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shoe4africa - make the difference!

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2014 was not my best year. I had just gone through a divorce. I was single mom-ing it, struggling with depression, and found out I had Melanoma. Melanoma is super aggressive and if not treated, you WILL die, and can die very quickly. I was fortunate enough to catch it early enough that all I have to show for it, is a gnarly 6 inch scar on my right quad. 6 months after that, we found a growth on my thyroid. It looked like I had an Adam’s Apple. Such a feminine look.  I had it ultra-sounded and biopsied and they couldn’t definitively rule out cancer so I had my second surgery in 6 months time, to rid my body of this monster of a disease. Another sweet 2 inch scar on my neck.  That’s 2 close calls before the age of 30.

When I went in for my first surgery, I was very nervous on the drive there. My dad could sense that and asked me what I was afraid of. Ummmmm, earth to Dad, I have CANCER and could DIE! After digging down to the root of that fear, it boiled down to this: I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid to leave my child motherless. She deserves everything good in this world and I would literally do anything to protect her. I thought about how much worse it would have been if SHE had had cancer instead of me. Whoa. Game Changer.  So much scarier. As her mother I would do anything and everything to fight for her life.

Cancer Sucks. In Africa, 9 out of 10 kids who have it, will not survive. In the U.S., that statistic is 1 out of 10.  Why? Because they don’t have a facility, ON THE ENTIRE CONTINENT, to effectively treat it.

These kids in Africa have moms. Just like me, those moms would do literally anything to help their kids. But they don’t have the resources. They literally have no where to go. These moms try to have hope, but 9 out of 10 of them are going to die. I would do anything for my kid, and I’m going to do what I can, to help those mama’s out. To give them a place to take their babies, toddlers and kids, to give them a fighting chance. Every human on this earth deserves a chance at life.

We will give them this chance by helping Shoe4africa raise 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. This is especially near and dear to me, as this hospital will be named after my Aunt Juli, who fought courageously and lost her battle with cancer in 2010.

This year I’ll be fundraising and running the NYC Marathon, with Shoe4africa. Running and I have a love/hate relationship. When I haven’t been busy having babies, and it doesn’t hurt every part of my entire body and require constant chiropractic adjustments, I LOVE to run. When all that is going on? It’s rough. Real rough. But alas, here I am, with a newborn baby, committing to running my first marathon in 2020, to raise money to fund this hospital and save countless children’s lives. Juli did it in 2006 while she was going through chemotherapy. A few babies will feel like a walk in the park.