An open letter to my runner, Maureen
It was a bitter cold day, snow swirls everywhere. Not the pretty snow, but the angry snow that pelts your face like buckshot. Get out there and shovel a little path, just from the garage to the front door, I told myself. I knew the little exertion would set me back but really, what else was I doing? Maureen is training for her first marathon during this brutal winter. Dedication, pushing through the tough times, the early mornings, late nights, run-work-run. If she can do that, then I can push myself too.
Pushing myself helped me have plenty of fun times too out in the light snow with my dogs and brushing the dusting from the whole driveway. Cooking a meal for my family. Visiting with friends.
I couldn’t believe my luck being introduced by Gina and accepted into the Genzyme Running For Rare Diseases program; then getting to know Maureen.
In March of 2012, I was overcome by a laundry list of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, balance, vision and speech problems, weakness and pain in the right side of my body. After brain surgery in July 2012, I was found to have a benign neoplasm in the right, lateral ventricle of my brain. The surgeons were not able to remove it as hoped but they were able to perform a procedure within the ventricle to allow the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. In November of 2012, it was evident that I had recovered from the surgery but the effects were not successful. With that, I was referred to a neurologist. Countless specialist have been able to rule out various neurological diseases and other causes. I don’t fit into one category so I am difficult to accurately diagnose. Doctors can treat a few symptoms but the different meds often make me sicker. It’s ok though, after all, it’s BENIGN!
But I have to tell you, this program and Maureen especially, has propped me up to a new level of a positive outlook. It was a long, dreary winter for all of us. And I spent plenty of time out of commission and forgetting what it felt like to feel decent. I thought of Maureen everyday and it always made me smile and dig deep! What a huge commitment and undertaking to run a marathon. Her genuine nature was so clear to me through her emails. She told me how the team aspect was so important to her. She felt like a friend to me right away. I was not shy about confiding in her including my hopes for the future.
With all she has going on, she also spent plenty of time fundraising. When I think of her, the following three words come to mind:
commitment, genuine, inspiration
Maybe she is your friend or colleague, but to me she is these three words. Thank you. Maureen!!! You have done more for me than you will ever know.