Running With Perseverance

March 8, 2010 | 25 comments

I’m no hero.

And I’m not really a runner. Not really …

I’ve never felt like a runner. I certainly don’t look like a runner. And I don’t even run like a runner.

But guess what? I am running – not for myself, but for the real heroes: the ones who battle cancer.

This May 2, I will travel south to Lincoln, Nebraska, to run a half-marathon.

Two months ago, the longest distance I’d ever run was two miles. Last week, I ran six. By May 2, I’ll run 13.1.

But I’m no hero. I’m just putting one foot in front of another to raise money for the real heroes: the children who’ve lost their hair, for the one who’ve been doubled over with pain, for the families who’ve gathered around the hospice bed to say goodbye.

I’m running for Little Miss Julia
and for Diane’s sister
and for Paul (our Paul).

Along with other members of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, I’m running for a cure.

And I’m running for Jesus.

I keep the reminders close while I take each step. I keep a collage of encouragement so I can see the faces, so I remember that people are standing with me. This is a group effort.

This is my “Personal Hero” through Team in Training. Her name is Julia Grace. She turned 3 in January and was diagnosed wtih T-Cell Lymphoma. Julia endured chemo for two years, and would give herself her own chemo at the age of 2. She loves Thomas the Train, baby dolls, the color yellow and giving out hugs. Recently, she corrected her mom, while having a cold, saying “I’m NOT sick.” After battling cancer, one’s perspective of “sick” changes.

This is my father-in-law
Paul, who died of leukemia on Jan. 21, 2009.
His leukemia was caused by over-exposure to Agent Orange during his years at war in Vietnam.

I fix my eyes here, too.

“… And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” — Hebrews 12:1-2

So far, my wildly generous family, friends and bloggers have donated more than $1,400. Each dollar brings us closer to the goal we all share: curing cancer. And many of you have said you are praying.

And, oh, how I need those prayers!

This will be my first attempt at a long endurance run. A year ago – just four days before Paul died – I was in a highway collision that caused an injury to my left leg. I have fully recovered, and am able to run. I do not take for granted the fact that I can do this.

I’m awed by your support, prayers and words of encouragement. This is how we change our world: One + one + one + one.

I humbly ask: Might you consider giving financially — not for this stumbling, bumbling runner, but for the real heroes? You can find my secure fundraising page by clicking here.

My thanks to you …

(UPDATE: This post is now being featured over at RunGirlRun, a company that sells women’s running clothes. Click here to link to the RunGirlRun website. Click here to reach the RunGirlRun blog.)

by | March 8, 2010 | 25 comments


  1. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    Talk about motivation. I love how you've surrounded yourself when you run. Verses, picture of Jesus, those to remember…

    I hope to run a half marathon someday too. Run like the wind, Jennifer.
    ~ Wendy

  2. Andrea

    Praying with you….hope you do well, today. Hang in there! and keep your focus!!
    Blessings, andrea

  3. Dan King

    Awesome Jennifer! I can totally relate to this, because I am also working right now to raise money to find a cure for Juvenile (type 1) Diabetes. My son (now seven) was diagnosed at 17-months old. I am definitely praying for you and those who you are walking in honor of…

  4. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Oh, you beautiful people! Thank you for your encouraging words.

  5. A Simple Country Girl

    Oh I scrolled down as I read and looked. And then was the blurry photo with Jesus crisp and clear. That spoke to me–actually gave me God-bumps all over and stood my hairs up on my neck. He indeed needs to remain our focus through it all!

    And Dan, I, too am a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at age nine. So, I humbly thank you for your work too.


  6. Rose

    I agree with Wendy's comment about how you surround yourself with motivation. God bless you for the race you are running..not only physically but also spiritually. Hugs!

  7. Lyla Lindquist

    I'm watching it steal from someone I love even as I type this.

    So yes, run hard.

  8. Jackie

    Praying with you as you run your race!!

    Run with the wind of the Spirit dear sister!!

    Sweet Blessings!

  9. S. Etole

    thank you for running for those who run a different race …

  10. Alleluiabelle

    My Precious Friend,

    Boy I would love to be able to run along side of you…but as Jackie said, "Run with the wind of the Spirit dear sister!!

    My prayers are going up and forth with you on this journey. My sister just had her first Chemo treatment today and my grandmother died of cancer. This post as your previous others have again touched me so deeply on a very personal level.

    I love you Jennifer. You shine so brightly on this earth for the Lord…so very very brightly my friend.

    Big Hugs,

  11. patty

    I'm proud of you, Jennifer…but not the world kind of proud…the God kind of proud. Be blessed as you persevere and spur others on!

  12. alicia

    I usually find no good reason to torture myself by running… but you have changed my mind! That is by far the best reason to put up with a little bit of discomfort for such a worthy cause.
    Run with Him at your side!

  13. Elizabeth

    I'm sitting in a hospital room as I type, waiting for my dad to die from AML.

    If I were in better shape, I'd run with you at your race. As it is, there's no way I can train in time.


  14. Marty Duane

    I was moved by this post, and if you ever need help with running ideas / help… hit me up! I love running and talking about it with people.

    Praying for you.


  15. Charity Singleton

    Praying and thanking. As one who has had cancer, it took me more than a year to even be able to use the word "survivor" because this disease is so horrible and sneaky. I long for the day when I'm not looking over my shoulder for this disease. With people like you working for a cure, maybe someday there will be no more cancer. I am thankful to Jesus that either way, cancer does not have the final say.

  16. Karen

    This is awesome…praying for you, sister…

  17. Andrea

    Jennifer, I am in awe of your running. It is the depth of love and sacrifice for others that moves me. And, of course, the pictures of the little ones and your father-in-law pierce my heart.

    My father passed away with colon cancer when I was 12. I appreciate your running. Thank you for being such an inspiration and example and wonderful writer!

    Much love, and many blessings,


  18. Tea With Tiffany

    Praise the LORD for your willingness to run for others.

    I'm blessed to read this. Tomorrow's radio show is about "Running the race." God is so good to use your words to confirm Barbara and I are running along His path.

    Can I reference your blog and this story if the Lord leads me tomorrow?

    Love you,


  19. ~*Michelle*~ can you not go "that extra mile" with that motivation?

    Blown away with your inspiration….totally believe in you, and with God right along side of you every step!

    ps. still having you on my heart with all the "Y's" my daughter brings me almost every day. Yesterday was yard clean up and she has a row of Y sticks along our fence.

    God bless you Jennifer! 🙂

  20. LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious

    You are such an encouragement! I think I was suppose to pop over to your blog from a comment I saw you left on Jackie's blog. I injured my knee last October and am still dealing with some pain in it. It slowed me down, being an avid walker for years. But I'm persevering just like you said and trusting in God every step. It's amazing how an injury can totally take over your body and make you realize what you took for granted with your health.

    How wonderful that you are becoming a runner so you can help the cancer cause. I appreciate your scripture also.

    It's so nice to meet you.

    Lee Ann
    oh and I want to follow you for sure!

  21. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Tiffany — Yes, you may use the post if you feel led. I'm so excited to hear your program!

    And Michelle … you leave me in tears. The thought of all those Ys lined up just makes my heart swell. God is everywhere, isn't He? And your sweet daughter has the eyes to see Him all around her. I'm so touched. Do send a picture sometime if you can to me: [email protected]

    You've touched me greatly.

  22. Monica Sharman

    How you run the race!

    Looking back since the accident, and where He has taken you since, and where you go from here, for the sake of others…

    You sure do bless.

  23. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    Jennifer- very moving and inspiring post today.

    My husbands daughter who is now 30 went through treatment for Leukemia which she was diagnosed with at age 4. Cancer is a very widespread disease that touches us all. thank you for doing what you are!

  24. Tricia

    You can do it! I just recently ran my 2nd half marathon, 3 weeks after running my 1st! I run in celebration of the freedom that Jesus has brought into my life. My running verse is Psalm 119:32, "I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free."

    The Lord taught me so much through my training, I did blog about it over at my blog, feel free to stop by if you have the time.

    May God bless your efforts and infuse you with His strength, energy, and endurance… you can do it through Him!


  25. annkroeker

    Our girls, the Belgian Wonder and I are plodding along in training for a half-marathon just for the spiritual, physical and relational lessons we might learn and the fitness goals we hope to achieve.

    But you, Jennifer…your undertaking is packed with real, lasting meaning and power, most of all for the fund-raising goals but also to celebrate the healing you yourself have experienced to be able to undertake this.


    This is perseverance.


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