Sweet Catalina for Sweet Eleanor 51/51

  Why 51 in 51 you ask? Because this darn pancreatic cancer took my dear friends mother at the young age of 51. Therefore marathon #51 is also for Sweet Eleanor Gertrude Bergstrom Adams. Eleanor was born in 1918 and died of pancreatic cancer in 1969, way to young. She grew up on a farm in a family of 9 children. She was the fifth child, so she had an important role caring for her three younger brothers, but everyone worked very hard! She attended school in a one-room school house, graduated from Atwater High School and went on to get her RN degree. She then worked as a pediatric nurse in a hospital. She married during World War II, when her husband was on leave. They had three children, who are all still living. Eleanor loved to cook, knit, sew, and take care of her family, house and garden. She used her nursing skills to help anyone who needed assistance. She also did a great deal of volunteer work and was active in her church. She was known for her generosity, kindness, quick mind, and capacity for hard work. Eleanor sounds like a beautiful sweet lady who loved to help people. If we could all be like Eleanor the world would be a better place. I will imagine Eleanor’s generous, kind, heard working spirit while I run. I am honored to run for such a beautiful woman. Eleanor, #51 is also for you and I will work as hard as I can in your honor, to help find a cure. We got this.   Love, Julie xo BergstromAdams51

Catalina Marathon #51 is Molli Serrano INSPIRED!

It is with great emotion and deep passion that I share with you Molli Serrano’s story of strength and will. Molli has pushed herself beyond limits once thought impossible. Molli is married and she is a beautiful young mother of two precious twins. I learned about her story last year and was inspired beyond belief and thought to myself, this is the strongest person I haver ever seen. Molli won the battle of pancreatic cancer back in 2011, and if that was not enough, she also was also training for an IRONMAN at the same time. While going through chemo she would ride long miles on her bike and dealt with numerous hours of training each week. Personal drive and determination is an understatement. She would blow her doctor away with her progress. She was also the recipient of the Kona Inspired award, competed in the World Championship IRONMAN in Kona and had an outstanding race. Now Molli is on her way to beating pancreatic cancer again. I have had the pleasure of virtually meeting “Molli’s Tribe” and received several donations in honor of her. What a loving group of family and friends Molli has been blessed with. I have now officially become part of her tribe. It is with great honor that I am prepared to sweat for 26.2 miles up a mountainous journey. I know Molli would much rather be running with me, so we must keep the faith, because it can happen and I am holding her to that. Her good friend told me she channels her “inner Molli” I love that, and tomorrow I will do the same Please everyone send your healing powers and prayers her way, it will work miracles. Molli Serrano- “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”! Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 9.18.23 PMScreen Shot 2013-03-05 at 9.18.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-03-05 at 9.18.10 PM      

Beautiful Napa Valley Marathon #50/52 – For Mike and Judi xo

My facebook friend Amanda contacted me about one of her family members who passed away so young, Mike Aston. His friends and family say his laugh was infectious, one-of-kind, the best laugh ever. Mike was a man of many talents, but his best role was being a loving father and husband. Mike was blessed with his blushing bride Robin. They tied the knot in Aug. 2008 and their son Riley arrived soon after.Mike was diagnosed with terminal stage IV pancreatic cancer in April 2011 shortly after the birth of his second child,Myla. He fought through 3 stages of chemo before losing his battle. Mike passed away the day after his daughter Myla turned one, he was 38, Feb 2012. He left behind his beautiful Bride of 3.5years,Robin, Son Rielly (3) and Myla. Their family took to the pavement four days later and participated in the PAM’s run to help fight Pancreatic cancer. Go Amanda! For Mike and your entire family I will run my heart out today for you guys, imagining his positive spirit and laugh with me every step of the way. I will do all I can to stop this terrible disease for Mike and all those affected- With love xox Julie Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 8.33.24 PM Mike, his wife and his two babies. This cancer has got to be stopped. Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 8.37.54 PM Amanda ran for my dad at the Westlake village pancreatic cancer research walk. Thank you Amanda xoxo Kary Lawrence contacted me and asked me to run in memory of her mom, Judith Maiman. Judi was diagnosed in 1996 and died in 1999 of PC. She was the survivor speaker at the first Evening with the Stars before the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network was even an official charity, they raised the money for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, where Judith had her whipple procedure in 1996. Kary ran the 2000 & 2001 Marine Corp. marathon in her mother’s memory for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Judi Maiman was one of their original passionate survivor volunteers who helped get everything started way back in the beginning – before PanCAN – when they were doing the very first An Evening with the Stars gala in 1998. She was then, and always will be, an amazing inspiration to her daughter and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.. Thank you Kary and Judi for all you do. Your spirit lives on and will be with me today while I run. xo
Beautiful Judith (Judi) Maiman :)

Beautiful Judith (Judi) Maiman 🙂

Off I go, for Judi, for Mike and all those affected, I run for you. We got this. xoxox Julie

A dedication for 3 remarkable women in a beautiful city- New Orleans #49

Dear Friends, 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” : For Melissa:
Melissa Miller

Melissa Mille

Miller49     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 For Becky:
Becky Benz

Becky Benz

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:
Granny Whitson

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

#48 for Helen Valcarcel Stevens ♥

Marathon #48 was also dedicated to a very special woman, Helen Valcarcel Stevens who was just 48 when she passed. 🙁  

Helen 🙂

Helen lived only 3 months after her diagnosis. Helen’s brother Jim contacted me after he heard a radio interview after the PF Changs Rocknroll Arizona marathon and when I read his email I knew that #48 was for Helen.
She had one child, Charles, and then right after she passed away her first grandchild was born. At last she got to see the scan of his mothers belly before she passed.
Her son Charles and two  grandchildren Jake and Zack the older. So cute :)

Her son Charles and two
grandchildren Jake and Zack the older. So cute 🙂

Helen was a kind hearted person that loved her child dearly and had a great relationship with him. She was a single mother, and knew the hard issues of life . Jim says in a way I remind him of his sister Helen (honored) . Helen had strong convictions about things in life and was very smart. She was one of four kids they always thought Helen was the smart one of the lot. She was humble and would have never fessed up to being so smart. Non only was Helen Jim’s only sister but his dearest friend, they spoke every day. Jim goes on to say to me that in a world that sometimes can be rather cold and dark, I am a ray of sunshine. Thank you Jim 🙂 I am honored to hear those words, as sunshine and hope is my message through out this journey, that warms my heart. I know this blog does not do your sister justice, there is so much more to be said here for the amazing woman that she was. I thought about her yesterday while I was running, her beauty, her intellect, and her young age. She did not deserve this, nor did my father, Dino, Steve and all those affected. They deserved better, and that is my mission. To raise hope, awareness and put an end to this terrible disease that has taken the lives of so many. Jim just lost his brother in law last night from skin cancer. Jim I am so sorry, all cancers suck! There is no other way to say it. I am sorry for your loss. In honor of your sister, your brother and law and so many others, I will my part to put an end to this madness. We wish you and the family, all survivors and those currently fighting a healthy and happy future. We all deserve better. We got this! Julie. xo      

Today is a good day! #48 for Dino Murphy xo

I woke up this morning and instantly thought of the 3 people I was running for today. Dino Murphy being one of them. I went to look at an email his sister Nancy sent me and these words stood out: “Today is a good day”, and you know what? It was. Dino was full of life. Even on his worst days, you could call and ask how he was doing. He’d say “Today is a good day”. I love that. That became their family mantra and they have bracelets that say that with his name. Dino told his sister he didn’t want to be a poster child for cancer but she knew that she would fight for him and people would know who he was. Dino was a Lt Col in the Army. He had a wife and three kids. He was diagnosed at 44 years old on Dec 10, 2009 and passed a little less than a year later at 45 yrs old on Nov 26, 2010. Dino’s sister Nancy thanked me for giving him life this weekend. Nancy, thank you for letting me, it is an honor. Dino is buried at Ft Sam Houston Cemetery just down the road in San Antonio. Today when I was running I kept seeing soldiers cheering me on and I thought of Dino. I high fived the soldiers in Dino’s honor and when the marathon got tough I said out loud ‘Today is a good day”and I didn’t care if people thought I was crazy. Crazy in a good way. Dino’s sister Nancy and I have been in contact almost this whole journey trying to figure out a race for me to run in Dino’s honor and today was the perfect day. I had so much support out there from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and knew I was meant to run for Dino today.
Pancan water station, bigtime support. eyes closed, I am running in my sleep :)

Pancan water station, bigtime support. eyes closed, I am running in my sleep 🙂

  Nancy, it was an honor to run in Dino’s memory today. I felt him smiling down on me. Today was beautiful and a true gift to run for your brother. Dino 2 Sending all my best wishes to Dino’s family and all of those affected by pancreatic cancer. I will keep on fighting to help put an end to this terrible disease that has taken the lives of too many beautiful people like Dino, long after my 52 marathons. We will put an end to it. We got this! With Love and deep grattitude, Julie xo

Go Team Hanzlik!!

I ran for one of my Hero’s today: for Steve Hanzlik fighting pancreatic cancer. Steve, I hope you read this and know that today was a LOVE FEST. Seriously, I have never felt so much love and support in a marathon. I had friends by my side, I had you and Heather on my mind all day. Then at mile 23 I see this:
I couldn't believe my eyes :D

I couldn’t believe my eyes 😀

When I was running today, I was not having such an easy time, but this sign and Lesley’s beautiful smile was a sight for sore eyes. I thought about Steve and his fight. I kept on going, having faith and keeping the hope alive. That is what we do, we are Teamhope and Team Hanzlik. I was meant to run for Steve Hanzlik today, I got a facebook note from his sister Heather and felt an instant urge to do what I could to help. Please got to this beautiful website she created and do what you can to help. Here is the message from Heather on the home page of
Steve Hanzlik

Steve Hanzlik

  Steve is my eldest brother – he is also a son, a husband, a father, a friend! He was born in Austin, Texas (a Longhorn fan to the core!) 17 August 1964. After traveling the globe with our family as a ‘military brat’ he married Dodie Jean Faunce, 10 December 1983. He joined the Army on 28 December 1983 and spent 4 years in Germany as a member of our Armed Forces. Steve and Dodie had their first son, Drew, on 6 June 1990 and their second son, Austin, on 11 December 1992. When our father died,11 November 1993, he stepped up as patriarch of our family. He has always shown up for anyone who needed anything, whether that be family, friends or unknown friends. Steve was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer on 7 November 2012. He is currently under the care of the best doctors in the Pancreatic Cancer field at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. His cancer has progressed VERY rapidly. Steve has always prided himself on his ability to provide for his family and continues to do so to the best of his ability. Although he does have medical insurance that will help cover some of the treatments, he is going to need assistance in order to defray additional medical costs. I was honored to run for Steve today, please do what you can to help. Prayers, donations, love, hope it all matters. I pushed through today, never giving up, not for one second. Keeping the hope alive, that is what I do. Now I hope I can do that for Steve. And Steve, since you were born here and know the motto of “Keep Austin Weird” Here is something to make you smile. Keep smiling. You are in my prayers and now in the prayers of everyone reading this blog. Let the healing begin. Have an inspired recovery, we got this. xo-Julie
Keep Austin Weird :D

Keep Austin Weird 😀


Marathon #48- For Dino, Steve and Helen- This ones for you. We got this. xo

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 8.25.51 PM Marathons are so symbolic of life. Lao Tzu said The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and here I am about to finish 1,257 miles. We have come a long way and it has been worth every step. The next 26.2 miles I am about to run here in Austin, Texas all have symbolism. For Dino, a brave soul who is buried here in Austin. For Steve fighting for his life, who was born here and Helen who passed away at the young age of 48. As I run marathon #48 I dedicate my run to these brave souls and all those affected from pancreatic cancer:

Helen Valcarcel Stevens

Dino Murphy

Dino Murphy

Steve Hanzlik

Steve Hanzlik- Keep fighting. You got this! Go Team Hanzlik!

Run by my side;
live in my heartbeat;
give strength to my steps
As the cold surrounds me,
as the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me,
as the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me,
challenging me, loving me.
And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.
I will post each dedication separately tomorrow after the race, I just want you all to know, that my heart goes out to every one of you who are in someway affected from this terrible disease. Although I may be tired, I know this is nothing, I mean nothing compared to the fight these brave souls and so many others have to endure . It is my life’s mission, not to beat the time on the clock, but beat pancreatic cancer and that is my only competitor out there tomorrow, and we intend to win. With love and deep gratitude. Dino, Steve and Helen, this one is for you. We got this. xoxo -Julie  

A little piece of Heaven- Marathon #47(pt 2-Miles 9-17) For Nain Gonzales

Courtneylee wrote to me a few marathons ago. She is PanCAN’s Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Rhode Island affiliate. She volunteers in memory of Nain Gonzales who was diagnosed on June 30th 2011 and lost his battle to pancreatic cancer exactly 5 months later at the age of 42, just 46 days before his first and only child was born. She carried his daughter, Amara, for him and his wife because his wife lost her uterus to cervical cancer 10 years prior. She went into the journey hoping to make them both parents, start their family and help their dreams come true. Although all that was accomplished, Amara will never know her father. Pancreatic cancer robbed her from one of the greatest relationships in the world – a father/daughter one. For the Gonzales family and for all families affected by pancreatic cancer, she, like me and so many of us will not stop volunteering and hoping to make a difference. As you can imagine it has been a roller coaster of emotions for them. But they are so thankful to have Amara, a special piece of Nain. Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 9.55.32 PM   Nain was the type of person that everyone loved as soon as you meet him. He had the greatest smile, he was kind, cherished his wife and family, had fantastic morals and always helped everyone he could. At 42 years old, he has so much to still live for, but in the short time he was here, the accomplishments he achieved will live on in everyone who knew him or learns about him. Amara will definitely know how amazing her daddy was. Volunteering with PanCAN and realizing Courtneylee was not in this alone mad her feel better – it will not bring back our loved ones, she says, but she feel like she is doing something to help others, even if just one person. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you Courtneylee you are beautiful. As I run this marathon I will imagine Nain’s beautiful spirit running with me, helping me up those mountains. It’s like I am on the wings of angels. Courtneylee, I send you all my best wishes and if you ever want to come run a marathon with me, just let me know. For Nain, for Amara for Kate, for you and all those affected, this ones for you. We got this! xo -Julie For more information please read their article that was featured in the Boston Globe:

A little piece of Heaven- Marathon #47: for Dwayne Jones (Miles 1-8)

  This journey has been filled with so many moments or coincidences, or signs from the universe that I am on the right track. Even the room key at my hotel today, look at this:
It's a SIGN

It’s a SIGN 🙂

While I was running marathon #44 in Arizona, I met Natalie. First I met her at the expo, then we saw each other around mile 6. We have something in common, unfortunately it is that both of our fathers passed away from pancreatic cancer. We were talking about our fathers and she mentioned that her father was only 47 when he passed. Then the sign came, marathon #47 is for Natalie’s father Dwayne Jones. Both of us immediately had chills covering our entire bodies. It was meant to be. So here I am about to tackle a marathon with 4,800 feet of elevation gain, I have no idea where I am (somewhere in San Francisco), but I do know what I’m doing, I am fighting the good fight against pancreatic cancer and today I run for 3 very special people. Dwayne Jones,the first part of my marathon is for you:Dwayne   Jones47
Dwayne passed away on September 15, 2007 at the age of 47. He leaves behind his daughter Natalie, her sister and 5 young grandchildren. He was able to meet his beautiful 5th grandchild just two months before he died. As children Natalie and her sister remember him as one of their own. He was always full of energy and wanted to “play.” He continued the tradition with the grandchildren as he loved to spoil them with anything from trips to the amusement park to picking them up for a sleepover at Grandpa’s house. He was always their biggest cheerleader and they will never forget the way he called them “sweetie” or “babe”. He was supportive no matter what!
Pancreatic Cancer took their Dad in just 5 short months. It was very frustrating for the family. It is so sad but true many of the doctors look for everything under the sun except pancreatic cancer. Only to find it too late, but we have hope. Like Dwayne did. Despite the physical and emotional pain he was enduring, he tried to always remain positive and was more concerned about the people around him than he was himself! That’s the kind of man he was. He is missed and loved every day. When I run up the mountain , I know I won’t be alone. I will imagine Dwane’s positive spirit by my side, guiding me, helping me and smiling the whole way. With love an honor, Dwayne this one is for you. We got this xo-Julie
Dwayne and his girls.  So cute :)

Dwayne and his girls. So cute 🙂

So much love

So much love

True Love

True Love

Whipple was successful last week and now I get to go home today. Two days after surgery I was up and walking and I didn’t stop. The team call me their star patient ;>
I am overjoyed and feel like shouting it out at the top of the mountain where I will be running this weekend.