I am a sitter, a sleeper, and an accomplished TV watcher, but I am certainly not a runner.
I am a lazy bum who, despite all the evidence to the contrary, really likes to run. I could easily and happily spend the rest of my days sitting on my butt, shoving popcorn into my face, and watching whatever Netflix suggests I would like. But several years ago, a friend was diagnosed with cancer. He asked our little gang of friends to run in a charity 10K, and I figured I’d give it a try. I liked it, and I’ve kept running. Every June, I take part in that same charity event — running for my friend who isn’t here to run with us anymore.
Shortly after that first charity run, I met Marie-Eve Chainey — the president of Alive to Strive. I was working at a radio station in Ottawa at the time, and Dr. Deborah Zimmerman (the medical advisor and Sponsorship Coordinator for Alive to Strive) had reached out to see if we could help with some promotion for their fundraising run. I said sure — and also said I would like to run in it, too. I ended up learning about kidney disease (which I knew next to nothing about), getting a little exercise, and making a new friend.
Marie-Eve’s story is pretty amazing. Check it out on the Alive to Strive website if you haven’t already. She’s been through a lot, and used that to do something really good for a lot of people. Many of us, if we were to live with an illness that can be so brutal, couldn’t be blamed for focusing only on taking care of ourselves. But Marie-Eve took what she knew and what she learned, and turned it into something that is actively helping people going through the same thing.
I don’t have kidney disease. Other than Marie-Eve, I don’t know anyone who does. So why do I take part in the Alive to Strive charity run?
Maybe because I like Marie-Eve so much. Maybe because I like the people she’s introduced me to in the few years I’ve been taking part. Maybe because I want to do what I can, even if it’s just raising a few dollars, to help people exercise — something this TV-watching, couch-sitting bum sometimes takes for granted.
Maybe because of that feeling I get when I see people who, just a year before, weren’t able to run with us. But because of what Alive to Strive does, they’re at the starting line of a run for perhaps the first time in their lives. Imagine if your health kept you from doing something that would make you healthier — and then, imagine how you would feel if a charity existed that could help you make it happen.
If you can donate, please donate.
If you can run with us this year, please run with us.
And if you can’t run with us yet, talk to the folks at Alive to Strive. We’ll hold a place for you at the starting line next year.