I am running today in honor of 3 beautiful women: Melissa Miller , Becky Benz and Granny Whitson who just passed this week. All who have been taken from us much too soon without a fighting chance. I share with you their beautiful pictures, they are my “why” :
Melissa was was a therapist, interior designer and garden designer who once owned a vintage clothing and jewelry store in West Los Angeles. She studied yoga and took very good care of herself. She was in her early mid 50’s when she died. She beat cancer once, then it returned after nearly 5 years. This photo was taken six months before she died. The day before she lost her five year battle with pancreatic cancer, she spent the entire day planting new plants in her home garden. Melissa woke up the next morning feeling very sick and passed later that day. Melissa, I am planting a garden for you today. A garden of hope, love and inspiration. This one is for you dear Melissa.xo
Rebecca “Becky” Benz passed away on February 9, 2006 at 51 years young, after a six month battle with pancreatic cancer. She had a great laugh and when she smiled her entire face smiled! Becky was a hard-worker and had a stubborn steak a mile-long. Her family and friends were very important to her and she always took pride in the work she did. She was the kind of person that always thought to send people cards to let them know she was thinking about them. She loved her “Grandbabies” and sent them cards on each holiday.
Celebrating her life are her children: Sarah (Jake), Matthew and Amy (Doug), as well as her “grandbabies”: Kane, Dalton, Bailey, Talon and one on the way, and Me 🙂 Every year since her passing, Becky’s family has held a memorial walk/run in her hometown of Mt. Pleasant, IA, with the proceeds going to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Thank you to the family of Becky for being a light in this world of pc. Just like Becky’s smile lit up her whole face, you are lighting up the world by creating hope. xoxo Becky and family, this one is for you. xo
For Granny Whitson:
My dear friend Roberta Luna’s, who is an 11 year pancreatic SURVIVOR, whom I ran WITH a few marathons ago. Sadly, her mother passed away just this week after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2005. She had been fighting for awhile. Roberta says she is with her dad & God now with no more pain. Roberta, your mother was a fighter and it is with that strength and love that I will run marathon #49 in her memory and what an honor it is.
It is going to be a beautiful run, there will be rain to help the garden of hope grow for Melissa, there will be smiles for Becky to light up those who are in need and strength & love for Granny so that we can continue to show how tough we are and that we can one day find a cure for this terrible disease. I am running through a city that once was devastated beyond belief. New Orleans has come together, they have rebuilt and they have endured, so can we. We can end this, if we continue to raise hope, awareness and money for research. We can expect miracles, believe in them and achieve them. We got this. -Love Julie. xo