I will always remember the day, February 7, 2018. It was 6:18 pm when my parents sat me down and told me that they received a call from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Instead of having a lung infection, like we were originally told, I had cancer. Fast forward to when we were sitting in the doctor's office, they told me I had Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma and I'm going to lose all of my hair. That's when my life changed forever, I felt my body go numb. I was so scared and it seemed like the cancer in my lungs was choking me until I couldn't breathe. Wasn't it just a week ago I was going to school stressing about tests and wondering what I was going to do that weekend? How did everything change for the worst in such a quick amount of time?
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Oncology floors are packed and it's one of the most depressing things for me to see. So many kids have to suffer from cancer and it just isn't fair. The kids there are my biggest inspiration because they fight the hardest battle everyday. No one will ever understand what they or I have to go through. Emotionally and physically cancer is the hardest to overcome and I hope that every child on that floor will one day soon go into remission and be free from those suffocating walls of the hospital.
One of my favorite things to do is run. I might not be the greatest runner on my high school team, but I love the sport. The feeling of satisfaction when you cross a finish line is something you can never get from anything else. It's what I miss the most throughout my experience. So when my Dad told me that Mr. Ponenti and other friends wanted to do a run in my name to raise money for pediatric cancer research, I jumped at the idea. The name would be Run With Veronica, not Run For Veronica, because I'm going to kick Hodgkin's Butt!
I made a promise to myself, I vowed that every race I run will be dedicated to every kid that is suffering from cancer. That I will run because they can't. I will push myself to the limit because that is what they do on a daily basis. If only I could run, cancer took that away.
So I encourage you to keep us in your thoughts and help raise money to fight pediatric cancer.