Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 March For Marrow 5K Run & Walk

Almost four years ago, on March 13, 2012, my Mom lost her short 3-month battle with MDS (a very rare bone marrow failure disease affecting less than 1% of the US).  My Mom was my mentor, my idol, my confidant, and my best friend.  She was the kind of person who would drop everything to help a friend or a stranger in need.  She devoted her life to her family, her friends, and the community. 

Her passing shook our world, but following in my mom’s footsteps, I had to do something productive.  That was when I discovered the AA&MDS International Foundation, and more coincidentally, their annual fundraiser, March for Marrow 5K Run and Walk, that was to be held in our own city of Long Beach the following month!  I immediately became involved and spread the world to family and friends and the entire Long Beach community.  Within three weeks, Team Pat Reep had raised more than $20,000 for the Foundation and more than 50 people showed up to walk for Team Pat Reep.  Each year since, we have carried on the tradition of walking and running in memory of Mom, and have raised nearly $15,000 each year.

Three years ago I underwent a bone marrow biopsy, and I was diagnosed with Familial Platelet Disorder with a Predisposition to Myeloid Malignancy (it’s a mouthful, I know).  This means that I carry the rare gene that my mom and her mom had, that has a 45% chance of mutating and causing leukemia or MDS (don’t worry, I won’t let this happen to me :)).  We never knew my mom carried this gene until after she passed away, so lucky for me, we are way ahead of the curve.  I am being monitored on an ongoing basis at the USC Norris Cancer Center by the best team of MDS specialists in the nation, and my health couldn’t be better!

As you can see, this cause is very near and dear to my heart.  I experienced firsthand with my Mom how awful this disease is, and unfortunately because it is so rare and there is very little research, there is no cure.  It is my greatest wish to see progress in this field so that no one has to go through what my mom and family went through.  Please consider walking or running with us on Saturday, April 30th to raise awareness for MDS, or please consider donating even if it’s one dollar…every dollar counts towards finding a treatment and hopefully even a cure for MDS.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To make a donation, please click here, then choose “Support Me”.
To register for the walk/run, please click here.

My mom was the most kind, generous, loving, and giving woman I have ever known.  She was my best friend.  Everyone who knew her loved her.  She was a leader in the Long Beach community, and devoted much of her time to philanthropic work.  It’s my turn to give back.  Please consider joining me or supporting our cause in honor of my beloved mommy, Pat Reep.
The last picture we took together, 2012
On my wedding day, three months before she passed