This summer an amazing group of people will be running the Million Dollar Marathon to benefit Above and Beyond Cancer and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The group had already raised $350,000 and the number continue to grow! Michelle Flattery, currently the top fundraiser on the team shares her story:
My name is Michelle Flattery. I am 42 years old. I am a mother of three, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and yes one of the MANY cancer survivors. One of the many people touched by cancer in one of the many ways it can touch family lives. I choose to use it as a positive and build off of my turn in my road. I am using my cancer to stop others’ cancer from happening!
It was January 2010. I found out I had Large B Cell Lymphoma stage III. I was in good shape being a exercise instructor, runner, and triathlete. Luckily for me my body was built and ready to fight off the word we dreaded to hear…cancer. Cancer was a family friend we didn’t enjoy having in our family. It took my brother at the age of nine, two years before i was born. My mom fought breast cancer and has been in remission for over 20 years. Many more relatives and sadly friends…all ages. Cancer was not a stranger to us. The difference this time around—I was going to kick it strong. I wasn’t going to allow my husband to be a single dad. I wasn’t going to leave my son and two daughters without their mom. I wasn’t going to have my mom and dad lose another child to cancer. My brother and sister were not going to lose another sibling. I was going to show cancer we are stronger than it.
Running was my escape. When I heard of the million dollar run for cancer I knew this was meant to be. During treatments I ran and ran and ran. Right before treatments I just started to train for the Twin Cities marathon. My doctor, Dr.Prow, said to me, “Why can’t you train and run it? Yes you can.” I DID! She kept me going along with my family. I ran and finished the twin cities marathon seven weeks after my chemo and radiation treatments ended. What a celebration!
To run a marathon along with other cancer survivors means so much to me and best of all to raise money for cancer doing it. I felt running controlled my cancer and with each step I told the beast to leave my body and I am in control of my body. Once again I can use my running to take the beast away from others by raising this money to help others like me, those of us who are affected by cancer in so many ways.
During this extraordinary journey, the team will take more than l0,000,000 steps. Ten million steps to honor the past and inspire the future. Ten million steps toward a cure. You can help me raise the money needed. If running if not for you, you can walk or jog. If you would like to donate to my team to reach it’s goal, I would appreciate it along with so many others. I know I can reach the goal. My running helped me before. I kicked cancer’s butt and I’m here to prove it as a mother, wife, daughter, sibling, and friend. Let’s run cancer out of our lives!
To learn more about the team visit www.coasttocoastforcancer.org