…136 Days Until Race Day
You may want to grab some tissues and a bucket.
The tissues to dry your tears.
The bucket because if this story hits you like it does me then you’ll feel nauseous.
This is Chandler.
Chandler earned his angel’s wings on New Years Eve 1999, about a month after turning 2.
Chandler NEVER knew normal, never knew any other way of life other than living at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
Diagnosed at 6 WEEKS of age with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Chandler endured 2 years of chemo, radiation, countless procedures, a bone marrow transplant at 5 months of age and a stem cell transplant at 18 months of age.
In spite of all he endured, he was the happiest little boy. He loved his mom, dad and sister Chelsea.
He really loved baseball or as he called it, “bat ball”.
Chandler would be 19-years-old now, and his family “misses him every minute of every day”.
To honor and memorialize Chandler, his mom and dad began a charity in his memory in 2000. It is his family’s labor of love.
The idea was born in 1998, when Chandler’s grandmother decided to donate Christmas trees to the kids at the BMT Unit. Since then, every Christmas the family and friends come together to give a little something back to the hospital and most importantly to be there in some way for the children and families in need.
Since Chandler lived for 2 years, I dedicated today’s 2 runs to him. I had to REALLY call upon Chandler to get me through the entire 2nd run.
After running 7 miles total on the treadmill, I had an hour afternoon run 10 minutes of sprinting in the middle of it. My first mile was a slow 10:06. My 2nd mile was an even slower 12:16.
I felt like the world was spinning and I was going to pass out. Thought about stopping, but I remembered Chandler’s battle and also something my coach told me the last time I got this dizzy running.
“This is a good thing. Your body is transitioning from using sugar for fuel to using your fat (which I have plenty of) which burns longer. If you would have stayed with it another 3 minutes, you would have been alright,” he told me this past summer.
So, with Chandler in my heart, I stuck with it another 3 minutes and things turned around. I ran the first 2 miles in 22:22 and the final 4.26 miles in 37:38.
Chandler, we conquered and won the day today, buddy. Thanks for being with me.
Who will you meet tomorrow?