I used to think that charity runs were stupid.

What kind of an imbecile thinks that putting on some shoes and going for a run actually does any good?

But then Aaron got sick, and running got taken away from him and now, I am that kind of imbecile.

And I know that it does make a difference. And I know why we do it. We do it for people we love, and people we’ve never met. And we do it for ourselves, because life is scary and uncertain and because doing anything is better than doing nothing.

We do it because the people we know who have wasted away in hospital beds can’t take another step or another breath, and fought for every one they took.
We do it because it is a privilege to be alive.

The American Cancer Society colors are red, white and blue, but our coach Ramon Bermo switched it up this year and made them into Still Kickin shirts. 

These were a huge hit on the course, and I cherished seeing these bright spots of kelly green in the distance as they passed me by (or, more than likely, were always ahead of me).

At dinner the night before the run, I had the honor of presenting one runner, Tim Cohn, with the Aaron Purmort Award. Tim is an ultra-runner who has participated in many charity runs before finding himself (on a 21 mile run, of course), just not…feeling right. Not feeling right ended up being a form of blood cancer, which he is fighting with the same sort of quiet, beautiful grace that Aaron had. 

I’ve had mixed feelings about fundraising events (I spoke at one somewhat recently where maybe 3% of the whole audience was listening and the rest were just getting turnt…for cancer? It was terrible) but I love, love, love this group of people, and I was so honored to speak to them again, though I missed having Aaron at my side. Overall, these people raised over $220K for cancer research and to make it possible for people to stay at the New York City Hope Lodge at free or reduced rates so they can get the treatment they need (cancer ain’t cheap, folks). 

Pretty good for just a stupid run, huh?