Meet Heidi, Team Samfund member and 2016 Sambassador. Heidi was one of our first-ever Team Samfund members, running not one, but two half marathons last fall, and raising over $3,000 for The Samfund along the way. Today on our blog, she shares what motivated her to join Team Samfund and what it means to her.
“I’ve learned that it’s what you do with the miles, rather than how many you’ve run” – Rod DeHaven
There’s a particularly helpless feeling that you get when you watch someone you love battle cancer.
You try to do what you can: buy them treats, care for them, be there for them, and listen. At the end of the day, the biggest frustration is that you can’t get rid of the disease, you can’t take away the pain of the treatment, and you can’t get rid of the fears. For me, volunteering for The Samfund has brought me the greatest feeling that I’m helping young adults with cancer. Not just helping the person that I love who’s battled the treacherous C word, but so many more.
As a member of Team Samfund, I raised money to help young adult survivors across the country overcome the financial burden of cancer treatment. As the sister of a Samfund grant recipient, I have seen directly the hope, relief, and freedom from worry that The Samfund provides, and I was so happy to find a way to give back.
With each donation earned through Team Samfund I helped young adults focus on getting better, rather than these fears. I believe that stress is detrimental to recovery and it is my mission to help as many young adults fighting cancer as I can.
As part of my fundraising mission, I wanted to take on a physical challenge. A half marathon is 13.1 miles and involves several months of training. Some days running wasn’t much fun: my legs were sore and heavy, or it was extremely hot or cold outside. Some days I just didn’t feel like getting out there, but I know that no one can ever say: “today I don’t feel like going to chemotherapy”. For each mile that I ran I was reminded that I am blessed to be able to run those miles. I was running for those who can’t run or pursue their favorite hobbies.
Knowing the importance of being active, staying healthy, and challenging yourself, one can better understand the frustration that burdens a young adult battling cancer when they can no longer do the things they love to do. Being a part of the team was a wonderful way to honor their fight by getting out there and challenging myself while also raising funds and awareness. In the end, I was so inspired by The Samfund and so grateful for the donations that I received, that I ended up running two half marathons.
Being a part of Team Samfund was wonderful in so many ways. It helped me grow and brought me a great sense of happiness in helping others while also improving my own health and fitness. After nine years of running I am still constantly learning about the sport, but I’ve never before felt as fulfilled by my sport as I do now.
The great thing about our team is there are no prescribed races, distances, disciplines, or fundraising goals. You decide! Together we will not only raise funds for The Samfund, but also raise awareness, all while taking on a physical challenge to betters ourselves.