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February 18, 2015

While I was in California last month preparing for the Star Wars Half Marathon, the runDisney addict inside of me started to regret not signing up for the Princess Half Marathon which will take place this weekend at Walt Disney World. With the help from my friend Alex, we began to do some research on how to find two bibs so the two of us could run the Princess Half together.

We found a site that sells bibs given to them by Disney, but unfortunately they were all sold out so we continued to do some research to obtain our goal. Alex soon discovered a charity that had two bibs left for the Glass Slipper Challenge (the 10K on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday). We contacted the people, but unfortunately they had given away their final two bibs about an hour before we contacted them. All hope seemed lost.

I contacted my amazing sponsor, Judi, and asked her if she knew of any other way I could run. She usually runs for Noah's Light Foundation, but at that point, all of their race bibs were given away, so I began to just accept the fact that I would not be running the Princess Half Marathon this year.

Then one day while at the park, I received a notification on Facebook saying I had been tagged in a post by Judi. Sure enough, Noah's Light Foundation had received one more bib for the Glass Slipper Challenge! I contacted them immediately and they explained to me the entire process of running for a charity. The most daunting task was realizing I would need to raise $2,000, but being the constant optimist that I am, I figured it was still a possible goal. I filled out all the paperwork, and on Friday, January 30th, my fundraising page was up and running.

When I first signed up, I wanted to run a race that I had never run before and earn a medal that I didn't have, however, sometimes life throws a few twist and turns at you to keep life interesting. What started out as a chance to run a race has become something so much more.

I've always believed in the goodness of people, but over the past 19 days (I can't believe it's only been 19 days) I have watched so many people open up their hearts and pocketbooks to help me obtain my goal of raising the money. The goodness of people is even stronger than I ever could have believed.

Now I personally have always loved children and I have also always hated cancer (especially after losing loved ones to it) so going with a charity that is looking for a way to end childhood brain cancer is just the perfect fit for me, but I never realized how many others would associate with it as well.

I've had the donations from people who can see how much it means to me and give me the smile and wish me a good run, and then I've had the people who have talked to me about the donations with tears in their eyes. One of my friends, who worries a lot about money, donated with no hesitation and with tears in their eyes pointed out that if their nephew ever had cancer they would hope someone in the world was donating money to help find a cure for them.

It was at that moment I realized that I signed up for this in hopes of running one marathon, but little did I know the true race I was running. The goal of raising $2,000 was no longer a way to meet my pledge, but a way to reach something much greater. Over the past 19 days I have been given the amazing opportunity not to just raise money to put an end to a terrible disease, but to watch the human spirit unfold in random acts of kindness. While I am extremely excited for the races I will be running this weekend, this whole experience has made me even more excited for the race I have been running for the past few weeks. The giving back won't end at the end of my fundraising efforts. This is just the beginning.

If you would like to help me reach my pledge of $2,000, you can click the picture below. Remember, no donation is too small. Thank you!

Noah's Light 



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