NYC Taught Me Fundraiser: Let's Do This Together (Again!)

celebrating my third birthday with my mom.
I did it! On Sunday, I committed to run in the NYC Marathon through a charity that supports cancer research called Fred's Team. Ahhhhh! It felt like the perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day. I'll be running the 26.2 miles in honor of my mother, Cindy. She died of breast cancer on July 3, 2000 in a hospital in southwest Florida. I was 18 years old.

I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to do another charity event on my blog, but why not? You all completely overwhelmed me with your generosity during our first project. Remember when we raised $660 in one weekend? Let's do it again--only this time let's raise a whopping $3,500 by November 4th!

Here's my short term goal: Raise $500 by the end of today. We're almost there, only $78 more to go! Please click here to donate any amount you want. :)
My backyard the night my mom died. 
So why Fred's Team? Why am I running a marathon for a charity? Many reasons. One of them goes back to the night my mother died.

I'll never forget the moment I left the hospital for the last time. The sun was setting as I walked out of the building and onto the hospital parking lot to drive home. The sky stopped me in my tracks. It was bursting with yellows, pinks, and reds. I wanted to believe that she was seeing the same sunset and experiencing the clouds, the sky, and light in a way she was never able to on earth. This made me happy for her. She always told me Florida had the best clouds and tonight, I imagined, they were all hers to enjoy.

I eventually got into my car and started it. REM's album Automatic For The People began to play as it had for the past six months. I had given myself permission to listen to this overly depressing album as many times as I wanted ever since my mom got sick.  Today was no different. I sang and hummed along to the songs as I drove home, eager to find lines I could identify with. See you heaven if you make the list. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. (Of course she made the list!:) I couldn't stop looking at the sky as I drove, the colors kept changing and became more vibrant as the sun finally set.

This drive home gave me a minute to process everything and reflect on my life with my mom. When I finally arrived at my house, I saw my dad and sister in the backyard admiring the sunset too. I joined them and together we talked. It was nice to be with them and feel their love. I took a few pictures of the sunset so I would always remember it.

That night I learned in order to get through this challenging time of my life, I needed to find the perfect balance of solitude and companionship. I needed time to reflect alone, but I also needed my community of friends and family for support.  This lesson has stayed with me ever since and eventually led me to sign up for Fred's Team.

Fred's Team offers that perfect balance I always seek. 
I'll have moments to reflect on my own as I train for this race. Running is, after all, one of my favorite escapes! But I won't be able to do this alone. I need help from family, friends, the running community and YOU!  If you would like to help, please donate!

Thought you should know:

One hundred percent of the funds raised by Fred's Team go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the nation's preeminent center for research and treatment devoted exclusively to cancer, and at least 80 percent of the total supports pioneering research. I was excited to have the option to specifically choose to raise money for breast cancer. 

When you make an online gift, you will receive an e-mail confirmation and tax acknowledgment as soon as your transaction is complete. For all offline gifts, you will receive a written tax acknowledgment in the mail. 

More FAQ's here. Like who's this Fred guy?!  

PS I found this quote. Love it.

“But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people--first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.” ― Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions


  1. A Marathon!! I'm so proud of you, I know you can do it. Mom would be really proud of you too.

  2. sounds like a great cause -and what a challenge! NYC marathon. I got into the NYC marathon last year, but it is so expensive to get to from Nairobi-I have postponed it...and will do the same again this year! Good luck with the training and the fundraising!

  3. I can't donate today, but rest assured I will make a donation this summer. What a thoughtful endeavor, Sharon. And tough - a marathon! I bet your mom is smiling down on you, beaming with pride.

  4. What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing and for you gift to Fred's team.

  5. You look so much like your mom! Congrats--I know a few people who have run the NYC marathon and it sounds like SUCH an amazing experience!

  6. I really excited for you! Loved your post. Are you going to do a "Things I'm afraid to tell you post"

  7. Such a lovely post! Congratulations on such a huge undertaking! I made a donation in honor of both your mother and mine, who died of bladder cancer in Dec and who received phenomenal care at Sloan Kettering. Wishing you much luck in this endeavor, it's a wonderful way to honor the memory of your mother. Happy Mother's Day!

  8. Long time reader, first time commenter! So so beautiful. You look like your mom and Ella looks like you!

  9. I'm so happy you took a picture of that sunset. I'm truly so sorry about your mom. Your resemblance is crazy!

    Off to donate, go Sharon!

  10. Congratulations on taking on the marathon. It is such a big commitment but seems so rewarding in the end. I'm sure you mom would be proud! Good luck with the fundraising. I'm happy to help the little bit I can for such a great cause.


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