Two weeks ago, I announced that I’d be racing in K-Swiss/Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) gear at the Long Island Gold Coast Triathlon and the Philadelphia Marathon on behalf of my cousin Laura who was fighting clear cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
My K-Swiss/SU2C gear finally arrived today—the day after cancer took Laura’s life.
The poignancy is not lost on me. I promptly grabbed my black permanent marker and began etching Laura’s name onto the tongues of my new shoes. This way she’ll be with me every step that I take. I stand up to cancer. I stand up for Laura.
Laura fought for her life, for her husband and for her kids, with everything she had. We raised money to help her. But it wasn’t enough.
We all have to stand up to cancer together. Laura was just one of the 11,100 Americans who will die of cancer this week, one of the 577,190 who will die this year, according to the American Cancer Society. That means one person every minute of every day will succumb to this disease in the U.S. alone. Globally, the World Heath Organization says cancer kills nearly 8 million people per year—and those numbers only continue to rise.
As a group, runners raise $650 million annually to fight cancer. Team SU2C is just one of the many ways we can help—along with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, Team Continuum, and all the other cancer fundraising charities for athletes.
Laura lost her race against cancer. But I’m going to keep fighting for her and the millions of other people who are still running their races against time. Please join me. Visit the Team SU2C store to view the K-Swiss active wear line—$5 from the sale of each product in the collection goes to Stand Up To Cancer through Dec. 31, 2013.
Want to race? Go to raceteams.standup2cancer.org to learn how you can join Team SU2C.
Or find another cancer charity to run for. Runner’s World put together a comprehensive list of cancer charities that you can donate to or fundraise for through running: here’s the list. Charities are listed by type of cancer, and there are nearly 100 to choose from.
How many more cousins, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends do we have to lose?
Karla Bruning is a veteran journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.