Friday, April 27, 2012

MDS Walk for Mom is TOMORROW!

Tomorrow is the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Walk!  I can't believe it's here.  I can't believe all the support we've gotten!  Team Pat Reep has raised $13,500 all in one month, and we have more than 30 people coming out to walk with us tomorrow!  Overall, the Foundation has raised nearly $70,000!!!!
There are two events, a 5K run at 8:00am, and a 1 mile (with option of a 2nd mile) Walk at 9:30.  We are doing both, and if you're in the Long Beach area, we'd love for you to come join us!!!!!

Words can't even begin to describe my gratitude.  I feel so much love and strength through everyone's generosity and support.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, whether you're a relative, a friend from school, friend from work, a blogging buddy or Twitter friend, or an acquaintance, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I know Mom is looking down and beaming with happiness over all our efforts.

As you know from my previous posts, MDS is such a horrific and rare disease affecting less than 0.003% of the nation.  After Mom passed last month, I needed to do something because no one should have to go through what our family went through.  I found the Aplastic Anemia and MDS Foundation and channeled all my emotions into raising awareness and funds for these diseases.  I am so much like my Mom, because she would have done the exact same thing, and that makes me smile :)

My mom was the most selfless person in the world, dedicating herself to helping others.  Rich Archbold, a family friend and the editor of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, wrote a beautiful article that ran on the front page of the paper two days after mom passed.  It's not too long, so if you'd like to read it, you may find it here.  Thank you so much Rich for writing such a beautiful article.

Thank you again to everyone for you love, support, strength, kindness, and generosity.  I love you all.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Walk For You, Mom

On Saturday, April 28th, my family, friends and I are walking the Hope, Steps, & A Cure Walk for MDS and bone marrow failure diseases in memory of my Mom.

My Mom recently passed away on March 13th this year, after a short battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare type of blood cancer affecting less that 0.003% of the nation (yes, less than 1%).  This has been unbelievably difficult for all of us, as our lives have changed dramatically.  But I found this walk, which happens to be right in our back yard, and I immediately began my fundraising and awareness initiatives by forming Team Pat Reep.  Just two days after forming our team for Mom, we had raised nearly $2,000!  In two days!  It's now been a few weeks, and we have raised $9,630 through our fundraising page, plus an additional $3,000 that a dear friend of my mom and dad donated directly to the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation.  That makes a total of $12,630 for Team Pat Reep as of today, and we're still a week out!!  All I can say is that Mom would be so proud and very touched.

In addition to our campaign efforts, I designed shirts for us to wear on the walk.  My parents have always been huge Francophiles and traveled to France every year since 1992.  They love it.  So the quote we chose is from Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), a French children's book, one which Mom read to us when we were little.  The quote means, "We see well only with the heart."  And on the back of the shirt is a photo my Dad took of Mom when they were both 23 years old.  We call it her "Rockstar" picture :)  I love it.  She's beautiful.
Front of shirt
Back of shirt
A dear family friend of our also designed and created silicone awareness bracelets.  They are in the colors red (for MDS) and white (for bone marrow failure).  The same quote that is on the shirts is on these bracelets.  Thank you so much KW for creating these for us!

I am so proud to be a part of this movement in raising awareness for MDS.  And more importantly, I am beyond thankful to everyone who has donated to our campaign and for those are are coming out to walk with us.  From my family to you, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two races + Canadians + movie night all this weekend!

I’m really looking forward to this weekend!  I have two races to run, friends visiting from out of the country, and family time!

My hubs and I have two of our friends visiting and staying with us from Canada through next week, and they are so much fun.  I am taking this Friday off of work because, well, I just needed some personal time since work and school have been so busy (especially school…t-minus 8 months until I graduate from my Master’s program!!!!), and of course to hang out with our Canadians!  So on Friday we are taking them to the happiest place on earth:  DISNEYLAND!!!  I bought me and my hubs passes for Valentine’s Day and we’ve only been able to go once since then, so I’m super pumped to go.

Saturday morning I’m running the Seal Beach 5K!  I’ve run it every year for the past 3 years, making this my 4th.  It’s such a fun and family-friendly
Run, and it’s in my backyard (bonus!).  After the race we’re all going to relax in the sun and enjoy some lunch and sangria, and Saturday night is our monthly family movie night!  Every month, someone in the family hosts, and they can chose any movie they want, and the rest of us don’t know until we arrive.  Sean and I hosted the beginning of March, and for spring training we did a baseball theme!  We roasted hot dogs, had mini kegs of beer, and even an ice cream sundae bar complete with little baseball hats for bowls.  And we showed the movie Major League!  It was a blast!  The month before that, my parents hosted and they chose The Big Lebowski complete with white Russians.  Another fun one :)  This will be the first one without Mom, so it may be tough, but I know she’d want us to have a blast.  My cousin and her hubs are hosting and they won’t divulge any clues as to what the movie might be, but I know it’ll be a fun one.

Sunday morning my cousin and I are running the Color Run in Irvine!  We have neon leggings and white tees (you have to wear white tops because @ every kilometer they throw colored powder at you), and tutus.  We’re so pumped!  And with the weather forecasted to be in the 80s this weekend, after the Color Run I want to lay out on the new chaise lounges Sean and I just bought and enjoy some sun while studying.  I have SO much studying to do on Sunday (2 presentations, a 12-page research paper, a 1-page brief, not to mention finals are in 3 weeks), but at least I’ll be enjoying the sun.

Sorry for the super long post!  I’m just really excited about this long weekend and enjoying time with family and friends.  I need it.

What are your exciting/relaxing plans for this weekend?

On April 28th I walk with family and friends to raise awareness for Myelodysplastic Syndrome, the horrific and rare disease that took my Mom on March 13, 2012.  Please consider supporting us by walking withus or donating to our cause.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Working Out Again + Upcoming Races!

I started working out again two weeks ago.  With everything that’s happened, I didn’t make time for the gym.  I would go on long walks around my neighborhood, but nothing like that super-sweaty-I-really-pushed-myself-I’m-going-to-be-sore-tomorrow-butt-kicking kind of workout.  So two weeks ago I hit the gym and had that kind of workout!  After 15 minutes I got really emotional and the tears just came.  I almost stopped, but I knew before I started that working out would make me vulnerable as I pushed myself, so I asked Mom for strength and I continued to push through.  An hour later I felt empowered and accomplished, and my body and mind felt so clear.  I’m back to working out 4 days a week and it’s such a stress reliever and a great outlet for my emotions.

I also went for a short run that day after the gym, and man oh man has my running endurance diminished.  After a mile I was exhausted!  Therein my goal was established:  to get back in running shape.  Yesterday I walked 4 miles at a 13:00pace (which was great, especially on the beautiful day we had here), but now it’s time to throw in some intervals and run.  I'm running the Seal Beach 5K this Saturday, something I've done the last 3 years, and I'm going to use Jeff Galloway's method and run 3 minutes walk 1 minute.  Then Sunday a bunch of my friends and family and I are doing the Color Run!  That will be a blast!  I expect us to come out looking like this:

Source:  The Color Run website

Do you prefer regular races or color/mud/zombie runs?  Or both?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hope, Steps & A Cure 5K for Mom

My dearest friends,

As you all know, Mom was taken from us far too early by a rare blood disease called MDS, and bone marrow failure.  I honestly can't even believe I'm able to type this, but I could not pass up the opportunity to share this with you.  I felt as if Mom was giving me this as one of her gifts to me.

I've been doing a lot of research on MDS and how I can get involved and help raise awareness for this rare and vicious disease.  Mom was a rare gem and her disease was just as rare as her, affecting less than 0.003% of the population (10K out of 3 million!).  I am going to do my darnedest to raise awareness, starting with this 5K Walk/Run here in our own city of Long Beach, CA on April 28th.  How amazing is it that this small organization for this rare disease is hosting an event next month in our own city??  That's Mom right there saying hi :)

I'd love for you to come walk/run with me, but if you can't that's okay too.  Here is the link to my fundraising page for Mom.

I don't want anyone else to go through what we've gone through if I can help it, so I'm going to do what I can.

I love you all.  Thank you for all your love, generosity, and support.  It really means the world to me and my family.