For the third year in a row, I call myself a charity runner for Our Clubhouse. I’ve written a few posts about why I chose Our Clubhouse and why I continue to choose Our Clubhouse as an organization I fundraise for. Back in 2014, I decided to fundraise for them during my quest towards my first marathon. So much about why I have chosen this organization has to do with my grandfather, Daddyjack. If you’ve been an avid or even not so avid follower of my blog, you’ve probably seen me mention him a time or two. I was pretty proud to call him Daddyjack for 22 years of my life.
Sadly though, I don’t get to do that anymore and come this October, it will have been 10 years since I lost him. Running for Our Clubhouse helps keep his memory alive not just for me, but for everyone. Sure, you might not have known him, but his story probably resonates to so many out there who have lost a loved one to cancer. But it doesn’t matter if you knew my grandfather or not. You know me and a great deal of who I am today is a major reflection of him. I only ever aspired to be my best with him. Whenever he would talk about me to someone on the phone or introduce me to someone, he would light up.
So many of us have that family member that did that (or still does do that) for them. Or maybe a great friend. But what many of us have also had is the loss of someone like that due to cancer. Cancer is an ugly beast. No. Cancer is THE ugliest beast. I hate it. I have a lot of rage and anger toward cancer and it’s not even something I can string up and beat with a bat. What I can do though is bring awareness to an amazing organization like Our Clubhouse who provides comfort, care and hope to those touched by cancer. Every dollar that is raised in my campaign goes directly to them to keep the services provided absolutely FREE to members. Those battling cancer are often and unfortunately battling major medical expenses. They don’t need another burden, but they need the comfort. They need the care. And most certainly everyone needs that extra ounce of hope. By donating to this campaign, you’re helping members like Kim enjoy Our Clubhouse for free.
Kim has been a member of Our Clubhouse for a few months now and seems to have taken a liking to Nia classes. Take a look at what the Nia instuctor had to say about her.
“I love working with Kim. She was diagnosed stage four in September and has come to every class I’ve offered there. She just lights up! She has significant oxygen uptake deficit and often has to pause during the workouts to catch her breath, but she said last night she feels she needs to do that less often than she did even two months ago. And I agree — my observation is she has more stamina now than when I first met her. Her delight and energy level make me feel NIA is really offering her an important experience on her journey.”
Without Our Clubhouse, Kim might not be able to enjoy these classes. Every member has their own journey. In 2015 alone, there were 400 wellness classes offered along with 260 yoga classes and 120 Reiki sessions. That’s not it though. They don’t just offer fitness classes. There were also 203 art classes given, 37 nutrition/cooking workshops and an astounding 1,047 meals served to members. Let’s not forget the traditional 102 support groups that took place alongside of the 48 education lectures. They do it all under their roof. It’s truly a package that touched 6,343 participants last year alone. And I’d be surprised if you didn’t know anyone who took advantage of their offerings.
For me, I know one and just like my Grandfather, he’s an amazing man. I’ve know George now for a few years. He’s one of the members of the “Old Guys Running Club”, as affectionately named by themselves. I met George though Coach Jeff and quickly had that common bond of running. Just over a year ago though, George was diagnosed with cancer. He has faced his battle head on and through his battle, has given so many of his friends strength to battle something of their own.
I know so many times, I’ve told myself on a bad run that I can’t quit. George isn’t quitting his battle, so why should I quit? When something hurts, I tell myself to suck it up. Going through a battle against cancer probably hurts worse so I need to stop making excuses. George is a hero to me. No matter what set back there may be, he stands strong and faces it head on.
Last year he was there to count every single one of my 300 burpees. All spring he has asked me when am I doing my burpees. Well, George.. it’s time for the burpee donation day! Today! YES, TODAY!!! After you have read about my grandfather, about the people who have been touched by Our Clubhouse and now about George, it’s your turn to make a difference. From 8am to 8pm, for every dollar I raise, I will do 1 burpee. And let me tell you, George won’t let me do one less than what was given to me. If you really want to torture me, keep an eye out on my Facebook and Twitter pages for a “burpee happy hour” where you can get 2 burpees for every dollar. I think the only person happy about that one will be George. Here is my direct donation link. If you can’t donate on burpee day, please consider saving the link and donating when you can. EVERY little bit helps! (Note: Burpees will be done in April at a date TBD as I am working with Our Clubhouse to perform them there.)
And if you feel that you want to give more than just a donation, it’s also not too late to sign up as a charity runner! Sure, there are minimums to fundraising, but with the amount you’re paying for a registration right now, if you donated even a little of that back yourself, you are close to your goal. You have until May 31st to fundraise, so there is still plenty of time left! There is a lot of amazing charity runner information on the Pittsburgh Marathon site.
At the end of the day though, just keep in mind how a simple donation can help keep Our Clubhouse free for members like George.