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shoe4africa - make the difference!

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“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ―Anne Frank


“It takes a village”… We’ve all heard this saying. But if you are like me, the true depths of it’s meaning does not really sink in and take hold of your heart until the moment(s) where you find yourself in need of your village and their loving care because you are unable to help yourself or care for yourself or your children without the help of another. 

There is a long list of moments where my world was too much, too heavy and I could not do the days alone. I found myself at the mercy of others to care for not just me, but those most important to me, my children. It’s humbling to have access to a village like this. I feel so blessed to have people, at times strangers, who have allowed me to lean on them, knowing I had nothing to offer in return. I have benefited from their goodness, generosity, strength, and resources.  Through an ugly divorce and as a single mother of 3, I do not know how I would do this thing we call life without my village. And even as I type this, I know I cannot even fully comprehend the privilege and gift that it is to have this, them…all of it. To have help and resources be a phone call or short drive away. To have grocery stores filled with food minutes from my home, clean water to drink and to bathe. My children attend school and fun activities. I have access to modern medicine for me and mine. And while I have worried about the health of my children, I have never worried about having access to healthcare where they would receive the care they’d need.   

Cancer is a word that as soon as you hear it it strikes fear. Fear because I imagine, like me, it has affected your tribe of people. And as we all know, Cancer does not care how old you are, how much money you have, that you just landed the best job, are in the best shape of your life, that you are pregnant with your first child, that your child just started kindergarten, or maybe just graduated high school with their whole life ahead and so on…no one is immune or off limits. This word…this disease… It has struck not just fear amongst my family, my friends, and my community, it has struck them and taken them from me/us. But every single person I could name, even those who lost their battle, they all were given the chance to try and fight…to fight with a team of medical professionals. In the United States statistics tell us that 9 out of 10 kids will survive their battle with Cancer. In Africa, 9 out of 10 kids who have it, will not survive. Why? Because they don’t have any facility to effectively treat it. They have nowhere to go. They have no resources available. They will not sit with a team of doctors and come up with a game plan to fight this horrible disease.

As a mother, I cannot imagine this being my reality. I cannot imagine not having resources, not having help… I would do whatever it took for my child to have a fighting chance, to have the care and resources needed to fight and to fight hard and to live. I believe we all deserve a fighting chance to live. 

When I heard about the opportunity to be a part of this fundraising effort… to be a part of this village and to give another momma this chance for her child the way I would want someone to help me fight for mine. I knew I had to be a part of it. Shoe4africa is raising money to build the Shoe4africa Juli Anne Perry Children’s Cancer Hospital.  It will be the first Children’s Cancer Hospital in all of Africa. And this hospital will be named after my dear friend Aunt Juli, who not long ago lost her battle with Cancer. 

On November 7th, I will be participating in the world famous (and largest) TCS New York City Marathon as a member of the Shoe4Africa team, and dedicating my race to making change in the lives of kids with cancer. I humbly ask for your help as I take on one of the greatest challenges of my life in an effort to save the lives of others. Can you be there for me…can you be a part of my village… of their village by donating your pledge? I’m truly excited to be a part of this team, and hope you’ll support me, so that I can finish the race and achieve my goal of raising money for Shoe4Africa. 

And to give me the push I need to run this race…each mile of the 26.2 I am dedicating to someone I love who has been affected by Cancer. All 26 people are my dear friends and family. Some just started their fight, some are in the middle of the fight, some are recovering from the fight, and some walk alongside us in spirit while we fight. 

We have so much…. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ―Winston Churchill

Let’s Live together