Next Sunday, October 23rd, I’m taking a trip far outside my comfort zone and running in a race.
It’s only a 5K, which I know is a warm-up to my badass marathoner friends. But it’s a big deal for me. I thought I’d never have the desire (or endurance) to run again after I gave it up in my 20s due to achy knees.
This summer, I started running again for the sheer efficiency of it–I could cover more ground at a higher heart rate in less time. I knew signing up for a local race would push me to add distance and keep at it.
And I decided it would be a far more worthwhile endeavor if I wasn’t just running for myself. So I decided to run for Donna.
Many of you have already read about Donna. Her mother Sheila, a friend of mine who is famous on the interwebs as Mary Tyler Mom, wrote a shockingly beautiful and moving series about Donna’s 31 months of treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer. Donna’s Cancer Story was published on ChicagoNow.com and was read by tens of thousands of people. You can read it here (and you’ll be glad you did).
Donna Lubell Quirke Hornik died on October 19, 2009, almost exactly two years ago.
To help honor her, Donna’s mom and dad established a non-profit called Donna’s Good Things, which provides joyful opportunities for children facing adversity–like scholarships for dance lessons (which Donna enjoyed immensely), personal DVD players for families going through cancer treatment, and a New Year’s Eve party for families on the oncology unit of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. They also established an online “clearinghouse for goodness“, where friends and supporters can submit stories of doing their own Good Things, both large and small.
The race I’m running next Sunday benefits breast cancer–specifically, the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. It’s a cause that matters to me, as both my mom and my mother-in-law have been affected by breast cancer.
But I also decided to raise money for Donna’s Good Things. As Sheila put it, I’m sprinkling a little gold awareness (the color for childhood cancer awareness) into a sea of pink.
If you’d like to contribute to my 5K race for Donna’s Good Things, please leave me a comment below and I’ll email you my address. (Checks should be made out to “Donna’s Good Things”, and I’ll send them all in a batch.)
Thank you in advance for any amount that you can contribute. Let’s do a Good Thing together.
Read Donna’s Cancer Story.
Learn more about Donna’s Good Things.
Submit your own Good Thing.