Friday, February 4, 2011


I know we've talked about this before. I was laid off for most of 2009. It was a very difficult time for me personally and I can't even begin to tell you about how much I changed in those 9 months. And all that change was for the better. No regrets.

That Christmas, my Mom gave me the best Christmas gift EVER. The one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Here's a picture of the wall hanging with the most incredible thing ever on it:

It spoke to Mom when she saw it. It was how she viewed me during that time. Which means she saw in me what I really wanted to see in me.

I look at the picture every day. And every day, it continues to inspire me to be better. To be braver, stronger and smarter.

Two years ago, my father-in-law, Keith, was diagnosed with a form of Lukemia called CLL. Thankfully, Keith continues to fight the disease and has managed to avoid having to go through chemotherapy. He goes to the doctor every other month for more lab work, each time knowing that this may be the time they tell him everything is about to change. That he will have to endure chemo and his hopes of fishing and traveling will have to be put on hold. That bravery and strength will have to take over as he begins the most difficult part of the battle.

In 2010, when Stand Up 2 Cancer became an international phenomenon, Keith knew instantly that it was an organization he believed in. His doctor believes in it and that's where he will donate all his spare dollars to. It is the only organization that gives 100% of funds raised to collaborative cancer research. Most others have tremendous overhead that's paid first.

Over Christmas this year, we were told that this will likely be the year Keith will have to do chemo. I felt an overwhelming need to do something to help. Something to support him. I am not a doctor. I already cook special foods for him. I don't live close enough to transport him around and don't make enough money to hire some help for them. The only thing I knew to do was to support what he believes in. Do my part to help fight his battle. I wanted to give to Keith AND to his chosen organization: Stand Up 2 Cancer.

And to let Keith know that he is not alone in fear and that I know he is as brave as I am, I decided to run a half-marathon. 13.1 miles to show Keith that as a family we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think. And that together, we will fight this fight with him.

That's how I formed the Braver-Stronger-Smarter team via Stand Up 2 Cancer to raise funds for the organization. And because I can't ask for money just for the sake of it, I am going to run 13.1 miles to earn it. To be brave. To be strong. And to be smart (that's the fundraiser part, not the running part!).

You will notice the new widget at the side of the blog. It's going to stay there until May 15 when I run the Colfalx Half-Marathon. Every dollar helps.

So, how 'bout it? Will you Stand Up 2 Cancer with me?


  1. Jenna, your post made me smile, cry, and then smile again. What an amazing tribute to those you love..and who love you. I know you will achieve both of you goals:)

  2. So inspiring, Jenna...I just shared your team link on FB. Such a great way to show support to a loved one! and good luck with the 1/2!! I have been considering one, and if you can do it, so can I!!

  3. You rock!

    I'll be watching to see how the contribution numbers fly high and reading to tracking your training progress.

  4. Jenna - what an awesome goal for such a great cause. In terms of running the half marathon - I know you can do it! Just believe you can...even if you don't KNOW it, just believe. When I decided that I was going to run a marathon back in 2004 - the longest run that I had ever gone on was about 9 miles. When I first registered for the race (already about a month into my training) I was so freaked out; I still didn't KNOW if I could do it. I honestly couldn't imaging running that many miles. But it didn't matter that I didn't KNOW if I could do it yet; I believed that I could at least give it my best shot and finish the race. But you know what....on race day there was this overpowering surge of adrenaline, energy and excitement that carried me through when I never though that I could run that far without stopping. And, you have an awesome cause that you are running for - which I would believe would generate even more energy and will to meet your goal. I was so excited for you when reading your post. Stick with it...the training and time commitment to the training is the hardest part.

  5. I am so proud of you. You are really working hard toward this goal and you will make it.
    I hope you raise all the $$$ and then some.

  6. Awesome! I'll be there in spirit!