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Happy Valentine's Day!
This week, we wanted to introduce you to Jess and Josh, our own lovebirds aka Team “Fancy Fiances” who have accepted The Massey Challenge. Here’s Jess and Josh’s story, shared by Jess…

“Two years ago I decided I wanted to run the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by MARTIN’S. I wasn’t a runner but I thought it would be something fun! Josh and I were dating at the time and he was a source of encouragement throughout training. During the YMCA 10k Training Team, I heard about the Massey Challenge and was immediately interested because Josh is a Leukemia survivor (6 years in remission!). I raised around $200 and on race day wore a bib saying I was running for him. 

The next year, we really banned together and shared the mission of the Massey Challenge. It had even more meaning because Josh had a scare and visited VCU Massey Cancer Center for some tests and luckily everything was fine. That year, we raised $500, and competed the 10k together. That February we were also engaged! Josh stuck by my side the whole run and we had a blast; he in his survivor bib and me in my in honor of Josh bib. 

So, we are busy planning our September 27, 2014 wedding, training for the 10k, and managing our two cats and a puppy while trying to find time to be "fancy fiances!”“

Jess, Josh, congratulations and thank you for sharing your story! Do you have an inspiring story? Please share! Email Lauren at teammassey@vcu.edu, or share it via Facebook!

Official 2014 Massey Challenge performance shirt announced!

We cannot wait to turn the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by MARTIN’S VCU gold! Thanks to Hibernate Inc. for designing the shirt again this year! 

Massey Fact of the Week

VCU Massey researcher works to develop new cancer-fighting drugs and target therapies

What is the goal of your research?

Hartman: In cancer, problems often arise when two proteins interact in a way that they shouldn’t and set off a potentially damaging chain reaction of events. So researchers are searching for the right molecule to fit in between the proteins – to halt their interaction and to stop the cancer from growing and spreading. This has been one of the ongoing challenges in developing new cancer drugs.

Read the rest of the interview online!

Fitness and Fundraising

Question and Answers with Angela McCormick

Why are you passionate about VCU Massey Cancer Center?

A little more than four years ago, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I did a lot of research before deciding where to seek treatment, and it was clear to me that Massey was my best option. The care I received at Massey was phenomenal from start to finish, and I was certain I was in the best possible hands. My thyroid cancer also sparked a big change in me; it woke me up to the realization that my health was not guaranteed and I needed to take more responsibility. I began eating healthier, running, and eventually lifting weights. Through these changes, I lost 107 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 2. I also began competing as a power lifter. Running was an important part of my transformation, and one of my first races was the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k. Fundraising for Massey helps me give back for the excellent care I received while also raising awareness about the importance of research.

Why did you begin to support the Massey Challenge?

Fundraising through the Massey Challenge is more than just giving back in thanks for the care I received; it is about doing something positive. Cancer obviously is a negative thing—but every year when I travel to Richmond and run the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k, it is a good day. It is a day to celebrate life and the positive changes that cancer unexpectedly has given me.

Read the rest of Angela’s Q&A online!