Where do I begin to tell you about all of the amazing things that have happened this last week? So many stories of people who have taken a stone of hope from a mountain of despair and created monumental awareness for our cancer kids. With the events happening in our nations capital and the gold rush happening in every state and many countries, childhood cancer awareness is gaining the attention of thousands, soon to be millions of people. So begins the September 2013 edition of Brian's Phirst Blog, dedicated to children like mine fighting for their lives!
Very early this year, only about a month after the Truth 365 film and social media campaign had gone viral, I wanted to do something I have never been able to do for Our Kids, so I went for a jog one chilly January day and let my mind wander as my feet took me down the country back road. I have never really been a runner like my friends Julie, Jerry and Tonya who have helped support our family since my son Lincoln's diagnosis, but I wanted to see if I could run a 5k race, longer than I had ever run since 5th grade. I started dreaming about crossing the country but after a 595 mile drive to Idaho, I could see the challenge would be impossible for me. I asked my running friends if they would contribute miles to the 2844 mile trek in a virtual tour to reach the White House. It didn't take too long for the word to get out and only 7 months later we have over 3500 people who have participated in running a quarter of a million miles for one purpose, to save our kids lives from cancer.
I have been a fan of a just a few reality TV show since they really became big over the last few years and one of my favorites is Survivor, but as the Host of this year long virtual event, I wasn't looking forward to eliminating any of the contestants, but continuing to invite participants to join in running with me. During the last day of my 50 day challenge to virtually run through all 50 states, I asked people to join me in a run around the DC/VA area. I had three routes planned so people could join in at different times of the day and in an attempt to shorten the final run through the mall Saturday night, those running with me, inspired by our kids, actually increased the miles in an unforgettable evening that lead me to run the total of a full marathon that day. It was the perfecting ending to the 2013 season with the Live Finale of this virtual event right around the corner, following an awareness event of epic proportions.
On Sunday, September 1st, 2013 One event hosted by The Truth 365 and Journey 4 a Cure, brought together 50 organizations, foundations and parents of children who have faced the frontlines of battle at CureFest in Washington DC, to kick off national childhood cancer awareness month near the Washington Monument. This one event called for a unification of many to speak in One Voice to our nations leaders to raise the federal funding levels for pediatric cancers. We heard testimonies from children themselves who were suffering from inoperable and deadly cancers. The event inspired us all to join together and keep our spirits high as we raise awareness in September. Regardless of what we hoped for in a White House lit with golden light bulbs, we committed to keeping the flame within our hearts burning not only through September but 365 days of the year.
Following CureFest we were ready to run to reach our goal. With the vision of our kids in mind we began our run towards the Lincoln Memorial where another visionary once stood with a dream to eliminate inequality for all people seeking freedom. As we climbed the steps I realized that my dream to end the nightmare of childhood cancers was just beginning, but there were bigger and better dreams to be revealed as we faced the darkness time and time again. We turned back to run toward the White House and more people joined along the way.
The final run gave us all a chance to feel like we had come a long way, and after nearly 7 months we realize we have many more years to go, but until we can all stand together and let the voices of our children be heard, our words will be silenced by those speaking over us. Creating awareness can be something that any of us can do from anywhere at any time, and it is critical to the process that leads to funding, research and ultimately a cure.
Over the next few months we will plan for the future of the Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer Awareness. Knowing we will face long nights ahead, our visions will be lit from a flame that still burns within each one of us. As the sunsets over Washington we have hope in a new day, and when darkness falls we won't let slumber over take us, but from this nightmare we will rise again in 2014. Will you Rise with Us?
Join the movement and check out our White House pictures @ https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheWhiteHouseForChildhoodCancerAwareness