I was fifteen years old and just a few weeks into my sophomore year of high school. The day started out like any other day: I woke up, got ready for school, and stopped into my cheer advisor’s classroom when I got to school. From that moment on, it was no longer a typical day.
Courtney had leukemia. She was thirteen years old. How was this possible?
I fumbled through my day. By the time I got to cheer practice in 6th period, I was so grateful to be surrounded by other girls who knew Court. We hugged and we sat in silence. We tried not to cry, but sometimes couldn’t help ourselves. We took the team picture that day and the other freshmen cheerleaders used eyeliner to honor her on their shoulders.
Days, weeks, and months passed by. We missed Court every day and wished her the best. We made videos and cards for her. By the end of the year, there was no evidence of disease. She was cancer free and given the go ahead for coming back to school the following year. Success! She was a survivor.
She was an inspiration… and she continues to inspire from the heavens. She did not have an earthly survival when she was re-diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. I still struggle with understanding why she couldn’t survive leukemia a second time. She was nineteen years old. This isn’t how a life should end. It breaks my heart to see living grief in her family and her close friends.
Tonight, I made a very difficult decision to honor her and all those that are diagnosed with blood cancers. The decision to honor Courtney, Alese, Krista, and Jason was simple. The decision to personally honor those others I know who do not have blood cancers, but whose battles with cancer are equally worthy of honor and recognition, was easy. However, making the commitment to join Team In Training and raise $4500 in the next four months while training for a triathlon was not easy. I have no idea how I’m going to do this. I am relying solely on faith. I am resting on angels’ wings and praying their strength will carry me to the finish line. All of my life I’ve been told that God provides, I pray tonight for peace of mind in this decision. I pray that I will have the faith to believe what I’ve been told and know that if I work towards this goal that God will provide. The peace I seek this night is for all those encountering cancer.
In a couple of days, my page with TNT should be active and ready to go. I ask now that you consider donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in their mission to fight blood cancers through research. I ask that you consider supporting me in my endeavor to raise money for research and reach the finish line in September. In the meantime, take a moment to visit the sites listed below. Let these young angels inspire you. Also, consider registering as a bone marrow donor (www.marrow.org). They have currently waived the registration fee in honor of Mother’s Day (and the life they gave us).
November 21, 1986 – November 14, 2006
November 8, 2008 – June 9, 2007
http://www.carepages.com (Page Name: kristasupdates)