On Tuesday, December 17th, I had the opportunity to run with Kimberly Markey Torres and four of Kim’s close friends, Allison, Jolynn, Nicole and Janice. Not only were we getting together for a run, but runDisney was there to film us running together as they capture Kim’s story about why she runs Disney. RunDisney is running a contest on Instagram called #whyiRunDisney. She was selected to be filmed. It was a beautiful snowy cold 16 degree morning, but that never slows us runners down!
Last Friday Kim had her 5th chemo treatment for breast cancer and Monday she had her white blood cell shot which sucks as much as the chemo. She could barely get out of bed. She said she got up to make the bed and just collapsed back into it. But what did she do the next morning? She went out on a run with all of her friends! Despite her nausea from the chemo and all of the drugs she has to endure, she still got out there for a run and smiled! And what I observed when we were all together is the strength of her friendships. I had met Allison and Janice at previous races. In fact, I met them both the same day I met Kim at the Cheshire Half marathon in April, 2013. After we met in person at that race we kept in touch over the summer. That’s when she told me in July that she had breast cancer and was undergoing the double mastectomy and chemo but would still be running the Dumbo Double Dare challenge which I was running also. That race was the carrot at the end of the stick for her to recovery quickly from her surgery so she wouldn’t miss out on all of the run in store for that inaugural race. So we planned to hook up in California and the rest is history!
While running I was talking with Nicole and Jolynn and learned how they met Kim. She has great friends. During the run we had to stop a few times for filming purposes. I could see Kim was tired, and she had said she was tired. We were all concerned for her and were there for her. It was amazing to see us all come around to make sure she was ok. But she still did it all with a smile!
She truly is amazing. I have traveled with her the day after she had to shave her head. I wasn’t sure how she would feel about it, and she bravely carried on with her cute color coordinated scarves. While we went to the parks, she was the one I thought who dragged me around the Magic Kingdom. When we ran the Tower of Terror 10 miler race, she took the lead with the intervals and has a great coaching spirit about her. It is evident in her take charge attitude for starting and stopping our intervals, watching out for obstacles in the road and keeping our pace. I enjoy running with her. Kim is so determined. I hope the essence of her determination and love of running is captured by the filming of why she loves to run Disney. I am glad she asked me to join her and her friends for this event.
She is training for the Dopey which is a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon in January. She has one last chemo session left the week before the Dopey event and I am hoping and praying her body will make it through the event. I know how challenging just running a few of those races are, but ALL of them in another story. It’s a major event and I know that she has the will to do it, there’s no doubt about that.
Cancer sucks. It really does. All too recently it has affected family members and close friends in my life; but I have also seen what cancer does to those that unfortunately have to fight it. And those who do are warriors. When I am having a bad day or a tough run, I think about those who have had to fight the battle of cancer and talk myself out of my tough place and really dig deep to think of how hard they are fighting to just have a normal day, let alone run. And Kim is doing that while working, taking care of her family (who is also taking care of her), training for her Dopey Challenge and healing her body. She has a lot ahead of her with her reconstrutive surgery and other surgeries to prevent further cancer spreading; but like she has fought before she will pull through with more future races on her horizon to carry her through.
Thank you for asking me to join you for this event Kim! I am so glad to have met you and become your friend and am looking forward to your finish line of this cancer treatment and your Dopey challenge! I also can’t wait to run the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge with you!