Is a marathon on your list for 2014? Join Steve and the 550 Marathon Relay Team today!
- by Steve Cannon
In 2009, after months of contemplation and trepidation, I decided to run across my home state of Iowa. The event would cover 292 miles and average a marathon a day for 11 straight days. I wanted to attempt the run for two reasons: first, to see if I could do it, and second, to raise money while doing so. My aunt died of breast cancer when I was 12, and my grandmother from lung cancer more recently. Both were incredible women who touched my life more deeply than most. I was not sure what charity to choose as this was new territory for me.
My extensive research consisted of the following:
“That LIVESTRONG yellow bracelet thing is pretty cool. I think I’ll choose them.”
At the time, I believed I was choosing LIVESTRONG. I now know that was not the case. The universe placed LIVESTRONG in my path, and it would change the course of my life forever.
I completed that run and raised nearly $5,000. In 2012, I averaged a marathon a day for 40 days and became the first person to run around Lake Michigan, raising over $30,000. This past summer, I organized a 3700-mile marathon relay which crossed the United States in 42 days and raised over $500,000. We are now planning the 550 Relay, which will take place this summer. If successful, it will be the largest marathon relay ever—5 Days, 50 States, 550 runners. We invite you all to join us. We are currently accepting applications for the 11 chosen participants in each state. Our goal? $2.5 million dollars for cancer survivors and their families.
Why? Because the people I have met during this journey have taught me the value of a hug, the value of friends and family and that each moment is a gift to be treasured. Why? Because the day before embarking around Lake Michigan, scared out of my wits, I received a video from the entire LIVESTRONG staff sending me their love, gratitude and well wishes. Why? Because last summer it was MY sister who heard those words, “you have cancer,” and she is cancer-free today because of the work LIVESTRONG does. Why? Because running to help others has changed me, and I want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take that journey as well. The 550 Relay does that very thing.