A celebration of my first-place gold medal win at the LA Cancer Challenge on October 23, 2022. For those who have been sharing my 2-year Pancreatic cancer recovery, I wanted to share this exciting news.
I was invited to enter the 5K Run/Walk at UCLA, but my first inclination was to say, "I’m not sure. I’m not much of a large crowd person and I have run/walked alone these last 3 years of COVID and my cancer recovery."
In reality, I was a little afraid of the unknown. I had never entered a 5K in my life.
The next day, my spirit nudged me to change my mind. "Why not accept this opportunity for a new adventure, a chance to grow? And this would give you the opportunity to honor your own body – which endured a distal pancreatectomy (removing 40% of your pancreas, all of your spleen, and 8 lymph nodes) at UCLA on October 23, 2020, 2 years to the date of the LA Cancer Challenge.”
So, I entered the race and thoroughly enjoyed mixing with all the other people supporting the pancreatic cancer community – survivors, family members, teams dedicated to someone who died of pancreatic cancer, babies in strollers, young children, teen, adults of every age and ethnicity – donating their time and money to support the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research’s mission to find a cure for pancreatic cancer!
The event raised over $520,000!!!! And over $10 million has been raised since the inception of the Annual LA Cancer Challenge 25 years ago by Jon Hirshberg, who lost his father Ron to pancreatic cancer.
One of the highlights of the day was a 5-minute hug with a fellow survivor, 8-years cancer-free, who had bravely undergone multiple surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. He was trembling at first, but his body was finally able to relax and we both cried and breathed deeply together. It was very moving!
The fact that I won a First-Place Gold Medal for the fastest time in my age category was a total surprise to me and "icing on the cake."
I am grateful that I said "Yes" to the invitation and the challenge. I was blessed beyond measure. I send blessings to cancer patients and their families all over the world and encourage you to have faith, fight like a warrior, and know that you are loved and valuable!
"Your individual spirit is your most powerful weapon in the battle with cancer." ~ Judith Anne