When I first joined Team in Training in 2013, it was for a few reasons. I wanted to get my body back into some semblance of fighting shape after cancer tried to destroy it. I wanted to give back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for supporting me and other patients like myself. I wanted to feel like I was doing something good. I wanted to be myself again. I wanted to see new parts of America.
After Donald Trump was declared President Elect last night — which has left me in a state of shock, panic, and anger that I still can’t fathom, in addition to shame for so many Americans who truly believe a bigoted demagogue who comes from more money most of us can fathom yet has run his own companies into bankruptcy, spews lies, has no policy or knowledge, and supports racism and sexism can run this country better than a woman’s entire life has been shaped and destined for the highest office in this country — I’ve realized that I have even more reasons to run now.
I have a deep-seated fear of what this election result will do for not just women with current or past illnesses, but all people in the LGBGQ community, minorities, and with disabilities. By choosing to run in New Orleans, I can’t do anything for us in effecting policy, but what I can do is keep up the feeling of hope, the idea that we do have the ability to make change and be our best selves, even as we come to terms with the fact that we are truly a divided country content with reversing Barack Obama’s progress and all of the social change that’s been made over the last sixty years.
I have always run because I believe in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I hold steadfast to the belief that the world will be a better place if there is no more cancer. I want to raise money for research, because while I believe that prevention is important, finding a cure for ALL cancers is even better. It’s what we need.
I don’t wish what I went through in chemotherapy and radiation on anyone. I don’t wish for the post-illness PTSD I still live with and struggle with every day on anyone. I don’t wish to have the conversations about how to act around someone with cancer one more time. I am more sad today than the day I was told I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; I have a sadness and fear in my bones that I’ve never felt before.
So, more than ever, I run for me. I run my fellow cancer survivors. I run for the patients who did not survive. I run for a cure. I run because if we can keep raising money for good causes, we’ll still have something to believe in, and, hopefully, we will make a change, no matter how small.
This is my cause, and I hope can find it in your heart to support me and other cancer survivors and patients, whether that be financially or mentally, because we all need a little help and a hug today.
If you’d like more information on Team in Training, my run specifically, or to donate, please visit my fundraising page here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/mardigra17/EKrauser.