Have you ever had someone do something amazing for you when you know deep in your heart you don’t really deserve it? Monday April 17th is the 121st time the Boston Marathon will be held. It will be the 4th Boston Marathon for my friend Debbie Stemmerman.
Debbie is well known in our little town as an avid runner. There aren’t too many non rainy days, if one gets up early enough, that you can’t see her running through town while the rest of the citizens sleep. Debbie’s kids have all graduated high school but she is still out on the track coaching kids, raising up the next generation of runners.
Besides runner, mom, coach, wife, daughter and friend there is something else Debbie is well known for, her tireless efforts to use running to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
Cancer has affected just about all of us in one form or another. For Debbie she has lost a very dear friend and a nephew to this horrible disease. When I was diagnosed both her friend and her nephew were still living. I didn’t see her a lot during treatment mostly because I was not out in public very much. While some live their cancer loud and proud, I just wanted to be home with my family and get through it as best I could.
I have relayed this story many times and I choke up every single time…
I was pulling into Fred Meyer one day during my season of chemo treatments when I received a text from Debbie. I hadn’t seen her since I had been diagnosed because of my whole hiding out thing. Her text read…
“I took you on my run this morning…Thank you for helping me along the way you were in my thoughts for 17 miles… It was a beautiful morning thank you for being There if only in spirit you were a ton of help😘“
It still makes me cry because I so needed to hear that I wasn’t alone and to know people were thinking of me even if I couldn’t bear to show my face.
Well as if that wasn’t enough Miss Debbie texted me a few months back and asked me if it would be alright to add my name to her running shirt on race day as a way to honor me and how far I have come. Race Day! Not just any race. The Boston Marathon!!
There are countless cancer survivors who have fought harder and been much braver than me so I struggle a bit with being honored in such a way. I am not all that brave or strong. There were a lot of moments during my cancer season when I wish I had been stronger and better able to hold myself together. As far as treatment goes, I did what any other person facing cancer does and by the grace of God I survived.
Debbie has taken her life’s passion… running, and uses it as a tool to make a difference. She has a sponsor page where she takes donations for cancer research, she stays intricately involved with those who are fighting the battle and she champions the memories of those who are no longer with us.
I pay attention to the Boston Marathon every year because I enjoy running but I will always remember the 121st race in 2017 because it’s the year that I was placed right above Debbie’s heart.
Run like the wind Debbie! I love you!
Do something for someone today to show them you care. A simple text to a friend or honoring them in some special way when they are in a hard spot can make more of a difference than you will ever know…
Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!