This is my 5th year running in the Brain Power 5K race. I am truly in dept to family, friends, loved ones, and members of the brain cancer community for their continuous support and love. It has been almost 5 years since I moved to Austin and almost 4 1/2 years since I was diagnosed with brain cancer. In the year after my diagnosis, I underwent 2 craniotomies, IVF, 6 weeks of radiation, 12 rounds of chemo, 1 hair transplant (with disappointing results) and it took until this last year to FINALLY start feeling like I was whole and in greater control of my life and future. I am BEYOND lucky to have had an incredible support system throughout the last 4 1/2 years and to have a positive prognosis and clear scans. At the same time, I continue to have realizations about how cancer has impacted me on a deep emotional level and how my life and future and that of my family will forever be impacted my medical condition--and I'm one of the "lucky" ones!
Our world is so broken and I struggle to know where I should personally invest my time, energy, and money. There are a countless number of issues, hardships and diseases worth focusing on, but I continue to invest in THIS community and in the Dr. Marni Rose Foundation because I believe in their work and mission. They have given me hope, love and support in unimaginably difficult times and continue to inspire me and remind me that the unexpected gift and silver lining of my circumstance is that I can help, support, and guide others facing the terrifying diagnosis of brain cancer.
This year the Brain Power 5K race falls on my 30th birthday and I am keenly aware that if it were not for incredible progress in research and medical advancements, I might not have survived to experience another decade of life. While I am conscience that there are no guarantees in life for anyone, we as brain cancer survivors are only one "bad" scan away from being back in surgery and/or treatment. As the years pass by and the "freshness" or "novelty" of my own diagnosis fades, I continue to run in this race for all the patients, survivors, and caretakers that I have met and connected with over the past 5 years. For me, being part of a community of survivors and advocates has been empowering and the silver lining of terrible circumstances. Cancer is a terrible and isolating disease and my hope is that this year, my Brain Power 5K team will not just represent my inner circle and support system, but will also bring together other cancer warriors and caretakers who need love, support, and hope too!
With love and gratitude,