Friday night was our local Relay for Life. My son had an early soccer game Saturday morning, so just my daughter and I went. We got there early because I wanted to be there in time for the survivor lap. That is always an emotional thing for me and this year was no different. A little four year old girl from the preschool at my church was diagnosed with leukemia just before she turned four. The preschool teachers and moms put together a team in her honor. Little Hailey loves ladybugs, so they all wore headbands with ladybug antenna on the top. It was neat to look around the track and see all the antenna bouncing along. We weren't planning on staying long, but we ended up staying through the luminary ceremony.
I don't know Hailey very well, but she is one of those kids that just makes you smile when you see her. She is such a happy, loving little girl and it just breaks my heart that she has to go through chemo. I asked her mom Friday night if Hailey could be my honored hero for my next Team in Training (TNT) event and her mom said that was fine. You see, every TNT participant has an honored hero that they train for. It can be a personal hero, or it can be the hero for the local chapter. I've always had personal heroes. I think my first season I had about 30 or 40. And I wrote ALL of their names on my shirt. Of course, there are several that are always my heroes - my brother-in-law, my father-in-law, and several kids who give me inspiration. This time, when I run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 21st, Hailey's name will be on my jersey and when I think I can't take another step, I'll think of her and what she's been through.