Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

Please Join me in Team Hope for Carrie

Posted by msdon9 on September 14, 2010

In the past few months it has dawned on me that cancer is a disease that certainly does not discriminate. It affects the old as well as the young, the rich as well as the poor, and those that are careless with their health and well-being as well as those who take preventative measures to protect themselves. At the same time, I’ve come into contact with many people my age and younger who have successfully battled cancer and won! Tonight I’d like to share a story with you about a very special woman who needs our support and prayers so that she can fight back against the brain tumor that has turned her life upside down.

As many of you know, I made lifelong friends during my four years as a student at Syracuse University. These friends have been there for me in my struggles with my own health issues. My friend Kevin Pierce is no exception! He was one of the first people to offer his support as I began to raise money for Team Challenge. Within this past year, my friend Kevin  and his wife Carrie welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby boy, into their family. Just a few short months after that, Carrie was diagnosed with a slow growing brain tumor called a Fibrillary Astrocytoma. Carrie is now undergoing a clinical vaccination trial at UPMC in Pittsburgh for her tumor in the hopes that it will shrink or – at the very least – stop growing. The process has been long and painful for Carrie, and the frequent traveling from Syracuse to Pittsburgh has been tough for this young family. Regarding his the strength and courage of his wife, Kevin says, “I’ve watched her change in many ways both good and bad since the diagnosis and the birth of our son.” In addition to being a brand new mom, Carrie is a 7th grade science teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Syracuse, NY.

Kevin and Carrie with their son, Caleb

The Smithtown community recently lost a beloved teacher who faced many of the same struggles that Carrie is facing now. Pat Harmon was a physical education and football and track coach who lost his battle to brain cancer earlier this year. In his memory, some of his former athletes organized the inaugural 5k Run/Walk for Pat Harmon, which will be taking place in Smithtown on October 10th at 9am. Registration can be conducted online by visiting the Active.com race registration site, or you can register on the day of the race.

I’ve decided to run the Pat Harmon 5k in honor and support of Carrie, and it is my hopes that I can convince some of my friends to do it with me as members of Team Hope for Carrie! Anyone who registers to walk or run this 5k with me will be helping the American Cancer Society raise much needed funds for brain cancer research. As well, for each friend that joins this race with me, I will make a personal donation to the American Brain Tumor Association in Carrie’s honor. A token of my thanks to you will be one of these schazzy wristbands that you may wish to wear on the day of the race:

Won’t you join me to raise money for this very important cause?

To learn more about Carrie, Kevin, and their family, please visit the Facebook Fan Page Hope for Carrie Dischiave and click “like.”

If you decided to join my team, please send me an e-mail at mdonnelly@smithtown.k12.ny.us with your registration confirmation. If you’ve never run a 5k before and are interested in some basic distance running tips, I can help you with that! You are also welcome to walk the 5k (which is 3.1 miles… not too bad)!

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