I first heard of Jodi’s story in early 2011, and was privileged to support the foundation at the first “Little Black Dress Party’ in January 2011, and I signed up to run the 2011 New York Marathon. As a pelvic health physio, speaking about bowel cancer risks and screening made supporting the JLF a natural choice, along with being very proud of all the team have achieved over the nearly 9 years i have been involved.
Before I got to NYC to run, I heard about the Antactica marathon, and with my interest piqued, I researched on and found 3 such events each year. Deciding one of these looked more suitable for me, I paid my deposit for the Antactica marathon before I had even run my first one, and my 7 Continents project was born. Marathons followed, in China, at home, in Amsterdam where I managed to achieve a personal best time that won me a spot in the Boston Marathon in 2015, and my project was to be completed in early 2014, with two marathons in two weeks in Caracas and then Antactica. Unfortunately the political situation in Venezuela deteriorated in the weeks before my event was to take place, and they had to cancel the marathon only 5 days before the event. I did still run in and actually win the Antactica marathon, and there my project has been stalled for over 5 years.
I have raised money consistently over the years for the JLF, participated in the trek in 2018 with my sister (Two Good Sisters was our team name - thanks to Erica for the creativity), and continuing to spread the word on the importance of bowel cancer screening for all adults, as early detection saves lives.
Over these 8 and a half years, I have heard many peoples stories - the near miss, the grateful detection, the grief. These stories driven me on, continuing to talk to more people, imploring everyone to take the test. I run in the black tutu that was the symbol of the JLF early on, and find it an excellent conversation starter. Especially given that I run most of my marathons chatting all the way.
I am grateful to the JLF for giving me the initial impetus to run a marathon (I had never run beforehand), and give me chance to love the sport, to meet so many friends around the world, and to hopefully continue to spread the word that can save lives.
To date I have raised almost $18,000 and I would love to reach $20,000.