Why do you run for Imerman Angels?
Deep down inside I wish that I could be a caregiver mentor angel, but I’ve never had the courage to do so. I run because I can. I run with Team IA because I am so impressed by those that can open themselves up by sharing their stories and being there for another person facing cancer. I wish that I could put cancer behind me and pretend like it never happened and that it didn’t create a new normal, but I’ll never get away from it. So I make the best from the worst. I run and fundraise because it is the least that I can do for such a great organization. I am overwhelmingly impressed by the Mentor Angels, they blow my mind.
What is it about running that connects you to the mission?
The journey and the training up to and including the race reminds me of those that face cancer. Every effort is put into making sure that you remain strong and push yourself to the end. When the finish line is in sight, you can drag yourself, tired and empty, across the finish line knowing that you can finally rest. What strikes me is the fact that you are surrounded by supporters the entire race. Unless you have someone running with you the whole way, it is easy to feel alone. We need people who will join us on the path who really understand how hard the race is and who will celebrate with you as you cross the finish line.
Tell us about your connection to the Chicago Marathon?
The 2007 Chicago Marathon was my first Marathon; at the time I was running for the Young Survival Coalition which was a wonderful source of support for my wife. For those that remember, 2007 was so hot that they cancelled it midway through the race. Fortunately, I was less than a quarter mile away from the finish line, so nothing was going to stop me. I learned that day that marathons are unpredictable. The best we could do was give everything we had and try to not look surprised.
What’s your favorite race?
Chicago Marathon will always have a special place in my heart. 2013 will be my 7th Chicago Marathon and hopefully my 21st Marathon overall. I have never run a race with so much spectator support. The opportunity to run through all the different neighborhoods in Chicago is what makes this such an incredible race. It is the biggest race that I have ever run at 45,000 capacity, compared to the Stone Bridge Marathon, where I have only ran past two people, which is at 200 capacity.
What’s your favorite Team IA moment?
It is hard to pinpoint my favorite moment, but running with wings and a big pink puff on your head is always a good time. I think it is awesome when runners talk with me during the marathon about why I am wearing the wings. I actually love all the attention around the wing and wig. They laugh, point, and take pictures. Plus I get to talk about how much I love Imerman Angels.
Join Team Imerman Angels in our biggest race of the year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
In 2012, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon sold out in six days. Register today as a Team Imerman Angels athlete. As one of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a premier race for elite runners. Chicago is also a great choice for a first-time marathoner. It is a fast and flat course with over 1.7 million spectators to keep you motivated as you run through 29 of Chicago’s great neighborhoods. On Sunday, October 13, 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish this big goal.
Benefits for our Chicago Marathon runners include:
Team Membership in all 2013 Events
- A Team Imerman Angels tech shirt or t-shirt
- A personalized fundraising page with support
- Complimentary marathon training with CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association)
- Access to Chicago Marathon specific events such as our pre-race Pasta Dinner & Post-Race Bash
- The knowledge that all money raised will help provide 1-on-1 support to cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers
All interested runners are encouraged to register for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon when registration opens on February 19th at 12:00pm CST. This race will sell out quickly this year.
“Just working and pushing myself towards this goal had changed me in ways I couldn’t believe; I never got the chance to thank [Cindy] for that. This whole experience has changed my outlook on life and taught me to really appreciate it. I now strive to use all my time here to further or better the lives of others. I am also more sympathetic to people around me and have learned to open my eyes: everyone around me has some kind of story and some kind of struggle. Now that I see this I can better relate and open up to them. It’s really hard to describe how much Cindy taught me, though I hadn’t ever met her before.”
Helen Slivinski, a Sophomore at South Lakes High School, began her International Baccalaureate (IB) program service project knowing that she wanted it to benefit a good cause, and that she would incorporate her passion for performing arts. Helen’s projects to raise money and awareness include long term t-shirt and pin sales and culminate in a performing arts benefit show on March 20th. The campaign is branded “Think Love,” a theme and design created by Helen for the project.
Helen’s dance teacher, also her sponsor for the project, told her about a friend of a friend, Cindy Martin, who was struggling to pay for her cancer treatment. Cindy worked as a hairdresser in Helen’s community, and was known to be a friend to everyone she met. Cindy had no health insurance, so when she was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of 2010, she had no idea how she would pay for treatment. By the time Helen found Cindy, she was battling the remaining 10% of her malignant tumor, as well as a wave of overwhelming medical bills. With her sponsor’s guidance, Helen decided that the proceeds from the fundraiser would be used to offset Cindy’s treatment costs.
“Everyone at the fundraiser had some strange connection to the both of us and affected our lives indirectly. It was so strange: I don’t think I could describe it in words except to just call it fate. “
As preparations were being made for the benefit show, they received horrible news. On February 23rd, Ms. Martin passed away. She caught pneumonia, and her immune system was too weak to handle the disease and the treatment.
“It was devastating to find out that all my work was unnecessary. I was too late to help her. I didn’t even have a chance to meet her.”
According to the family’s wishes, the total raised after the benefit show will be split evenly between Imerman Angels and the National Brain Tumor Society. Helen’s hope for the show is to raise awareness and create a sense of closure for Cindy’s friends and family. Imerman Angels is lucky to have supporters like Helen. The thoughtfulness and effort invested in this project is truly inspiring. The “Think Love” benefit show, upcoming on March 20th, will include performances by students and local professionals. If you live in or around Washington DC, we strongly encourage you to attend! The show will take place at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Dr, Reston, VA 20191).
Parts of the United States are blanketed in snow. People are home from work and have extra time to create words like “snowpocalypse” and “blizaster”. With all this bonus time, we put together a list of 7 things you can do from home to help ensure no one faces cancer alone:
- Tell someone you know about our service. We personally connect anyone fighting cancer with a cancer survivor just like them. These “Mentor Angels” (now more than 4,000!) are carefully selected and have beaten the same cancer, at the same stage, with the same treatment. Our service is for anyone living anywhere with any type of cancer. It’s free. Just point them to http://imermanangels.org/get-cancer-support.php or have them call toll free 877-274-5529.
- Upload a photo of a Snow Angel to your social media profile and add the caption “Imerman Angels helps ensure no one faces cancer alone. www.imermanangels.org”
- Request brochures through our website and distribute them to doctors, nurses, and cancer professionals you know. Check it out at http://imermanangels.org/support-us.php
- Use social media to raise awareness – thousands of people hear about our free cancer support service from the use of social media. Here’s a list of simple ways to help in 5 minutes or less: http://imermanangels.org/support-us/make-an-impact-right-now.php
- Run a race or join a team to raise awareness and funds. Last year almost 200 marathon runners wore Imerman Angels jerseys and raised funds to promote our mission and help ensure no one faces cancer alone. Sign up at http://www.firstgiving.org/imermanangels
- Plan an event to benefit Imerman Angels – last year alone people planned benefits ranging from simple parties with a few friends to sophisticated tournaments with hundreds of people. You can too, check out our event hosting page at http://imermanangels.org/news-and-events/third-party-events.php
- Feeling generous? Make a tax-deductible donation online at http://imermanangels.org/support-us/donate-or-sponsor.php
Need an excuse to get your fitness back in gear? Imerman Angels will be riding at Cycle for Survival to support research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The event takes place in NYC on January 31 and in Chicago on February 6. Cycle for Survival has already raised more than $2 million to fund research and clinical trials that bring new progress – and new hope – to people affected by cancer.
Feel free to gather a few riders together to form a team or coordinate through our Facebook Fan Page to find others to ride with you. Go to www.cycleforsurvival.org to register and wear your Imerman Angels tshirts to help us spread the mission!
Not from the Windy City or Big Apple? That’s okay! You can ride as a Satellite Rider, in a gym or on the road. Check out the website for more information.
FYI: Fundraising Minimum:
“To ensure that fundraising commitments are fulfilled, each Cycle for Survival team participating at an NYC Equinox location is responsible for fulfilling the $1,000 fundraising requirement by January 15, 2010. Teams participating at Equinox Chicago are responsible for fulfilling the $500 fundraising requirement by January 22, 2010. If funds are not received by the deadline, we reserve the right to cancel your team entry and transfer the bike reserved for you to one of our wait-listed teams. Please contact us with any questions regarding the fundraising minimum requirement.”