At my pre-wedding ladies brunch back in May in North Carolina, I was surrounded by loving family, friends, and neighbors. I was touched at how many people came to Lumberton for the wedding - even most of my mom's big family, including her best-friend-sister, my beautiful Aunt Jenny. Aunt Jenny came to the brunch with all the other women, but she looked like she was in pain.She wrinkled her brow as she looked at me and said "you look beautiful, honey." I could see that her eyes were a combination of glassy and glossy from pain and perhaps tears. I asked her if she was okay and she said she wasn't feeling good, that she had a terrible headache.The headaches she experienced that wedding weekend were the first of a series of telling headaches that eventually led to a diagnosis of stage IV Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most aggressive and malignant type of brain tumor. Currently, there is no cure.
This is a "worst nightmare" sort of situation for Aunt Jenny, her husband Ray, her children Charlie, Ethan, Timothy, Grace, and Joe, and all of those who love her. Yet she and her family are handling it with the knowledge of being loved that is the only way they can find grace for each moment.My mom, Maria Parker, happens to be a world record holding cyclist, and she has a HUGE new goal.She's going to raise one million dollars for brain cancer research. Before you balk, I should tell you that my mom's world records are in ultra-distance cycling. She holds the women's world record for biking the most miles in 24 hours. She does not give up and she has stamina and persistence.
I love my mom so much, and she inspires me with her passion, her warmth, her loud laugh, and her kindness. In addition to being an endurance athlete, she is a counselor and Life Coach. If you met her, you'd probably tell her all of your problems, she'd give you some down-to-earth advice, and you'd feel totally loved. She seems to radiate pure love, and as someone who knows her very well, I can tell you that's the real her. It's authentic love all the way down. She's a leader worth following on this long path to raise a million dollars for brain cancer research.
She's going to raise this money via a very Packing Lust worthy event: a Race Across America. Yes, she's going to cycle across the entire U.S.A. in June 2013. I'm going to crew, so I'll make sure you know all about it as we travel from state to state, following my mom on her bicycle.Remember how I said there's no cure? It's true. Aunt Jenny will leave this life and go on to the next unless God steps in. Another word for God? The best part of you. The Love part. God is Love, and with the love in each of us, we can do this. We can change the outcome for future brain cancer victims by sharing the story of Jenny and Maria, and funding brain cancer research. If 200,000 people give only $5 each, we'll meet our goal.Would you be willing to give $5 to brain cancer research today?And if you like this challenge, "like" it on Facebook.
With huge warm thanks,