Chris Sharland is a grassroots fundraiser from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. To him, LIVESTRONG means, ” a lifestyle: living with strength each and every day in every way one can. Understanding that each of us is flawed, but remembering that each of us is presented with choices and opportunities to better ourselves every day. I believe we should be finding strength in the goodness in everyone. Strength in family & friends, strength in health and fitness, strength in work & charity, strength in knowledge and unity, strength in acceptance and empowerment, and strength in caring and empathy. To me, living strong is a lifestyle choice and one that I strive for daily.”
Here is his story:
About 5 1/2 short months ago, my life took an abrupt turn on me, sending me down a new road of uncertainty and fear. My wife thought I was a little over sensitive and that my one testicle appeared to be enlarged slightly, I brushed it off as regular guy stuff at the time, but the following day noticed the slight enlargement that I hadn’t before, so I decided to make an appointment with my family doctor. A day later I was sitting in the examination room with the doctor who had just finished what seemed to be a very short exam, and I heard the words that would change me forever: Chris, you have Cancer.
While educating myself and researching my disease, I became very interested in LIVESTRONG as they committed to improving the lives of those affected by cancer worldwide. I visited the testimonials on LIVESTRONG.org of others who have similar diagnosis, and found them to be extremely informative, helpful, and inspiring. They helped me focus on the fight while empowering me knowing that so many have walked the same path before me. I also have used the website to help plan healthy habits (diet and fitness) leading up to and after my surgeries.
In addition, I have found much strength and inspiration in the relationship I have formed with those in the LIVESTRONG Grassroots Fundraising program, getting involved with this initiative has provided me with focus, empowerment, and a renewed belief that we can all make a difference. I subsequently submitted a plan to LIVESTRONG and received approval to host a grassroots fundraising event. I thought about PAIN and FEAR and then about the process of commitment it takes to overcome it. A lot of people think of a marathon the same way, the pain in training hours and hours, the fear of the length of the run, and the true commitment it takes to have to overcome your pain and fear to accomplish the goal. So a marathon it would be.
I believe we need to take a personal interest in helping those who deal with this disease in any way we can. By supporting LIVESTRONG globally and the Canadian Cancer Society nationally, I am putting together a team of 50 participants to take part in the Ottawa Marathon on May 26-27 2012. Considered to be Canada’s premiere race weekend, the Ottawa Marathon began in 1975 and is the largest marathon in Canada. Each of the 50 Team participants has a goal of raising $1,000 to benefit LIVESTRONG globally with additional funds raised to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.