Wednesday, March 18, 2015


The Rex Lee Run was just over a week ago. And it was pretty cool.

As a way to raise awareness of the run, the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at BYU interviewed people who were running with a purpose. This college uses all proceeds from the race to fund cancer research at BYU. They managed to find Derek and got our story (that's the video just below this paragraph). They also interviewed Derek in more depth, which you can read here. (Warning: it probably will make you cry. Derek gets pretty real about how he has had to deal with cancer. Also, the same article was also published in the local newspaper here.)

I was genuinely surprised at how much the race affected me. There were almost two thousand runners who showed up on a Saturday to run/jog/speed walk/walk/push a stroller either 5K or 10K (which is double the participants from last year!) and $55,000 was raised for cancer research. That. Is. Amazing. Just check this out:

So many people! And a lot of those people ran for ME! I had immediate family, extended family, and a handful of friends who raced for me (even my dad's childhood best friend showed up, and got 6th place!). And a lot of them wore purple, which is the color for lymphoma cancers (each type of cancer gets it's own color. Yeah, I didn't know that either till I got the disease). 

As I sat in the stands wrapped in warm blankets, surrounded by my mom and sisters cheering the runners on, I got a little reflective. There were so many people who cared. Most of them didn't know me, but they knew someone who fought/is fighting cancer. And that's no joke. That's life. While I do have some feelings about cancer being put on a pedestal (a blog post on that to come), this event was so positive and happy and made me so glad to be a part of this community. Yeah, community. The Rex Lee Run was a beautiful celebration of community, and I was a part of that. My battle was honored by friends and neighbors, and I was cheered on by thousands of thumping sneakers.

I think all of this is best summed up by Phil Hermanek, a cancer survivor that CPMS also interviewed. Quite simply:

“We’re not as separate as we might like to think.”