Don't Forget Cancer Caregivers
I am a cancer caregiver and an ultrarunner. I continue to run ultramarathons to raise donations to benefit cancer caregivers. So far, in 2022, I have run three ultramarathons. In May, I ran a 24-hr track ultra in non-stop rain and gale-force winds. I placed 3rd female. Here's my race report. In August, I ran a 12-hr ultra an logged 41.25 miles, a training run for another 24-hr ultra-endurance run on Labor Day weekend. I placed 3rd female. Here's the video of race day.
My years of ultrarunning, and my experience as a cancer caregiver to my husband, inspired me to create Ultra Care for Cancer Caregivers in May 2020. I am still running to raise donations to meet my $10,000 goal. To date, generous hearts have contributed to the $5,105.
The money raised will help cancer caregivers who need financial assistance, self-care, respite, and a little joy. To date, over 25 cancer caregivers have been recipients of Ultra Care for Cancer Caregivers.
The money raised through this fundraising campaign will help to ease the burden of being a caregiver after a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer caregiving is overwhelming and isolating. It’s a lonely experience. Trying to stay optimistic about an uncertain future is emotionally draining and exhausting. Here are my interviews with cancer caregivers who shared their journeys.
I don’t want cancer caregivers to be forgotten. They are essential to the care and patient advocacy on behalf of their loved ones. Cancer caregivers need self-care, therapeutic care, and help with paying for basic incidentals that add up.
Because their lives are changed when they become caregivers, they forget to take care of themselves. Because of the high cost of cancer treatment, they can no longer afford to do the things that can provide them with respite during their journey as caregivers.
How it All Got Started: Running for Cancer Caregivers
Running has always been healing and a respite for me. Running helped me to cope with my husband's stage 4 diagnosis and to decompress from the overwhelming stress of caregiving.
On June 1, 2020, I started my second virtual ultra and logged 10 miles to raise money for cancer caregivers. I am running the Tip to Tip - The Great Florida Traverse 128 miler. I have until August 31 to log the miles. Only 118 miles to go!
Here I am at the start of the Tip to Tip - The Great Florida Traverse - ready to run miles for cancer caregivers.
On Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-10, 2020), I ran an ultra (an endurance run longer than a marathon) for cancer caregivers. I ran it and, towards the end, walked fast during this 24-hour virtual ultra - the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K+ Solo Challenge - in my neighborhood.
My husband, who was in remission then, paced for 8 miles after mile 50 in high winds and the very cold night air. He also cooked and fed me.
Running in 18 mph winds. Flying high at mile 20 while charging my FitBit on a portable charger.
It's 1 am Sunday morning, Mother's Day. Jon joins me.
After logging 100K (62.2 miles), I'm tired & sleep-deprived. I'm cold. I take a nap.
After my nap, I went back out with an hour left on the clock on Mother's Day morning and logged a total of 63.9 miles, the last 14 in my Birkenstocks. I ran these miles in the coldest May 9 recorded in my area. Who knew! But I know we need to work hard to achieve what we want for the benefit of others. I dedicated this ultra to cancer caregivers.
Help to Fund Financial Assistance, Self-Care, Therapeutic Care, and Respite
This fund will help pay for an evening of unwinding at a paint night, a night of bowling, a massage, yoga classes, indoor rock climbing, or a registration to a running event. Talking to someone who's a good listener helps. The fund will provide the opportunity to speak to a counselor or therapist. These examples of self-care and therapeutic care can provide much-needed respite.
The fund will also help fund costs not covered by insurance while accompanying their loved one to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. These include tolls, public transportation, rideshare services, hospital parking fees, and the cost of breakfast, lunch, and dinner while at the hospital or treatment center. The fund will help with doctor visits not covered by insurance, such as a $50 deductible.
When a family member is diagnosed, children are also affected by the cost of cancer care. They also need respite. My fund will also provide grants for the financial expenses associated with recreational sports registration fees, camp registration, youth programs, music lessons, and other physical and social activities.
Update: In July 2022, we learned my husband's cancer is back. He's on his second cancer journey. But I will continue to take care of him and run ultras to raise money to meet my $10,000 goal to benefit cancer caregivers. The work of a cancer caregiver is never done.
Thank you for not Forgetting Cancer Caregivers and for Supporting My Fundraising Ultramarathons
Your support means so much to me.
Thank you so much for supporting Ultra Care for Cancer Caregivers.