Last night I registered to run for Team Livestrong in the Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon next February. I'll again be fund raising to fight cancer and hope to raise $1000 this year. Last year I think I raised $940 so I would like to better that slightly. Any random reader who would like to donate can do so at this link. I'll do some e-mail, twitter, and Facebook publicity later in the year.
Now I'll tell the story of how I came to be registered and why I will be telling everyone that my race is sponsored by Jenny B.
I have an online friend named Jenny B. She is possibly the most selfless and altruistic person I've ever met (I haven't met her in person but we've texted, e-mailed, YiM'ed, and spoken on the phone so close enough). In the short time we've known each other she's donated blood or platelets repeatedly, gathered and then given away (including postage) 100 copies of a book to anyone who asked, shaved her head to support a friend who was going through chemotherapy, and fasted for 30 days so she could give the money she would have spent on food to feed the hungry. She also wanted the experience of true hunger. During her fast she would take food and walk the streets to meet people and ask about their experience of hunger and homelessness.
A few weeks ago she YiM'ed me and said that she has decided that she keeps giving and giving but never to her friends ("her peeps") so she wanted to ask me what she could do for me. I tried to blow her off saying that all she could do for me was to please donate to her local food bank. She said no go. She wanted to do something, give something genuinely to me. I said let me think about it. When I asked R, her idea was to ask her for maps for ChocolateSon. ChocolateSon loves transit maps and has a collection of them. When my brother was in Europe last year he started the tradition and brought ChocolateSon maps from Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, and more. I asked for people to send maps on my Facebook and people did. Well, Jenny B. travels so I asked her to send ChocolateSon transit maps from her travels. She agreed but said that it still wasn't enough. She wanted to do something for me. She kept suggesting paying one of my bills. I finally said that I felt really uncomfortable and felt like there are so many people who have greater needs than I do. That of course, got a very loving lecture from her on the need to be able to receive as well as to give graciously.
So obviously she would not be giving up on this. Well, I had seen a tweet from TeamLivestrong the other day that registration to join TeamLivestrong for the half or full marathon was only $20 for a few days (last year I paid $50 which was half the normal registration cost). I hadn't really decided that I wanted to run the half-marathon next year but it seemed like a great opportunity to take Jenny B. up on her generosity (and determination) so I asked if she would pay my registration for the race. She knows that I love running and she said yes. So last night I sent her all my registration info and she registered me for the race. I knew she had done it when I got an e-mail congratulating me for registering.
I love her generosity. I love her passion. And I love that I'm now registered with a chance to raise funds to fight Cancer.