I have been waiting five long years to utter those two words. I have cursed the ING NYC Marathon every year that my $11 lottery entrance fee was spent to receive yet another rejection letter, instead of the right to run 26.2 miles on the hard streets of New York City. I’ve harbored jealous sentiments every time a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a stranger on the street talked about their pending run in the NYC Marathon in 2009... and 2010... and 2011. And last year I cried when the race I was finally granted a spot in, was cancelled 48 hours prior to the event due to terrible aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
But it's a new year and I'm back in the running - quite literally.
The date of this year’s race, November 3rd, marks the two-year anniversary of my sister Theresa’s retinal reattachment surgery; the outcome of that surgery decided whether she would regain vision in her left eye or lose it altogether. Her surgery was successful, and though the damage to the center vision in her eye may never be perfect, she is not blind. My sister’s near encounter with blindness not only struck a chord within my family because we realized how precious the gift of vision is - but because for over a decade my family has volunteered as puppy walkers for future guide dogs, taking sweet puppies into our home and returning them to the foundation a year later, our empty arms filled with the hope that these puppies would become dogs that will not only give their owners a chance at second sight, but the chance at a second life.
Our involvement with the foundation, Theresa’s near vision loss, and the fact this race marks the two-year anniversary of that surgery makes it a no-brainer for me to give added weight to my 26.2 mile journey. So not only am I committing to running the marathon, but I am pledging to fundraise money to sponsor a guide dog puppy for the blind.
I am looking to fundraise $6,000 - the cost of sponsoring one puppy for the blind. One $6,000 contribution to the Foundation can help defray some of the costs to breed, train, and place a guide or service dog with a person who is blind or visually impaired. Help me make this happen!