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In January of 1999 I lost my 2 1/2 year old son to cancer. Johnathon was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 17 months. The long struggle with chemotherapy, surgeries, bone marrow transfusions and many other treatments were grueling, and painful to watch. Family and friends stood by me as I stood by my son, never leaving his side. He fought and struggled, he had good days and bad, but in the end there was always the love the smiles and the courage that he shared with all those around him. He gave a valiant effort but in the end the cancer was too much for his tiny body. Johnathon died at home in my arms on January 16, 1999. The 10 years after my sons death were very hard, most of the time it was all I could do to just breath. My heart ached with each passing day. My grief was so heavy that at times all I wanted to do was to join my son. I was very angry and did not always face the loss of my son with grace, there were many dark days that I struggled to keep sane. I was a young single mother, my son was my life. Johnathon was the angel that helped to get me here today, to lead me on to find myself and to really learn who I am. In January of 2009, 10 years after his death, I was finally able to start healing and start really living the life that my son would have wanted for me. I found a way to heal and to work with my loss to pay tribute to my son. So I decided to run. I started out by becoming a Rally Athlete with the help of the Rally Foundation. My son Johnathon is now a Rally Kid, I run in memory of him. I ran my first 5k in January of 2009 and have completed 5 other races since then. I ran my first 1/2 marathon on April 18th. I will continue to run in as many races as I can before the final run in Chicago. On Sunday, October 11, 2009, 45,000 runners will take to the streets of Chicago to participate in one of the world’s major marathons, the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I will be one of those runners. I will be running to honor my son. For me this is not only a testament to the strength and courage of my son, but also to the dedication and commitment that I have to do "something big" for my son, as well as a journey to heal and make peace with the pain, anger and resentment that I have held on to for so long, my time to heal. Running has been cathartic for me, I run, I cry, I remember and I heal every time I am out on the run. I am by far no athlete, but running has given me an outlet to release my pain and to find peace within myself. It's my time to do something big to honor my son. To honor those children and those families that have had to endure the challenges that childhood cancer brings. I had no control over what the cancer did to Johnathon, no control over what the outcomes were, but what I do have control over is this. This chance to run,to run and to raise money for research, to run for those moms and dads that are still at the bedsides, still sleeping in the waiting rooms outside of the ICUs, and surgery units, to run for the hopes of families that struggle to keep their hope alive. I run for the strength and courage of these kids. I run for Johnathon. As my kids say "run mom run"
Total Donations Collected:$3,310.00
Goal: $3,200
$0 103% $3,200
Every day two classrooms of students, about 46 children, are diagnosed with cancer and most will spend the next three years in treatment. Pediatric cancer is different than adult cancer and is the number one disease killer of kids’ ages 0-20. Rally Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is dedicated to raising funds to support childhood cancer research which is under-funded up to $30 million a year. Please join me with your donation and be a Champion for Childhood Cancer Research!
Contributor Amount Comment
garrett emerson $250.00 "You are truly an amazing woman...I love you mama bear...Yu go get-em with yur "I'm going to getcha yah face"...Love Yur Old man:)"
Amanda Davidson $10.00 "Your story really touched me. I admire you for your courage! This is a wonderful thing you are doing. I hope you feel the love and support of those around you (even stranger like me) as you do this! I will donate more if I can before the race. "
Kristine Abplanalp $50.00 "Go get em girl! I love you my dear friend. What a beautiful thing you are doing for Johnathon. We're so proud of you."
Sheila Hetherington-Smith $100.00 "Claire, I wish that Kevin & I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan. This is a great thing that you're doing for him. Just keep him in your thoughts when the training gets tough and it will get you through. We love you!!"
Linda Baker $250.00 "Claresa, I am so very proud of you. You are an awesome Mom, an awesome nurse and an awesome woman. Keep moving forward.....Love and many blessings, Linda"
Camille Acred $25.00 "My name is Camille, I'm Kristine's cousin...I'm so glad she sent me this link....I can't imagine going through what you did. What you are doing is amazing!! Good for you and God Bless!!"
Alisha Sanders $100.00 "You'll achieve this just like everything else you do! You're an amazing person!"
Michelle Long $100.00 "Claresa, Wish we could do more. You are an amazing MOM and thank you for being an amazing STEPMOM to my children. I will continue to help in support you in your journey. If you need anything please just let us know and we will help any way we can. Good Luck and Keep it up. You are making a lot of people PROUD! You are in our thoughts and Prayers, Michelle, Joe, hope, Noah and Gabriel."
Caryn Haas $50.00 "I hope you exceed your goals. Keep going strong. All that admire you is proud to be your friend."
Larry & Linda Emerson $250.00 "Hi Claresa, We are thinking about you. Just keep moving! Larry & Linda"
Allison R Ashe MD $250.00 "Claresa: Words can't describe how I feel about this. I am so proud of you and you continue to amaze me with your grace and strength. Johnathon would be so proud of his mommy! I love you!"
Susan Zytka Hidden "Hi Claire, I am one of Sheila's cousins she sent me your link. I too lost my son in 1999 at 22 months of age his name is Lance. It broke my heart but you are right we have to fight the way our children fought to carry on. In memory of our Angels! With a mothers love, Sue"
Sarah W. Taylor Hidden "Claire, Wishing I had met Jonathon. I remember Oscar vividly. Surely God has given you strength to move these mountains and even run over them. My prayers are with you. Sarah"
Regina Stradford $25.00 "Thanks for your participation in this. Be Blessed!!"
Anonymous $13.10 "Your story really touched me. Good luck and as you say...always stay in forward motion and you will get there!"
Pia Kamimura $10.00 "You're an inspiration, Clare! Best wishes to you... "
Charlotte Costa Hidden "Good luck to you!"
Vickie and Scott Morlang $25.00 "You are an inspiration to us all. As a mom, I admire you and all that you have been through. Go get em'."
Amy Meeker $20.00 "Claresa, you are such an inspiration and such a beautiful person. I am honored to know you and your family. Amy Meeker"
KB Eastman $25.00 "Congrats on finishing your first half marathon!!! I also ran the Dismal Swamp Half Marathon on Sat. I didnt see your story until the day after the race and I was very touched. I run the Marine Corp Marathon every year to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. My sister in law passed away from CF 7 years ago. Running opens so many doors, not just for yourself, but for the many others you are helping. You are doing a wonderful thing. I look forward to following your progress. You will do great in October. Good luck and I will now include you and Jonathon in my thoughts when I do my daily runs. KB Eastman"
stephanie huang $25.00 "Claresa, you are one courageous woman & MOM! It is my privilege to have met you!! love, Stephanie H."
Andrea Gammill $25.00 "I am so proud of you! you are an inspiration to many!"
Sharon Henley $250.00 "Claresa, I am soo proud of you! You are an amazing person and an inspiration. You already ARE a champion. Keep running girlfriend..you rock!"
Shawn Bradley $25.00 "You are an athlete and don't ever say different! Best of luck in Chicago, I'll be rooting for you!"
Sheila Hetherington-Smith $50.00 "Love you Claire, keep up the good work!! You are an inspiration to us all!!"
Christine and Ed Ronan $50.00 "Good Luck! You are an inspiration to us all! We are so proud of you and your dedication to life! Please keep in touch!C"
Leslie Bradley $102.00 "You are such an amazing woman and truly an inspiration to all! Rally on! Love you!!!"
Larry &Linda Emerson $100.00 "Congratulations Claresa you exceeded your goal!"

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