Guest post by Mandy Mathews
“What matters most is how you live and love and how you spend your dash.” Linda Ellis
In 2009, my 21 and 23-year old sisters, Becca and Laura, were both diagnosed with colon cancer. Through faith and treatment, and with the support and love of their family, they both beat colon cancer.
In 2015, within three days of each other, they were both diagnosed with cancer again. Laura, who was 30 at the time, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Becca, then 27, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Sadly, we lost Becca when she was only 28-years old, on April 24, 2016. Laura is still fighting the same cancer-causing syndrome, Constitutional Mismatch Repair Deficiency (CMMRD). Our family and others like ours are devastated by this disease, and we are in desperate need of both a cure for CMMRD and better cancer treatment options.
We, Becca’s family, have started an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501c (3) organization in honor of Becca’s and Laura’s courageous journey in an effort to find a cure for CMMRD, help families who are dealing with it, and assist local young adult cancer patients.
Becca, who is lovingly referred to as Becca Jean by friends and family, was only given twenty-eight years on this Earth, but she lived her life — her dash — well. She gave to others more in those years than you could imagine, and she was the true definition of love. Her light continues to shine through her legacy to all who knew her, and also through our organization, Love Always, Becca Jean, when we are able to help others in her name.
One of Becca’s favorite pastimes was running. She ran 8 miles almost every day when she was healthy and even jogged to her daily radiation treatments as long as she could. She participated in many local races raising money for cancer research.
In her honor, we are hosting our first “Becca’s Dash” on June 23, 2018. The course will start at Windsor Academy in Macon, Georgia. Windsor Academy was Becca’s and Laura’s high school Alma Mater, and the school has continued to support Love Always, Becca Jean in our fundraising and outreach goals.
From Windsor, participants will run through Becca’s and Laura’s childhood neighborhood. It is a quick and flat course, and we are hoping for lots of community involvement with neighbors cheering on the participants.
Although it is not required, runners and walkers are encouraged to participate in teams and dress up in fun attire in support of the people in their lives who have faced cancer. Becca had quite the sense of humor and her favorite race team name was “Rectal Dysfunction for Colon Cancer Awareness”.
For Becca’s Dash, participants can pick a theme to go along with the support color of a particular cancer awareness/fight against cancer campaign, wear shirts to support or represent their loved one(s), or come up with their own creative or funny costume type and team name. We will have a costume contest before the race starts.
All skill levels are encouraged to participate, including new runners and walkers alike. Awards by male/female age categories, as well as Cancer Survivor and Best Costume will be given. All proceeds from the admission fees go to cancer research and the support of the families of young adults fighting cancer.
Online registration is available through June 21 at www.runsignup.com/race/GA/Macon/BeccasDash. Race day registration will be available the morning of the event at 7am.
If you register online, you can honor a friend or loved one by getting their name on our race t-shirt for a $25 donation. Sponsorships are also still available. The deadline for honorary names and sponsorships to be added to our race t-shirts is noon on Monday, June 11, 2018.
Names can be submitted online at https://runsignup.com/Race/Store/GA/Macon/BeccasDash.
For sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, or any other questions, please contact Mandy Mathews at (478) 731-5292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more visit www.lovealwaysbeccajean.org.
To register for Becca’s Dash visit www.runsignup.com/race/GA/Macon/BeccasDash.
We would like to extend our appreciation to our event sponsors: Cox Communications, Merck, Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia, Scarborough Family Medicine, Christy Capital Management, AllCare, and State Farm agent Mark Gray, and to our volunteers, friends, and family who make these events possible. It is because of them that we are able to provide support to families going through cancer and give money towards research for a cure.