Today’s guest post is from Kaity, at Twenty-Five Thousand, One Hundred Fifty-One, who is encouraging you to accept the challenge to run the Monument Ave. 10K race!

It was 2007.  I was lacing up my sneakers for my 2nd Ukrops Monument Avenue 10k.  I had never been much of a runner, but I had surprised myself and completed the race the year before.  And I was excited to do it again.  But for a different reason.  This time, I had accepted the Massey Challenge, and had raised money to support the research being done at VCU Massey Cancer Center.  I was excited to celebrate the generosity of my friends and family, our contribution to the fight against cancer, and the fact that I could run.

Massey 2

See, just five years earlier, instead of my running, there were tests being run on me.  Tests to stage the cancer they had found in my 23-year-old body.  I was diagnosed by the people at Massey with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and was successfully treated there with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  In 2007, I accepted the Challenge to say thank you to the researchers and physicians and staff who made my remission possible.  To do my small part to help them continue to make progress toward a cure.

Its 7 years later.  I am training for my seventh Monument Avenue 10k as part of the HDL, Inc. Massey Challenge.  My viewpoint is a bit different now.  As a 10 year survivor, my fight with Hodgkins feels a bit more distant in the past.  But just a bit over 2 years ago we made a new discovery.  The genetic counseling team at Massey discovered that I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation – also known as the breast and ovarian cancer gene.  With this new-found knowledge that my cancer risk was much higher than we previously believed, I now run not only accept the Challenge out of thanks.  I also do it out of hope for the future – and a cure I may very likely need.

And as I run along so many bright yellow jerseys this year, along so many other “SURVIVOR” bibs, along so many other folks with stories, I will be filled with gratitude that each year so many other residents of RVA join me in accepting the Challenge.

Massey 1

How can you join the fight?

Head over to Run for Massey to accept the Challenge yourself.  Join as an individual or as a team.

Visit Twenty-Five Thousand, One Hundred Fifty-One to find out what the Challenge is up to, or to keep up with my own fundraising shenanigans.

Encourage your non-runner or walker family and friends – or your non-runner or walker self – to come out to the Massey Mile – between mile markers 3 and 4 – on race day.  Join us in honoring those who have fought and to celebrate the progress being made each and every day at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

29% of Massey’s funding comes from private philanthropy.   YOU are the other half of the equation in the cure.

Together we can advance the fight against cancer.

Join us.  Massey can’t run without you.