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Hello everyone thank you for coming to my Be The Match page!! I want to let you all know I am participating in this year’s Be The Match Walk+Run Chicago!!
I started this journey the first week of January 2017. As many of you know my cousin Jason Peacewind left this world on December 26th, 2016. I felt like I lost not only my cousin but my best friend and one of the great loves of my life. I was lost, devastated and felt like a giant hole had been blown through my chest. I opened my phone and started to look at messages me and Jason sent to each other and one of the last messages was, "Take care of Luis. I love you so much cousin:)". I really took those words to heart. He told me he loved me and to "Take care of Luis." How was I going to do that? What more could I do so that when Jason looked down at me from heaven, he would be proud? Suddenly the universe gave me the answers. My husband Luis, who has end stage kidney failure and who Jason loved, found out that he didn't have a perfect match for living kidney donation due to different blood types and they were open to looking into other possible donors. I felt like that was my answer, I will try to be a living kidney donor for my husband! Knowing I have type O+ blood I can feel it in my heart that we just have to be perfect matches! So I started my journey to make Jason proud of me and hopefully be a kidney donor for my husband. I knew I needed to get healthy and fit so I can be considered as a candidate to donate my kidney to Luis and give him the healthiest kidney possible. So through all my grief and loss from losing Jason I got myself out of bed and I joined a gym. I decided I would devote my life to becoming healthy and fit. To my surprise going to the gym hasn't just been about the physical aspect of it but also the mental. I was in a bad place in my head, I cut myself off from the world and I was holding onto my grief. But I continued my workouts and found I was turning my grief and painful memories into beautiful memories and inspiration. The gym has helped me so much mentally and as a bonus I am excited to say since January I have lost 20 pounds! Jason was one of the best, if not thee best person I knew. He was sooo loving but also had tons of sass and would tell you what’s what in a second. If I needed advice or help I would ask Jason. He would help me with what I like to call, tough love. He sent me this quote one time, “Take responsibility for your last bad decision, and then let it go. Don’t blame others or make excuses for yourself.” He always knew what to say and how to say it. Jason loved music, all sorts of music and he also loved going for long drives in his car. From Kayne to Ray Charles to 80s hair bands Jason loved it all and so did I. Our song is Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue, it was our favorite jam! <3 Not one drive was the same with Jason because it was like a music adventure, each time it was something new and something awesome. Over the years I would try and go to visit him as much as possible, even though I live in Chicago and he in Minnesota. Once we were together there was nothing else, no disease, no hospitals everything else in the world blocked out. When we were together it was just two cousins hanging out and enjoying life to the fullest. That was him, “enjoying life to fullest” he knew how to appreciate all the little things and would constantly open my eyes to the world around us. Whether it was during our drives or our nature walks everything seemed meaningful and wonderful. When he would be stuck in the hospital for weeks or months at a time I would hop in my car and head to Minnesota and go and stay with him. This one night we decided to go exploring in the hospital and got on an elevator and went to every floor of the hospital just to see what vending machine goodies each floor had. (and yes each floor had different goodies!) In between each floor we were blasting music on his portable speaker and having dance parties lol. Then on the way back to his floor the elevator doors opened and we didn’t notice. Me and Jason were in full Harlem Shake (u gotta google it!! Lol) and there standing in front of us was three of his doctors staring at us with mouths wide open. It was so funny! When we finally stopped they were laughing and we were laughing, it was a great day. Just like all the days we spent together. Every day was a great day if it involved my Spud, Spud was my nickname for him. I will miss him, think about him and love him always. I would tell him all the time that he was my everything. <3 Jason was diagnosed with Leukemia the same day I got married, April 22nd, 2009. For seven and a half years Jason lived with this disease and during this time he received a bone marrow transplant from his brother. Which is why I decided to take my fitness to the next level and join Walks and Runs that fundraise for people that are going through what Jason went through. I know in my heart Jason would be so happy to look down and see me helping and supporting others that are going through what he went through. So for my first 5K run for Jason I chose the organization Be The Match.
Be the Match is the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on saving lives through marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation. 100% of event net proceeds raised through the Be The Match Walk+Run events help more patients afford transplant, add potential marrow donors to the registry and fund our life-saving research. For patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases, a cure exists – a marrow transplant. You can help me make a positive impact in the lives of patients and their families. By donating or participating with me in Be the Match Walk+Run you are helping to support those patients before, during and after their transplant. For more information about Be The Match visit BeTheMatch.org.
Help me raise donations and together we can make Jason proud of us all and show blood cancer it has met its match!! If you would like to donate, above is a link that says "make a gift" click it and lets help patients with blood cancers!! <3
Thank you for reading my journey, while I'm running my little heart out I will be thinking about all of you that have donated and supported my want to help others and make my Spud proud. Lots of love from the bottom of my heart!!
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Every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer.
Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia or other diseases like sickle cell anemia, need a marrow transplant to survive. Most patients don’t have a fully matched donor in their family — and that’s when they turn to Be The Match®. By participating in a Be The Match Walk+Run, or donating funds, you are providing life-saving support to those patients in need. Do right, join the fight.