On occasion I make buttons for runners, but much like cyclists runners can be a little different from walkers. I had one runner recently who did not want to wear a button ~ he said it might "weigh him down"! (the buttons are about 1.5 oz!) Well here's a story about a runner who is most certainly going to be lifted up by her button - Michele Kwok is going to fly at the 2009 Chicago Rock & Roll Half Marathon ~ in part because of this button of her Dad!
I am no longer surprised by people like Michele BUT I am still in awe of the strength people muster in the most heart-rending of circumstances. Michele lost her dad to cancer less than a year ago and now with the support and motivation of The leukemia and lymphoma Society's awesome Team in Training Michele has the courage to run further than ever before in honor of her Dad. Please take a minute to read Michele's story and if you are touched by her story please consider donating to her cause click here so that in the future people like Michele's dad will be there to run beside her in more than spirit!
From Michele Kwok....
My Dad was a kind, loving, genuine, loving, and hardworking man. He was diagnosed with Leukemia right after Christmas in 2007. He went through 2 rounds of Chemo and throughout the whole time, he had the greatest spirit and positive outlook even through all the pain. He had found an article in the newspaper and the title read "I Will Survive!" He clipped it out and posted it next to his bed. He always loved to make jokes and had a unique sense of humor, his cheerfulness always made everyone smile. His chemo sessions resulted well and he was feeling good. He was able to make it to my Commencement and see me walk across the stage, I was so thankful for that.
A week after, my brother got married and my Dad was there with all smiles, he gave the greatest speech that nobody will ever forget. Both my brother and I are so grateful that he was able to be a part of such milestones in our lives. In July he received a bone marrow transplant, which was a long process, but he was still in good spirits throughout everything. He was finally released back home to recover and not too long after he got an infection and had to go back to the hospital. I had never seen my Dad in so much pain and it was so hard to see him go through this, but he kept strong as best as he could. On September 3, 2008, my Dad lost his battle to leukemia, we never thought the infection would result to this.
When I went to the first Team in Training meeting, they showed us an inspirational video of past team members and their stories and many of them had tshirts with pictures or signs of loved ones whom they were running in honor/memory of and that's when I decided that I wanted to do the same and thought that a button would be the perfect way to do it. I looked up a few sites and came across yours and that's when I knew your company was the one that I wanted to use. I will wear this button on the day of my race, my Dad will be running with me the whole way, he is my inspiration to finish these 13.1 miles without stopping. If I ever get tired and feel like walking, I'll remember he is with me and all I have to do is look at the button and see my Dad and it'll keep me going. I'm looking forward to start training with the LLS Team in Training, it begins in May.
Thank you for creating a great company for such great causes. Keep up the good work! And thank you for writing me and asking me to be a part of your blog, this is the first time I've ever written about the loss of my Dad, it was a little tough, but it's nice to get it out. I'm looking forward to receiving my button in the mail!"