supportive in my fundraising efforts. As a reminder, I have committed 2017 to running for charity. I’m on a mission to raise $10,000 through Fred’s Team, which is the fundraising organization that supports Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. If you’re interested in donating to my efforts, you can click here to make a tax deductible contribution. Thank you!
Today’s post comes from my running friend Amanda. We met a few years ago at a holiday party for lady runners in Atlanta. Neither of us knew others at the party, but we bonded that night. Amanda and I have run similar races and grew up in the same part of Virginia. Last year, Amanda raised money for the ASPCA to run the NYC Marathon. Her experience was a factor in me deciding on the NYC Marathon for my race this year. I asked Amanda to share the story of how cancer has impacted her, and what the phrase “imagine a world without cancer” means to her. Thanks for sharing, Amanda!
Amanda’s Story – Missing Grammee
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: Cancer sucks. This disease has come after several people in my life, one of them being my beloved grandmother.
My Grammee, better known as Joan Gulick, was a huge influence in my life. She took her job as grandmother very seriously. There were tea parties, card games, and fun things to help out with in the garden. Each year she basically turned into an elf during the Christmas season. The woman loved Disney more than anyone I have ever known, and that Disney magic surely rubbed off on her.
During my “Dumbo phase,” Grammee even figured out a way we could pin large leaves to the sides of our heads so that we could pretend to be elephants – not many women would gladly take on the role of being called “Jumbo” like she did!
When I got older, Grammee never missed a moment. She was there for every band concert, every birthday, and came by before every school dance. She gladly dropped everything when my sister and I just wanted to hang out at my grandparents’ house. She made us feel like we were the most important people in the world.
Then came leukemia. Our family watched as this disease attacked someone I always viewed as a magical creature. Grammee wasn’t ready to go, and boy did she fight. But the chemo that ravaged her body and the blood transfusions just weren’t enough. In the end, the cancer won. It was devastating. She passed away at the young age of 64 the morning after my 18th birthday.Guest Post by @atlrnner : Remembering Grammee Click To Tweet
I still miss her terribly – my whole family does. Sadly, there are too many stories like this out there. That’s why I am supporting Jess’ commitment to raising $10,000 for cancer research. Every dollar counts. Click here to make a donation in memory of Joan. Let’s kick cancer’s ass.