My Campaign: Running for Answers

Please donate at: http://www.active.com/donate/sera_dtrf

Mind is everything. Muscle – pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind. ~Paavo Nurmi

After spending the better half of 2009 battling back from the removal of a des moid tumor in my abdomen I am ready to take on a new, more exciting feat – running the Philadelphia Distance Run in September 2009 . Over the last 5 years running has become a major passion in my life. It provides me time to reflect on my day, work through challenges I may be going through in my life and it also grants me a great deal of pride just to know that even when I am feeling tired, sore or lethargic I can push through and run that next mile. The sense of accomplishment I get from running is greater than I have ever had in my life. This is why it is so important for me to find my pace and finish this half marathon after the most difficult eight months of my life.

I was diagnosed with a desmoid tumor in November 2008. After a series of tests, doctor’s appointments and a lot endless days searching theinternet, library and reference books, I realized there was not a lot known about this rare tumor, and consequently, there were not a lot of options of dealing with it. Due to the aggressiveness of the tumor it was imperative that I had it removed from my abdominal wall as well as 5 cm margins of my abdominal muscle to be sure all traces were gone. To say that this surgery and the pain following it was extremely traumatic for me is an understatement. Losing a part of your abdominal muscles (or any muscle for that fact), I have learned is a very painful, scary, frustrating process. After months of fighting through the rehab and recovery I still endure the pain that this surgery left me with, but I vow to work through this and be stronger.

I am running this race in part as a phase of my healing process, of getting my life and stride back and proving to myself that I can do this and in part to support and raise awareness for others in thedesmoid community that continue to battle these tumors. The recurrence rate is high for desmoidsand unfortunately many have been fighting recurrences for years, trying surgery, radiation, chemo and multiple medications to eliminate these terrible masses. We need more answers, we need more research, we need more awareness fordesmoid tumors. The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation is devoted solely to the advancement of research for the desmoidcommunity. It became a lifeline of information for me and my family over the past few months and one of the only places we were able to find answers to our questions, fears and concerns.

As I embark on the difficult (yet very exciting) task of getting back in shape for this half marathon, 3 abdominal muscles short, thanks to my surgery, I ask for your support by donating to the Desmoid Research Tumor Foundation on my behalf. Please join my fight for answers, for information and for health.

Find more information about Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation at: http://www.dtrf.org

Thank you for your generous donations and support of my health and my future.

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