My name is Jessica and I am running for a cause.  I am a 25 year old, overweight, always too busy/overbooked, 9-5 working woman who wants to help end cancer.

Jessica Cohen runs for a cure

In trying to figure out how to make that a reality, I realized med school probably isn’t for me (the whole natural body functions thing pretty much grosses me out), and I certainly do not have the money to donate large funds for the research of cures for cancer.

Ok, well I still had a dilemma then because I wanted to do something for the greater good.  I’d volunteered with Stand Out Youth in Savannah (mad props to the youth and volunteers in Savannah!) as well as Youth Pride here in Atlanta, and while I fully enjoyed/enjoy those experiences, I needed a change.

Then I heard it – the radio Commercial for Team in Training: “If crossing the finish line after running or walking 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles, cycling 100 miles, completing a triathlon or hiking adventure while helping cure deadly diseases are things you’ve always wanted to accomplish, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training ® will make them happen.”

Well shoot!  I could raise money to help others figure out that whole cancer cure thing, hang out with other people, AND maybe lose some weight while I was at it?  Hell yeah!  Sign me up!

So I did sign up.  And I began running.  And I began feeling used to feeling like my lungs were going to burn out of my chest.  And at the bottom of each hill, I remembered my Grandmother had gone through chemotherapy 5 years ago for breast cancer so I sure as hell could make it up.  And then I completed my first 10K without stopping and the thought of running 12 miles in a couple of weeks was no longer scary.  And even more importantly, the thought of completing a full 26.2 for the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon seemed like it was actually within reach.

And of course I began to raise funds by setting up my webpage and telling all my friends and participating in Team in Training fund raisers to reach my personal goal of $4,000 – a donation I hoped to get to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by my marathon in June.    And I asked some local businesses for help (shout out to Art of Touch Massage in Midtown <Atlanta> and Corner Pizza on Johnson Ferry Rd!).  And I sent out letters.  And some checks have floated in and my little Facebook widget has moved just above a thousand dollars and for all of that, I am incredibly grateful.  But I am nowhere near my goal and I have just a couple more months to get there.

So this is where GA Voice comes in and where you, the readers, come in.  I urge you, no, I admit, I beg you, to check out the Leukemia and Lymphoma web page for more information.  Then please look at my fund raising web page and make a donation.  Every 5 dollars counts.  Every donation is 100% tax deductible.  Every cent you give can help improve the life of someone struggling to survive cancer and improve research.  For those curious, no less than 75% of your donation goes directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and no more than 25% goes towards the overhead of such a large fund raising organization.

I want a world where future generations don’t have to say “my grandmother went through chemotherapy 5 years ago.”  I want you to help me help others reach that future.  I want the LGBT community to join me in eradicating cancer.  I would love LGBT business owners to support me in my goal either through spreading the word, sponsoring, or donating to this cause.  I desire to see changes made in my lifetime that will change the lives of others for years and years to come.

So please, take a moment and click on over to these web pages; consider any donation possible.

Thank you.

www.lls.org (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)
www.tinyurl.com/jessicaruns (My fundraising web site.)
www.stardust-jess.blogspot.com (My running blog talking about my progress.)

Photo courtesy Jessica Cohen


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