Through my connections with the many walkers I meet, I do "occasionally" meet runners. There is one runner I don't know as well as her fast-walking husband, but from what I do know, she is pretty amazing. Her name is Andrea Applegate.
When I've been around Andrea, she has been up beat and enthusiastic. The positive vibes she projects are contagious. Even through Twitter, she has encouraged me when I've been down about my training.
Andrea is also a member of one of those statistics none of us ever expects to be included in. She was diagnosed with breast cancer while in her 30s. I don't have the exact numbers, but most of us know that the typical woman diagnosed with breast cancer is usually much older. Andrea was diagnosed 9 years ago.
This week Andrea talked frankly about her cancer fight in a local TV interview. She said that she hit the cancer "trifecta:" mastectomies, chemo and radiation. If I hadn't been told, I would never guess that this vibrant, athletic person could have ever been that sick.
Now, in the best shape of her life, Andrea is fulfilling a life-long dream by training to run the Boston Marathon. At the same time, she is raising money on behalf of the Young Survival Coalition. "The YSC provides much needed support, programming and advocacy for young women with breast cancer because, yes, young women DO get breast cancer," she says on her fundraising page.
This blog post does not adequately express the inspiration I feel from Andrea. Despite my writing inadequacies, I'd like to encourage everyone to help support her fundraising efforts. She needs to raise $2,500 to secure a spot in the marathon, but wouldn't it be great if she raised even more? And unlike other charity fundraisers, 100% of the contributions raised go to the YSC!
It's a great cause for an amazing person!
Andrea's fundraising page: http://www.active.com/donate/run4survivalboston09/AndreaApplegate
To learn more about the Young Survival Coalition visit their web site at: http://www.youngsurvival.org/about-ysc/
Follow Andrea on Twitter: @AndreaApplegate