I am a medical student at Des Moines University, a future care provider, eager to see how far we will come in reducing cancer’s devastating impact on our world during my lifetime.
It isn’t every day you have the chance to be part of something truly extraordinary. I am honored to take part in this event alongside survivors and other supporters, united by the common goal of combating cancer. My position as a third year med student has allowed me to be present as several individuals’ lives were changed by a cancer diagnosis. In those moments I felt helpless, yet inspired by the courage with which this news was received.
I don’t want to feel helpless anymore. The opportunity to step up and contribute to this fight was one I couldn’t pass up. In the short term, I will run and raise money and awareness for cancer. In the long term it is my goal to become a physician who does more than diagnosing and treating illness; I hope to be one who will fight on behalf of my future patients and walk alongside them on their journey towards health and healing.
For the past seven years I have been running for myself, targeting new distances and PRs for my own personal satisfaction. What a blessing it is to be able to take an activity that has given me so much and put it to use for a greater purpose. I now run to honor those known and unknown to me who have fought this fight. For those near and dear to me who have or will someday face this battle, whose strength, which far outweighs my own, will carry me across the miles.
Life’s hurdles come in many shapes and forms, but each of them has something to teach us. Hardship is part of our human existence, but it forces us to grow stronger and instills in us a greater appreciation for the gift of each new day. We are brought together in our efforts to triumph over our common struggles and in doing so we learn that life is worth fighting for. In this endeavor, we fight for life, for hope, for a better, cancer-free tomorrow. For those who have come before us, let us carry their legacy; for those who will come after us, let us leave our own.
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