…103 Days Until Race Day
Today was BECAUSE of Chelsey Campbell, but it was FOR her and all kids forced to fight cancer.
The photos of Chelsey and the accompanying story are why I began running.
After her surgery was completed, and she was recovering in ICU, her family took me back to see her.
She was swollen. Her lips were dry and blood encrusted. She was intubated. She was covered up to her neck with a bed sheet. The bed sheet was covered by a blanket of wires.
I knelt down beside her and stroked her hand that was underneath the bed sheet. I told her I loved her.
Her mouth moved and to this day I believe she heard me and was trying to say she loved me back. She was THAT tough and stubborn that I wouldn’t put it past her to have done that.
“They’re calling your surgery a marathon surgery, Chels. So, for you, I’m going to run a marathon.”
I started training in August, 2006.
36 days after Chelsey died, I was at the starting line for the 2007 Chevron Houston Marathon, with stress fractures in both shins, but with a goal to fulfill my promise to Chelsey.
I wore a shirt that race that said “I’m Running For Chelsey” and during that run, 32 strangers said Chelsey’s name.
“Do it for Chelsey”, “Chelsey is proud of you”, “Yeah for Chelsey”.
After the race, I told Trish Snider Kline that I would keep running for Chelsey.
So, “a marathon” has turned into many marathons, but, the Chevron Houston Marathon will ALWAYS be Chelsey’s and my race together.
Today was my 10th Chevron Houston Marathon and while it wasn’t as fast as the first one, it will ALWAYS be as meaningful.
Chels, we finished another one. I love you.
Who will you meet tomorrow?