It started innocently enough. I asked Sheila at work, “hey Sheila, do you know if anyone’s interested in doing this run?”. Sheila says, “I don’t know, but do you know what you should do? Send out an email to the group because I’ll bet there’s someone else wondering the same thing.”
So I did. Subject heading: “Are you up for the challenge” as I copied and pasted the details on a charity run to help end kids cancer. I got a few bites, and soon we formed a team of 6 runners who would run a relay of 100kms. Somehow I became Team Captain all while thinking “I just want to raise funds and participate, not Captain the team?” But then, the team talked me into it, and made it sound like it would be a breeze. I know better now. :)
Our biggest concern was whether we would be able to raise the minimum $500 per person, so we got down to business. A short while later, we found ourselves in the unique position of being considered the fun and innovative team who got results. You could say it was a bit of a perfect storm as soon after/during our awareness campaign, and with the help of senior management, awareness internally grew dramatically for this run. From a youtube video, to our Coffee with Calvin (CEO) Event, we raised awareness, raised funds, and had fun doing it all. We were the first internal team to reach our $500/person goal and it’s great to see that our teams together have already raised over $125,000 for charity.
Then you have special days like today where we are reminded why we’re running in the first place.
Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto is the best place for kids with cancer. As one of the recipients of the funds, they wanted to recognize the Sears Great Canadian Run as donor of the week. What an honour it was to have our team invited to visit Sick Kids to have our photo taken. Plus, told us the story of bravery beads. For the kids at Sick Kids, they get a bead for every time they have something done, whether it’s a needle prick, or more intense treatment. The kids each end up creating unique and personal jewellery to tell a story of their brave journey. For some kids, they have so many beads, that they carry it seperately.
Sick Kids gave us some lovely bracelets and necklaces made from bravery beads and I’m wearing a lovely one now. I’m considering running with this necklace on, even though it’s heavier and will slow me down, but I feel that I need to be reminded constantly that b is for bravery and what better way than this necklace? Afterall, the effort we’ve made over the past few months is truly a drop in the bucket compared to what the Sick Kids Families endure when facing a diagnosis of cancer.
It’s the least I can do.
The run is this Saturday. I’m getting picked up at 5:30am. I’ll try my best to be brave and run for the kids. Be brave and help me raise awareness and funds.
P.S. Click here for the fun youtube video
Click here to find out more about my team, and/or to donate