Saturday, April 28, 2018 was a gorgeous day for the seventh annual Sarcoma Stomp, hosted by the Paula Takacs Foundation for Sarcoma Research. Their mission is to raise funds that will directly benefit the fight to end sarcoma, by supporting local, innovative research to develop and offer cutting-edge treatment options to more sarcoma sufferers.
So many cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families and friends were dressed in team colors – Team London, V4V (Victory 4 Virginia), The Tumornators, just to name a few. And in the middle of more than 1000 race participants was F3 and Speed For Need, providing locomotion for three young cancer fighters and Jamie, an inspiring survivor who beat sarcoma 36 years ago.
Pitino, Sir Topham Hat, and YHC had the privilege of driving Jamie, who was diagnosed with a rare form of Sarcoma at a young age and is one of the few who beat it and never looked back. She has been a part of the Sarcoma Stomp in the past but before today she had never participated in the race. Speed For Need made it possible for her to ride side-by-side with so many people impacted by Sarcoma and other cancers.
Then there was Mikayla, a young cancer fighter from Morganton, and her supporters, The Tumornators. Mikayla was laughing at Keith’s jokes for a while, but YHC noticed she was wearing iphone earbuds at one point during the race. Coincidence?
The positive electric energy radiating from Virginia Tanner and her V4V supporters, who came from Hickory to support her, was contagious. As a former cross-country runner, her being able to experience the thrill of a 5K with her friends and family was only surpassed by her determination to finish the race on her own 2 feet by pushing the racing chair across the line. Truly Inspiring.
Finally there was London, a 14 year old 7th grader at Carmel Middle. She planned to participate in the 3k walk with two of her schoolmates, but when she spotted a friend running the 5k, she quickly ordered Matlock to change course and start running the 5k course! The most special moment for the pax was seeing her face when she received her SFN medal. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to put it on. Later, she told Matlock that he deserved it more for doing all the pushing — she was so humble and thankful.
Inclusion is one of SFN’s primary missions. Last Saturday the men of F3 Nation answered a call to serve and came together to provide the means (the speed!) for these four ladies to participate in their race with their friends and family. It was a privilege to meet and run with these fighters who are engaged in the battle of their life, and to witness the love and support around them. I was proud to be a part of the SFN team today and I hope we inspired others to get in the fight to end cancer. Who pushes who?
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