Last week I received an email announcing the Purple Stride Broward-Palm Beach Event. I can’t believe it is that time of the year again. We are less than a month away from the racing (running) season in South Florida. Since the heat index has been in the triple digits since we got back, I’ve been training on the treadmill. It is never too early to start training as the race will be here in a jiffy.
Today I setup our team for the purple stride event happening on November 19th at FAU (Florida Atlantic University) in Boca Raton. We will be racing under the team Deb Force Five for the third year in a row. My goal is to be the number one team in fundraising for the second year in a row. We are shooting for $10,500.
As I updated the information and the team’s website, I got choked up. It hit me like semi-truck that this year would be painfully different. August 26th will make five months since we lost Debbie, but it still feels so fresh. Grief is awful. Like a thief in the night, it comes out of nowhere and steals your happiness. It pops up unexpectedly, forcefully and with so much pain.
After I collected myself a bit, I got on the treadmill to put in my thirty minutes. The first five minutes were tearful, but as my run continued my hope and sense of purpose returned. I made a promise to Debbie to continue advocating for pancreatic cancer awareness and fighting for a cure. It is a promise I cannot and will not ever break.
In the coming months, we hope to announce the launch of a pancreatic cancer immunotherapy clinical trial that Debbie, Melissa Nicholas and I had started working on last December. It destroyed me that we were not able to launch the clinical trial, so Debbie could benefit. In hindsight, I think Debbie knew this since she was a pharmacist. As a neophyte to the industry, I had hopes that we could get it started right away.
She was a second mom to my kids and they loved her to pieces. Her memory is never far for anyone us. My boys insisted on lighting a candle in Debbie’s memory at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Afterwards in the gift shop, they picked out a praying angel, for her, that watches over us from our kitchen.
You may have seen the new shirts that were posted to the site this weekend. My boys and I have been hard at work designing shirts and a business plan for our new store. For all of us, the creative process and the opportunity to honor Debbie’s memory has been cathartic. The profits from our merchandise will go towards funding the clinical trial and towards a scholarship program that helps families with the expenses for travel hockey.
For more information on Purple Stride Broward-Palm Beach or to join our team click here
For more information of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network click here
Fore more information Pennies In Action click here
Fore more information on our store click here