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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: 26.2 With Donna, The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.
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Sep 12, 2009

26.2 With Donna, The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.


A picture from my iPhone of the sunrise this morning on the beach.


So not only did I get up at 5:30 am this morning to go run on the beach to the sun rising, but I just did something else insane.

I just signed up to run a marathon.

Like, a full marathon. 26.2 miles and all. (I've always been an all or nothing kind of girl!) I've never run more than 10 miles, barely, and I just signed up for 26 miles. What was I thinking?

It was actually something I wanted to cross off my bucket list early this year for the 2009 race, but, well, life got in the way. Local newscaster Donna Deegan is a breast cancer survivor times three times it came back, and she now hosts an annual breast cancer marathon called "26.2 With Donna, The National Marathon to FINISH Breast Cancer." It is also sponsored by Mayo Clinic where both my mom and dad got treated.

So here's why I'm doing the 2010 race...

My mom and grandmother are both breast cancer survivors, so of course, they are the first reason I'm doing it. Then, at the end of 2007, I had my first scare with a mysterious lump that, praise Jesus, turned out negative after much worry and rounds of tests. That's when I decided I wanted to do a marathon. Something about having a scare like that totally shook me up and I wanted to do something powerful (and insane!) to remind myself how blessed I am to be alive each new day the Lord gives me. I changed to Raw eating and started running about 5-8 miles a day. I never felt better.

But then 2008 hit even harder with the news that my dad had lung cancer and was given six months to a year to live. So needless to say, there was no way I could focus on training for the February 2009 marathon.

But this year, there's a more special reason why I'm doing it. I was in the grocery store flipping through a runner's magazine and I saw a big ad for the marathon which peaked my interest again. And then I saw the date.

February 21, 2010.

(Big sigh.)

That will be the one-year anniversary of the exact day when my dad passed away.

When I saw that, my eyes filled with tears and I knew, 2010 was my year to run a marathon. For my dad. For my mom. For my grandma. For my aunt Ruby. For my mom's friend Helen's husband. For Mark's mom. For my mom and I's sweet friend Connie. For everyone else out there who has survived, still fighting, or been taken by cancer.

In comparison to the battle and fight each person has endured, 26.2 miles is nothing for me. So, uh, that means as of like yesterday, I need to get serious about training. Any local Jacksonville peeps want to run together? Or any national blog readers want to join me in the marathon? People come from all over the country to run in this. It would be fun to get a group of people together and all deck out in pink (of course!) and run the race together. Email me if you are interested: scarlett@scarlettlillian.com

I used this bible verse in my dad's slideshow video that we showed at his funeral:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." ~2 Timothy 4:7


I'm going to make that my mission verse in running my own race. Sure, I'm not expecting to win, but the real victory for me will be to FINISH my course.

Also, for participating, I've created a fundraising goal of $1,000.00. I ask that you pray about if you would like to support it in honor of someone you know battling cancer or taken by it. Through the power of this world wide web and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, I know we can reach the goal together. The money doesn't go to me, it goes straight to Mayo Clinic to help meet the needs of women going through breast cancer. You can donate through my runner page by clicking here:

http://donate.breastcancermarathon.com/2010marathon/Scarlett

I would love to know others I can add to the list of who I am running for. Will you leave a comment here on my blog with the name of your loved one and what kind of cancer they had? And if you want to share the story about them and how you know them, even better! :-)

(When my blog imports into my Facebook account notes, please still leave the name of your loved one on my blog, not Facebook, so I can keep it all in one place, thanks!)

God bless!

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38 Comments:

Anonymous Tara Bilby said...

Good Luck Scarlett. Wish I could run with you. My cousin,Matthew Bryan was diagnosed at the age of four with Heptoblastoma. He passed away the week of my wedding two years later at the age of 6.

September 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

You can SO do the 26.2, Scarlett! No I haven't met you but seeing the passion which you live your life with, you will have the stamina, the endurance and the grace only provided by our Lord to help you accomplish such an awesome task! :) i ran my first 1/2 marathon last year and am looking at possibly doing the full at the okc memorial marathon in 2010. it will be fun to follow your training in FL as i do mine here in OK.

September 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous april said...

I signed up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day (WALK!) but got pregnant, surprise! I raised $1300 of the $2200 requirement. Kind of makes me want to do it again. I'm so out of shape! YOU GO GIRL!

September 13, 2009 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography said...

You can do it!!!! You have so many reasons to complete this marathon and it's so wonderful that you will be honoring your father's memory on that day by being part of the cure! Please also run for my Aunt Wendy, who is a breast cancer survivor (praise God), my friend Zandra (also a breast cancer survivor), and for my Aunt Kim who passed away this week (I haven't heard officially what kind of cancer she had), and all 4 of my grandparents. You make me want to get out there and run, but I am ready to pass out after just a mile! LOL! Any day you feel like you can't do it, just read all these comments and remember that there are so many people who believe in you!! : )

September 13, 2009 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger LeeAnn Townsend said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing Scarlett! My mother in law in battling right now with Adenosarcoma.. God Bless you Scarlett!

September 13, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

That's great Scarlett, I'm sure you can do it! Like other have said, you are so determined, I have no doubt you will be fine! Please keep my grandfather, Ralph with you. He has had cancer 3 times and beat them ALL. He had melanoma twice in the 80s, and colon cancer in 2004. When I was born he wasn't supposed to live 6 more months, and this Sat. we are all going to be celebrating my 27th birthday! He is a fighter!

September 13, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

This is so awesome!! I KNOW you can do it! I'm going to show that verse to Ryan straight away, because his dad fought so hard! Run for his dad too! I know you haven't finished the race yet, but CONGRATULATIONS for just signing up!!! I'm not nearly that brave yet....

September 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger kerri said...

what a wonderful thing you are doing scarlett! i wish you the best of lukc in your training and will be following your progress.

1) my grandfather is fighting prostate cancer.

2) might sound silly to some, but i know that you will understand...my sweet golden retreiver, quincy, was just diagnosed with nasal fibrosarcoma and according to the vet we might get a year with him.

again, best wishes, friend!

September 14, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger B.Long said...

I am adding Melissa Hogan to your list. She is a 26 year old mother of two and she has oral cancer (never smoked). She recently had 1/3 of her tongue removed and she just finished 6 weeks of radiation. It was a grueling process. Her blog is www.melissahogansheroes.wordpress.com
Best of luck on your marathon, I know that the names will be a huge motivation for you!!! Run, Scarlett, Run!
Beverly Long

September 14, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Jenny Bright said...

Morning Scarlett. I'd love for you to run for my girlfriend Nicole Waldock. She's on my friends list and is battling terminal stomach cancer. She's been such an inspiration in her bravery and her will to make each day as full as she can...regaurdless of the pain and symptoms that try to keep her down. Thank you for continuing to raise awareness and keep those loved ones dealing with or passed on from cancer close to the heart.
I wish I could join...however, my knees no longer like me!;) Good luck on the marathon! Jenny Bright

September 14, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Tanner said...

My mother in law passed away in 2005 due to breast and bone cancer. We miss her terribly and are very sad that she has never met our son. Have fun with the training! It will be life changing!

September 14, 2009 at 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Amber said...

Awesome! It is so much easier (but also so much more emotional) to run for a cause. I'm training for my 3rd marathon right now with Team in Training in memory of my dad. You'll meet so many amazing people out there. Good luck to you!

September 14, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

You are so amazing Scarlett, you'll do great raising the money and also in the marathon. My dad was diagnosed with Leukemia and just had his first chemo treatment two weeks ago.

September 14, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do it girl! I know you can! It was so good to talk to you last night!

You can run for these for me:
Malcolm Sloan- Lung Cancer- Died 8/26/06 (Grandfather)

Toby Robinson- Colon-Rectal Cancer- Died 2/2007 (Lance's Grandfather)

Thanks girl!
Annie

September 14, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Rene Williams said...

Hello Diva Daughter!

I think you are incredibly awesome and that this is a wonderful mission you are embarking on. After reading all the comments, I was so wishing I could see the faces of all those mentioned......maybe folks could provide photos?

Count me in to run with you. Heaven only knows how far I'll get but I think it counts as a victory just taking the first step. It's not the distance you run but the heart you run with that defines the victory.

Bravo Darling! Your passion for living brings joy to us all.

Mamma

September 14, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

First of all, I'm impressed. I swear I could never run a marathon. But, I'm happy to support you running in honor of my dad who died of adeno carcinoma in 1994, my Great Aunt Yvette who was a breast cancer survivor, and my Aunt Valerie who is a breast cancer survivor. Also for Rachel, a co-worker I did not know, who died last year of ovarian cancer at the age of 26.
You rock.

September 14, 2009 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey Scarlett,

You can add my friend Michelle Causey to your list. I am not sure what the name of her cancer is but it is aggressive and she is only 40, married with a 2 1/2 year old son and 5 year old daughter. I'd also be proud to be added to your list. I myself had renal cell carcinoma. We found the tumor when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my daughter in July of 2007. I had to wait until after she was born to have my kidney and the cancer removed. God is so good though, because He blessed me with keeping the cancer contained to the right kidney which prevented me from having to endure any further treatment. Sometimes I feel like I cheated in that department but, then I remember that God has a plan for all of us and it was in His plan for me to discover my cancer before it got too serious. I wish you much luck on your quest. You will succeed!

September 14, 2009 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Hey Scarlett,

Because I work with little kiddos with cancer, I can think of so many little ones that you can be running for. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, so I have linked to some of the stories on my blog throughout the month. In addition to all of my precious little friends, my friend Sarah was just diagnosed with colon cancer at age 30, and a missionary friend of mine is not doing well in her fight with metastatic lung cancer. She has three kids, elementary-middle school aged. As I often say, I am so ready for the Kingdom of God to reign completely on this Earth, and for all things to be made whole and restored to the way they were intended to be from the Beginning! I hate cancer!

September 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Julianne said...

You go girl! I wish we could have donated more, but this week is tight. Hopefully we will be able to send more before the marathon.

My dad's mom died when he was in HS from breast cancer. My mom and her mom are breast cancer survivors. (praise Jesus) It is really common on both sides of my family, so it is definitely a cure I hope is discovered soon.

September 15, 2009 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger strohlie said...

Scarlett,

Pete Bosscher - I'm not sure what kind of cancer, a husband, a dad, an adoptive dad, a professor of engineering.

A dad who wasn't able to walk his daughter down the aisle of the last wedding I did.

A member of Pete's church (I forget his name), battling prostate cancer, a dad of five & an adoptive dad, too.

So many faces. So many loves. Such perseverance & strength through their diagnoses & treatment.

September 15, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Scarlett!

Both of my grandmothers are breast cancer survivors. My grandma here in CA had to miss my wedding because she was going through radiation. My great aunt Mary died this last week of lung cancer. An amazing teenager named Cody at our church is battling (for the third time) cancer around his spinal chord and it has cut to the core of our church family. It would be great if you ran for all of them too!

-Mikaela

September 15, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Angela Nieves said...

Scarlett. You are wonderful & an amazing woman of God! I am adding my Uncle, who was a second father to me. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and passed away 12 months later. It is coming up on the 1 year anniversary of his death and you have inspired me to find something to do in his memory and to help the fight against cancer! Run, run run! :)

September 16, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Thanks for all the beautiful people you've shared with me! I've decided I'm going to make a tshirt with everyone's names on it to wear!! :-)

September 17, 2009 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Erin Johnson + Megan Cappiello said...

Hi Scarlett! Go girl! You can do this. Would you mind if I added my father-in-law, Herschel Johnson who lost his battle this past Monday Night. God Bless You! Can't wait to see pictures and hear about it!

Erin (Poticny) Johnson
Casa Monica
Ps--sent a Bride your way, Laura Stepusin for next July.

September 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Alpha and Omega Event Consultants and More... said...

Hi Scarlett, I never had the pleasure of meeting u, but I truly commend u. I a Zandra of Alpha & Omega Event Consultants is a true Survivor of cancer, because God saw fit for me to continue to do his will. U are totally a gift from God, and their should be more like u. Thanks to my friend Gwen, who informed me of your blog and I am so glad she did. I just wanted to personally Thank you.You can do it!!! We will support you any way we can. Again, Thank u :)

September 19, 2009 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Scarlett, sister, you ROCK! You can do it! Did you know I ran Cross Country for 5 years in HS and college?? And I am SO NOT a runner. :)

I would be thrilled if you put my mom's name on your shirt: Mary Williams. She is also a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2003 she went at it full force and changed her diet, exercised, had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation - and defeated it - just like your mom! She is on year six of being cancer free.

The list is LONG with people I could add, but I'll stick with my mom so you have room. ;) Love you, girl! xx

September 28, 2009 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous LeeAnn Townsend said...

Hi Scarlett! I had posted to this comment on September 13, 2009 9:35 AM. I forgot to mention my mother in law's name so you could run for her too. Her name is Nancy Townsend. Thank you Scarlett for your hard work and diligence. :)

September 29, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Stacey Aasved said...

Scarlett, you can add Ina McCollum to your shirt. She is my Dad's (your mom's neighbor) sister. She is a breast cancer survivor too. My favorite breast cancer awareness shirt I have seen says "Fight like a girl!" I think that is such a great saying with all the fight the women have had to put up with.
Stacey

September 29, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous David N. Beasley Jr. said...

Hey Scarlett. Knowing you, you will finish the race in stride, grab your camera and start shooting. I am very proud of you for what you are doing and want to encourage you in your training. I would like to add Sue Ann Hong's name to your list. She is a very, very dear friend of mine and a breast cancer survivor.

September 29, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger DanielleJane said...

Carol Lackie, my beautiful grandmother. She was a strong woman and survived breast cancer once, and then went into relapse and passed away in 2001. She went into surgery for a second time to have the lump in her breast removed, and as she went under anesthesia she went into cardiac arrest and passed away a few days later. So even though it wasn't the actual cancer that killed her, there still could have been hope if the doctors had more knowledge and better weapons to fight against breast cancer.. I love runs and charities like this that donate to these research clinics. We're one step closer!!

Thank you Scarlett for doing this, it's really inspiring! I hope to run a marathon one day too... one day... lol

September 29, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous jackieblair said...

Hey scarlett! I think I already commented on this one but I noticed you were 'taking names'. =) My grandma blair is still fighting cancer, and it started with breast cancer & has spread all over her body. I can believe she is nearly 90 and still fighting it! Include her on your tshirt!!

September 30, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa Silva Photography said...

Thank you for doing this! I don't know if you're still taking names, but my grandma Lorraine Silva, recently passed away from lung cancer, only five weeks after she found out she had it. She was the sweetest woman, I've ever known and I miss her every day... my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer

October 18, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Magan said...

Hi Scarlett! You're going to be wonderful. There are three people that have had cancer in my life... my grandmother, Mary Ann, who had lung cancer. She's been a survivor for over ten years. They told her that probably would never happen. The second is my dear, young friend Carrie who is currently going through her second bout with breast cancer. I love her dearly, and she always send ME emails to tell me she's praying for ME! The third is my Aunt Dee, who is also battling breast cancer. I will be praying for the remainder of your training and for you throughout the race. XOXO.

January 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Amy Gibbons said...

You're posts are always so inspirational! They make you stop & think about life..which we too often don't have or make enough time for!

I would like to add 2 names to your list. One is my good friend's fiance who passed away 5 years ago at the age of 24 from synovial sarcoma...Chris. He lost his battle after 2 years. :(

The other is my boyfriend's father, Daniel, who was just recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma this past November. He was rushed in for emergency surgery the night before Thanksgiving to remove a blood clot in his leg. He spent all of the Thanksgiving holiday in the hospital. He was back in the hospital New Year's Eve for another clot starting to form. All of which has put his chemo treatments on hold. I pray all the time he has a speedy recovery & that treatment goes well not only for his sake but for my boyfriend's and his family.

This is a beautiful thing you are doing! I have much faith in your success in completing this race!

January 30, 2010 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Hey Scarlett,
If you could add one name to run for. The name is Ross McCorcle. He is my uncle. He got diagnosed with throat cancer 2 weeks ago. They had to remove his lymphnodes and entire thyroid last week.

Thanks!

January 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Denise Saucedo said...

You are totally awesome. I know this is a very challenging thing for you to do. Yes it will take determination and dedication and I am sure you will be fine when it all comes down to it. You have all of us rootin for ya! I just donated some money to your fund, hope you get to your goal soon! If you could please add two names to your shirt I would be grateful, I lost my father, Gustavo Saucedo Jr, to cancer 6 years ago and my grandmother, Felicitas Lozano, 5 years ago. Thank you for running your heart out. If only I had that kind of determination to run for a cause this deep, I would. Maybe I can try to do a half marathon next year. Thank you for being you! You are such a doll!

January 31, 2010 at 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Katie Tuccelli said...

Hi Scarlett! Thanks for all that you do, including running in the upcoming marathon. If you haven't yet finished the shirt, can you add "Cindy Tuccelli" to the list of names? She is my sister-in-law and she has battled skin cancer on and off, and she is one of the strongest women I know. You have inspired me to do a marathon of my own, but until then, can you do this for Cindy, too? =) Thank you!

February 4, 2010 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Scarlett - I'll be thinking of you on the 21st. My mother Kathy Heaslip died 11/11/08. She'd beat lung cancer 17 years earlier. In 2002 she got breast cancer as a side effect of the lung cancer treatments. On 10/31 she went to the hospital because she had difficulty breathing. 11 days later we lost her. The docs told us a week later it was metastatic breast cancer. It attacked everthing in her body and her body couldn't figure out how to fight it so it shut down. I'd be honored if you put her name down when you run. If you like, when I donate my hair I'll include your dad's name as well. It really does help to pay these tributes...

Wendy Heaslip Valderrama
Wendy Vee Photography

February 14, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

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