By: Tova G
Have you ever heard the adage FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real or Forget Everything And Run? I thought about this so many times but until you have seen someone who is so scared that they are panicking or ready to throw up then this goes out the window! I myself as a teenager was fearless!
As an adult I am cautious! When it came to running I was afraid I had “Fear”. When I was a kid my teachers made fun of me because I was small and said I could never run and I never could! My shoe would fall off, I would have an asthma attack, I would fall down to the point when we had running I would be sick at home. 10 years ago I was given the opportunity to run for Gilda’s Club of Greater Toronto. I had been a member since 2001 when it first opened up in Toronto.
A little background about Gilda’s club. Gilda’s Club was started just before the death of the comedienne Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live in the hopes that anyone who is touched by cancer should never have to face it alone! I was a recipient of the love and kindness from Gilda’s Club GTA and I felt the need to give back. I was asked to run and get sponsorships which would 100% go back to helping people/families touched by cancer! I knew it was way out of my comfort zone.
I had watched my children struggle over the decades with certain fears which I helped them to overcome! The usual ones fear of heights, the dark, spiders, snakes and there were many times I had to help them through really scary public shows of those fears! I always wanted to the best role model ever for my children, my grandchildren and hopefully my future grandchildren as well! I want to make sure I could leave my footprints that they all could follow in my footsteps!
I was easily able to para-sail, I did diving, I was even hit by lightening twice in the same night! Running why was this becoming my biggest fear? I already had cancer several times, this should have been an easy decision.
My head was throbbing and my heart was beating too fast I could not do this! I would fail and those teacher’s voices in my head were telling me I could not do it! I paused and in that moment I knew I had a purpose, I was a cancer survivor and I could show other people going through cancer that they too could beat it! I was going to be a different role model and never let the “Cancer “ word overtake my life! My run was going to be a good one and I would start out small do a run a 5 km. I was like the story “The Little Engine that Could”, I think I can, I think I can, I thought I could wow! I did it, and I got a medal too!
Every year I still get out of my comfort zone to run this race and some years it is a huge struggle, but I know there are always others far worse off than me, so I race for the one’s I have said goodbye to, the one’s still having the struggle and the one’s who it is behind them hopefully forever! Unfortunately we all know someone with a story! But this is a feel good story we all can make a difference! Make the difference, you know you can!
Some years I raise a lot of money and some years even more! It is my passion to help every single person who has been touched by cancer either as a survivor or a caregiver get through this as easily as possible! It is not easy and that is why every year I do the Scotiabank Marathon in October in honour of everyone who has had heard the word cancer in their life. I believe in the people going through it, “I think I can make, I thought I could. No matter the set back there are people and places to help you! Should you want to sponsor me or learn more about Gild’s Place please contact Elana Shapiro at https://gildasclubtoronto.org/ and tell her you want to get out of your comfort zone and help!
6 time cancer survivor