The following is a Team LIVESTRONG story from New York Marathon participant, Alison Smith. Join Alison at the New York City Marathon in November. Can’t make it to NYC? There are many events you can take part in with Team LIVESTRONG. Go to www.teamlivestrong.org to learn more about our run, walk, ride and tri events.
Why did you join Team LIVESTRONG?
I am the Assistant Director for University Settlement at the Houston Street Center and LIVESTRONG’s Community Impact Project funds one of our programs, The Creative Center’s Hospital-In-Residence Program, which offers patients, at their bedsides and in small group settings, the opportunity to be absorbed in their own creative process, as an antidote to the pain, anxiety and boredom that is often associated with a hospitalization and a diagnosis of cancer.
The Creative Center’s Hospital-In-Residence Program brings comfort and even hope to people when they need it most. I truly understand the value of a program like this because my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when I was 4 years old and after living strong with the disease for 23 years, she unfortunately lost her battle (her fourth recurrence). The Creative Center’s staff personally supported me during this challenging time in my life. Their work enables people to find strength, inspiration and beauty when they least expect to, during life’s darkest moments.
I joined LIVESTRONG to pay tribute to all the champions who LIVESTRONG despite breast cancer especially my mentor and coworker, Robin Glazer, Director of The Creative Center at University Settlement and my Aunts: Mary Ellen Alessi and Susan Smith. My race is also dedicated to those who lost their battle with breast cancer, especially my mom Anne Smith and my Aunt/Godmother, Barbara Marsh. You LIVESTRONG in my heart.
What would you tell someone else if you were recommending that they join?
We all know someone with cancer who face their diagnosis with courage, strength and faith. If you are considering joining, think of that person and follow their lead.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
LIVESTRONG means using life’s challenges as a catalyst for inspiration.
What does the training, the event itself, and being a member of the team add to your life?
Training with LIVESTRONG is a way of honoring your own health while supporting those who are struggling with theirs. Training for LIVESTRONG reminds me that my health is a gift that should be celebrated. Being a member of the LIVESTRONG team is my way of saying “thank you” to those who’ve supported me and inspired me, especially The Creative Center, LIVESTRONG and my mom Anne Smith.