This is a hard post to write as there is so much I want to say and so much to be thankful for and it is hard to find the right words to do the thank you justice. Also, I have to keep wiping my eyes as the emotional uplifting I had this past week is still with me.
It all started with my husband Todd wanting to run the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon and raise funds for melanoma. He got the word out and brought 14 other runners together to form the first Team Pale Skin Is In. Awesome! Our runners: Todd Sullivan, Cathy Martin, Jon Martin, Jessica Snow, Leslie Carlone, Pete Carlone, Chris Just, Ang Just, Rich Whalen, Mike Norton, Anna Schettino, Dennis Heptig, Amanda Lewis, Mandy Ghetti Chadwick and Joe Landucci. I am sincerely proud of each runner. You Rock! And I don't just mean Slash and Axle :)
A big THANKS goes out to Gentry Smith (Gentry Smith Designs), who created our logo and designed the shirts. I LOVE the logo and the team looked fabulous. You are amazing!
Thursday, CB dropped by with a gift - a Vita Mix blender! I have wanted one for so long and I was just starting to save up for one, when knock knock - one arrived at my doorstep via friends. Vita is so awesome and I am so excited about all the things I can make and the nutritional impact it will have - ya know I'm all about healthy food! Thank you so much to the following families: Martin, Partridge, Valociek, Sutton, Dun, Snow, Just and Carlone.
Friday was the Pre-Race dinner and the day I picked up the team shirts. The magnitude of the support hit me on my way home from picking up the shirts. I had been so busy with my treatment and planning for the event that I think it took the weight of the box of shirts to rock my soul. All I know is, I was about half way home when I began crying. And I mean really crying. At first I couldn't figure out what was happening and I thought I was going to have to stop the car. Then my inner self spoke to me and translated my body's reaction - you are loved by many. I was finally relaxed enough to feel the enormity of support/love that I have be given. It was a lot to take in all at once, but beautiful.
That night at the Pre-Race Dinner my love fest continued as everyone arrived. It was the first party we've ever had that I didn't feel stressed about the preparations. I was on cloud nine just knowing that everyone would be together and enjoyed every minute. It was a fabulous night!
The P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon was yesterday and it was a spectacular day filled with friends, love and laughter. My heart was filled with joy as I saw each runner pass by, as the cheerleaders supported the team along the way, as I walked up to the meeting place and saw all the team together for the first time and then again as I walked into Ruby Tuesday having everyone gathered once again.
I wanted to say something when we were all together either at the pre-race dinner or day of the event, but I didn't think I could have gotten through any type of speech. I didn't know then nor do I know now how to put into words the enormity of love I felt when I was in the car, at the dinner and then when I walked up to our meeting place and saw 30+ people gathered wearing Pale Skin Is In shirts. This past week I felt all warm and fuzzy, but when I saw everyone together at the end of the race, it was overwhelming and I felt like my heart exploded out of my chest. Between the pride I felt for the runners and joy of having so many friends at this event, my soul was filled with warmth as I accepted and took in all the love and support. Thank you everyone!
I want to give a special thanks to Chris, Ang and Kelsey for flying to AZ for the event. It was awesome that you could be there with all of us. Although you moved back East, you have remained in all our hearts. And for the weekend, our group was complete. It was awesome!
Another special thanks to those of you who donated to the team. As I watch the list of names scroll by; some I know, some I haven't spoken to in years and some I don't know at all. All of you supporting me and melanoma research and all making a difference. The choice that everyone of you made to support the team and melanoma adds to my overwhelming sense of joy. Thank you so much!
This was the first Pale Skin Is In fundraising effort and we raised $4580! Wow, that is awesome! Words can't express my gratitude to everyone who supported the team through running, cheering and/or donating. But I sure gave it my best :)