Maybe one day I will stay up to date with my blog but until then… Here are days 12-21!
DAY 12: TOM
Today I ran for Tom a lady at St. Bernard (my church at home’s) husband. She was one of the few donors who requested I dedicate a day to her loved ones. I do not know a ton about Tom’s story. My running partner today was Kassie. As I was struggling to breath in the hilly, high altitude, she helped me to relax my breathing. She was a fun running partner and kept me laughing. She even ran a leg (2 miles) right after eating a McChicken. Pretty impressive, right (continue reading to see what else she run after shortly eating). We ran to Idaho Falls that evening.
DAY 13: ANGELA
Today my team and I ran for Angela. Angela is my teammate Hannahs’s roommate. She was recently told that her chemotherapy is no longer working and that they must find alternative treatment. Angela and Hannah are both strong women. From this day forward I will have Angela written on my forearm and will run for her everyday this summer. My running partner today was Graham aka Grandma. He is the tallest person on the team and boy does he have some long legs. Grandma made the run entertaining from his beautiful singing to attempting to pet cows with me. We could not arrive at the host until 5:00 so we stopped at a local farmers market in Wydaho. This is where the rocky moutains separate Wyoming and Idaho. The people there were so sweet. They donated home made bread and honey to my team. We also pet baby goats! Graham and I ran into Wyoming together on our last leg!! This is the second state border that I have been lucky enough to run across. We ended our day in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The most beautiful little mountain town located near the Grand Teton Mountains.
DAY 14: OFF DAY
We woke up at 7am to explore the Grand Teton Mountains. I experienced some of the most breath-taking views in my life. After searching a few hours for a trail, we finally landed upon a hike to Phelps Lake. We walked a mile to the lake, where we took in the view. When the rest of our group arrived, we walked to a 20ft cliffing jumping rock. I was incredibly nervous to jump, but was determined to do so. My friend, Graham, said that he would jump with me (he was just as nervous as me). We moved to the edge, counted to three, and plunged into ice cold water with the mountains surrounding us. It was an amazing experience, but one time was good enough for me. We hiked back to the car and returned to the town, Jackson Hole, for dinner and shopping. We ended the evening by eating some of the town’s best ice cream, it was a well spent off day with all of my awesome teammates.
DAY 15: JOHNNIE
While in Jackson Hole, Wyoming my teammate Katherine met a man named Johnnie. Johnnie did not have cancer, but was struggling to get his life together. He told Katherine his story and she shared hers with him. Johnnie is a homeless man who would love to do what we are doing, but does not have the means to do so. He wants to help others. We do not only run for cancer survivors, but we run for those who can’t. So today I dedicate my miles to Johnnie. Ironically, I also spent the day running with Katherine. Katherine is one of our directors and a unique spirit. She is one of the first people I met on this trip. I love her passion to help others and her desire to personally know everyone’s story. She is a special person. Today was easily our longest day of the summer. Katherine pushed me to run my fastest leg on this trip so far! She made it a wonderful, fun loving day.
DAY 16: SHANNON
Shannon is my teammate Jen’s friend. Today she would have been 26 years old. We ran for Shannon and Jen’s grandpa. Today I ran with Jean. I originally met Jean because she was having issues with her shins. It has become our bonding time. Even though we did not talk much today as we struggled up hills, Jean is someone I know I can always count on. She has such a generous soul. She is stubborn, just like me, and extremely determined. We finished our mileage for the day and took our friend Jen out for ice cream (her fourth day in a row). This was a tradition that Jen and her father started when Shannon passed away. We wanted to help her carry it on.
DAY 17: WILSON
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! Today we spent our day running into Laramie, Wyoming. Today I ran for Sarah’s grandpa who passed away before she was born. He was in WWII and loved America which is why today was dedicated to him. I had the pleasure of running with my teammate Sarah on this day. Sarah is from Virginia and she is running for her grandpa and aunt who both passed away from cancer. We spent the day talking about country music and found a license plate along the way. On this day we ran through the mountains and a national park. The views were breathtaking. I have never been this close to the mountains. We ended the day with an alcoholic beverage at a local bar. We received food donations and wandered around the town square. Some people stayed up to watch fireworks, but that was passed my bed time.
DAY 18: ANA ESTELLA
Today we ran from Laramie, Wyoming to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. We crossed another state line today as a team. WAHOO! Nebraska is the state we are in for the longest period of time. I ran with my teammate PD. PD is from Baltimore, Maryland and she LOVES animals. She is a nursing major and is passionate about what she does. Today we ran for my teammate’s aunt Ana Estella. While running into Nebraska we saw the Scottsbluff Monument. We arrived at our host which was a community center that provided us with a full kitchen, gym, and tumbling room. For the first time in an extremely long time we had a homemade meal. We made burgers and they were delicious.
DAY 19: OFF DAY
Today we had an off day in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and I made it my goal to relax and do absolutely nothing. I spent my day at the café and library applying to JCTC to finish up classes while using the free wifi. We ended the evening with ice baths.
DAY 20: JEREMY POPE & AJ
Jeremy Pope participated in the 4k for cancer Portland bike ride in 2016. Two days ago he was hit on his bike while he was riding down the road and died on impact. We wanted to reach out to his family and let them know that all the 4k teams are supporting them during these tough times. Today we are also running for my teammate Zach’s friend AJ. AJ was a college athlete who was diagnosed with cancer. Ironically, he was an athletic training major (which is what I am). AJ walked onto the football team at Salisbury College. He passed away before graduating. We run for those who can’t.
Today I ran with Jordan who is from Texas. We were evenly paced and
had a great day running together. We ran into Mullen, Nebraska. I am slowly realizing that Nebraska is the state of corn, cows, and trains because that is just about all that I seen in this State so far.
DAY 21: DAVID THIEMS
Today I ran for my friend Shelby’s dad. David was diagnosed with colon cancer a few weeks before we took our BOC. I asked Shelby if she would share his story with you all:
“ David Thiems was diagnosed with Colon Cancer on March 16th, 2017. He developed a tumor in his large intestine which caused a blockage and lead to the doctors finding his cancer. He was staged a few days before Easter and has decided to keep his stage private so that he can focus on defeating the cancer. He has a loving wife and 2 children that just graduated from college. He is currently halfway through his chemo sessions and is fighting hard. He just received the amazing news that he has gotten his cancer cell count down to 40! The doctors are amazed at how well he has taken the chemo and we hope that he continues to kick cancer’s butt! He is extremely humbled that Andrea has chosen to run for him this summer, he sends his love and hopes to continue to drop his cancer count as fast as Andrea runs her miles!”
Today I ran with Jamie from Mullen to Broken Bow, Nebraska. It was a fairly short day of running with my partner Jamie. Jamie is running this summer for her dad who is now cancer free. Jamie is a wonderful person inside and out. Each of my teammates has a story and I can’t wait to hear them all.