04 Dec Slice of Life: Hopeful Thoughts #SOL18 #TWTBlog
I bend down to stretch my hip and glance at my watch. Twenty minutes to go. 26,000 runners are lined up to run – rain or shine. I hear a distant rumble and look up to check the skies which have delayed our start. Looks like it may come down again. As I stand up, a sign on a young girl’s back catches my eye. I reread it several times trying to grasp what I am reading.
I survived cancer twice.
I am fourteen.
I have fought to run this race.
Patient # __________
Next to her is a woman with this sign on her back:
I’m her Wingmom!
The enormity of these signs and what this young girl and her mom are doing takes over me. How can I worry about the weather? Does my pace even matter? Why should I be wearing a shirt that labels me a hero? These two people are true heroes. I point her out to my friend – a co-runner and an employee at St. Jude. My friend makes her way over to connect with them, to hear their story, and to thank them.
The sun peeks through the wall of gray allowing a single ray of light to shine down on us. I know it sounds magical, but the truth is, at that moment, the day literally transformed into blue skies.
This was my fourth year running for St. Jude. Each year I am overwhelmed by the spirit of this event. Each year I receive far more than I give. Each year I am humbled and inspired by the strength, resilience, and kindness of this community. This year I find myself thinking about the power of choice.
My friend and co-runner’s department at St. Jude recently launched a website to provide families and children with the information they need. This website, Together, is a new online resource powered by St. Jude Research Hospital. It offers dependable information and a community of support for anyone facing childhood cancer. As she described her work on this project to me over 13.1 miles, one aspect of it captivated me – Hopeful Thoughts Videos.
Families and patients share their hopeful thoughts with others in these videos on the website. Can you imagine being faced with the unimaginable and have the positivity to share hopeful thoughts with others? I would not believe it was possible if I hadn’t experienced this power of choice firsthand these past four years. None of these patients or families had a choice in their diagnosis, but they choose to impact the lives of others throughout their fight. They choose to see the hope, they choose to connect, they choose to help others, they choose to be selfless. Just look at some of these Hopeful Thoughts videos:
I think Danny Thomas had it right when he said, “I’d rather have a million people give me a dollar than one give me a million. That way you’ve got a million people involved.” It is about the power of choice. Each one of us has the power to change the course of our own lives and the lives of others for the better. As educators, we have the power to influence the children in our lives. If we inspire them to understand that while they might not always have the power to choose what happens, they always have the power to choose how they respond to what happens, we truly could change the world. Let’s be inspired by Danny Thomas and remember we can choose to have the power to get millions of children involved. Imagine – I know I have hopeful thoughts.