Jamie’s 5K Challenge: Honoring All Those We Love Who have Battled

June 6, 2011

Like many Americans, I often fail to appreciate the true meaning behind Memorial Day. In our excitement to have a paid day off from work, a three-day weekend full of family and friends, barbeque and beer, we tend to gloss over the somber gravity and reason for the holiday.

My grandfather proudly served in the United States Army and did a tour of duty during the Korean War. As I reflected upon his service and his life, something deeply profound hit me.  He came home from war a survivor, not knowing that it would be a different kind of battle that would ultimately take his life. After several years in remission from prostate cancer, he eventually succumbed to bone cancer in 2001.

The “c word” strikes fear into the hearts of many, and I am no different.  I hate the word, the disease, the pain and devastation it causes and I want it eradicated.  Cancer has claimed not only the life of three of my grandparents, but also the lives of so many friends, including my very best friend, my 17-year old sister, Sara.  Last September was the 10 year anniversary of Sara’s death.  In her honor I ran the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 5K for the first time.  I am proud to say that “Team Sara” received the top team fundraising award and raised more than $3,300 for cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach.  Cancer may have won a few battles, but I am determined it will not win the war.

Although my first attempt at the 5K last year was quite successful, I am not finished – not by a long shot. This year, with the help of some friends, “Team Celebrate” will be honoring and celebrating the lives of all those we love that have been touched by cancer.  We will be participating in the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 5K on September 24. Some members of “Team Celebrate” will run the 5K, others will walk, and a few will be cheering all participants on to make it to the finish line – our single purpose: raise vital funds for one of the most noteworthy causes I have ever known. Our team goal is to raise an additional $5,000 for cancer prevention efforts so that not one more person we love will ever need to battle this terrible disease.

Over the next several months I will be regaling you with stories of “Team Celebrate”, highlighting the people behind the mission, our accomplishments, successes and even our failures. We know that we are not alone in our desire to win the war against cancer so we hope that you in turn, will share your experiences with us.

Is there a loved one you wish to remember, honor, and celebrate?  Will you join me, “Team Celebrate”, and the Prevent Cancer Foundation to stop cancer before it starts?  For more information about the Prevent Cancer Foundation 5K, or to register, create and/or join a team please visit www.preventcancer5k.org.

We want to hear from you too. Let me know if you are going to participate in this year’s 5K and why you are running or walking? I will keep you posted on Team Celebrate’s progress and you do the same!

23 thoughts on “Jamie’s 5K Challenge: Honoring All Those We Love Who have Battled”

  1. Amy Strege says:

    I will be contributing as a member of Team Celebrate! Though I cannot be there physically, I am working on my own health goals and will be praying for God to bless every step of every runner/walker/contributer on that day. I do in celebration of all of those who have passed, but especially on behalf of Sara Cooper and Victoria Ludwigson. I do it to honor the survivors and those actively battling cancer daily. I do it to honor those who toil endlessly in support of those suffering, like you, Jamie. I wish I could be there, more than anything. But you will be in my heart, all of you participating in any way.

    1. jamie says:

      Amy, thank you for your contribution to Team Celebrate! You certainly don’t have to be present to participate and can join us as a “virtual walker.” This option is open to everyone and we hope many will take advantage of this unique way to participate! Thanks for sharing with us who you are a honoring and why. I hope others will feel welcome to comment and share their experiences as well. Thanks again!

  2. Mary says:

    Proud of you, Super Duper Jamie Cooper…you can count on Dan and me to support you again this year!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, MCD and Dan-O too! Your support continues to help fund vital cancer prevention research, education and outreach programming!

  3. Whitney says:

    I am so proud of you for everything that you have done. You are one of the strongest women that I know and I look up to you more than you will ever know. You have been a fantastic role model to me and I know that you will be a great role model to Barrett as well. Go Jamie!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, my favorite “little” cousin. I want a cancer-free world for Barrett and all our loved ones! I hope others join our cancer prevention and early detection cause!

  4. Bwoww says:

    Wishing you all the best. I’ll be cheering you and Team Celebrate on! 🙂

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, Bwoww! We all have a stake in cancer prevention and a responsibility to do what we can! Thank you for your support!

  5. Jennie says:

    Jamie…what amazing things you are doing here. As a friend I am proud. I can only imagine what a proud grandfather you have and I know Sara is cheering you on from heaven. So often when I hear wind chimes I think of her!

    Good Luck Jamie!!!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jennie! I appreciate it so much. Together we can make our 5K goal; together we will eradicate cancer!

  6. Jason Canterbury says:

    This is a great thing for you to be doing Jamie! Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help. Losing Dad in December to B cell lymphoma was such a heart rending experience and I would like to do whatever possible to make sure that some other person doesn’t have to go through what my family and I did. Your an amazing woman Jamie, congrats!

    1. jamie says:

      Jason, I’d love for you to join Team Celebrate either as a “virtual walker” or actually come to DC for the event on September 24. We want to honor all those we love affected by cancer. Or if you have interest you could form a team of your own in memory of your dad! For more information and registration details go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation 5K website. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Laci says:

    Can’t wait to see our team at #1!!!

    Love You!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, Laci! I hope other individuals and teams will join us to stop cancer before it starts. If we all do what we can with what we are given we can make it a reality!

  8. Trent says:

    Great blog! Joining now. Count me in!!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks for registering and donating, Coach! I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you!

  9. Greg says:

    Very noble of you and your team Jamie. I know how dedicated you are to this cause. Best of luck to Team Celebrate!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, G. I hope others will be inspired to join Team Celebrate and create teams in honor/memory of their loved ones too! 🙂

  10. Cynthia says:

    Great Job dear! I am so proud of everything you do! Cancer touches the lives of so many people anymore! Just found out another friends father was diagnosed today. It warms my heart so much to see the wonderful things you do in trying to win the war on cancer! God bless sweety! Keep up the good work!

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, Cynthia! Your support and comments mean a lot!

  11. Cindy says:

    I think its great that you’re doing this, good luck! 🙂

    1. jamie says:

      Thanks, Cindy! I appreciate all of the well wishes!

  12. Cynthia says:

    I really wish I could run sweety but I have so much nerve damage in my right side that after a walk to get the kids at the busstop Im done :(! Spreading the word dear! Hope it gets you lots of comments and support!

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