This Race is For Jacob | Tuesdays on the Run

Tuesdays On The RunTuesdays on the Run topic: alternatives to traditional medicine.

As runners, we get injured and we look for any option to get us back on the road, right?  Have you resorted to anything outside the usual western medicine means to fix you right up?

Acupuncture, chiropractors, oils, voodoo (ha!)… anything along those lines?  If so, we’d love to hear about it!

Link up with Erika, April & I this week (and if alternative medicines aren’t your thing, feel free to include any running related post!)

This Race is For Jacob

This post is not about alternative medicine.  In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.  I’m a big fan of traditional medicine: give me a doctor, nurse or pharmacist and I’m probably going to fangirl them for being awesome.

When they’ve saved your child’s life- multiple times- well, you quickly fall in love with the medical community!

(More on this in a moment.)

Last week the runDisney world was taken over by the Princesses and registration for our big race.  For the first time in 6 years, I stayed out of it and did not register on the opening day.

Whaaaaa???  No Princess Patty?

I know, I know.  I can hear the gasps and the questions.

How did you miss registration?  What were you thinking?  How will I ever run the Princess Half without you?!


(Ahem.  Mr. Shenanigans thinks he’s funny and came up with that one.)

And I know, no one’s shocked or really cares.  I’m trying to be funny but it is 11 PM and I’ll admit I may be totally missing the mark here.

So I’ll just get to the point: me, skip the Princess?

As.  If.

I sat out registration because I signed up through a charity.  I’m running the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2016 as a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Maker.


Truth?  I considered passing over this race this year.  Around mile 7 of this years race I swore (again!) that this was the last time I would run the Princess Half.

The course doesn’t change, the bling isn’t up for a major reboot for another couple years, and really, how many times can running the same boring highway be remotely interesting?  I just wasn’t as passionate about this race weekend as I once was.

Then an odd sort of peer pressure happened.  Maybe peer pressure isn’t the right term, but it’s as close as I’m getting this late at night.

A few of the DisBroads got to talking about their charity efforts.

Both Wendy and Julie ran for the purple people of Team in Training last year, and Wendy signed up with them again for 2016.  Amy ran one year for Give Kids the World and this year she has joined up with St. Jude.  Suzanne and Kristen are huge fans of St. Jude and have run quite a few races as Heroes.

Suzanne Darth

Hero Suzanne at Wine & Dine 2013

Those Broads:  they’ve got some big hearts!

I flirted with the idea last year and many of y’all chimed in with some great thoughts about running with charities.  It gave me much to think on.

But it was hearing my #BRFs tell how running for a charity changed their entire mindset when it came to training and running their races that finally sealed the deal.  That’s what I needed to hear.

I’m all for running for “selfish” reasons (holla Swim Bike Mom!), but this time, I’m going to run for the kids.

I was in.


The number one takeaway I heard from everyone: find a charity you believe in and have a true connection to.  That will be the group you can most honorably & passionately represent.

I found that in CMN.

  • They raise funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals in North America.
  • 1 in 10 kids in North America is treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year.
  • And 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute.

While all of that is impressive, I had a personal reason for choosing CMN:  my Jacob.


Super Jake August 17, 2001- October 20, 2005

You know I’m a mom with 4 kids at home.

What you may not know is that my oldest son, Jacob, is no longer with us.  It was a miracle- and a hell of a medical team- that allowed us the 4 long years we shared with him.  Insert fangirl moment here. 

We are forever thankful that he was born within a short distance to one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Once the shock wore off from hearing things like “emergency baptism” and “don’t leave the hospital for any reason” we settled in for our new normal with a child who had major medical issues.

Vandy became a 2nd home for us and the doctors and nurses were our extended family.

I’ll be honest- I didn’t know if we’d ever take him home.

But Vanderbilt took care of him, and they took care of us.  And continued to do so for the next 4 years.

Jake and Luke swings

Jacob (3) and Luke (2) in 2005

This fall marks 10 years since we lost Jacob to cancer.

10 years. That’s a really long time to go without a member of your family.

Watching Luke grow up without his Irish twin brother is hard. It’s hard to believe Claire is now 10-years-old and was just a baby when Jacob passed away. Hard to remember that Seth never met his older brother. And it’s hard to believe that Lucy is the same age as Jacob when we lost him.

Life: it goes on, doesn’t it? Even when it’s, well, hard.

This anniversary year is already weighing heavily on my mind. I want to always remember Jacob and honor him in ways that are meaningful.

I found that meaning as a Miracle Maker this year.

Here’re a few stats on what CMN does and how they help families like mine.

CNM infographic

My goal is to raise over $3500 for this charity and I have a great start already.  In fact, I may just have to increase that goal shortly since I have until December 31 to raise funds for this event!

I have a few fundraisers already in the works.

First off, anything sold through my Jamberry website this month & next month will support CMN.  I’m donating my commission right back to the fundraising efforts.

I’m also hosting a DietBet (lose 4% in the next 28 days to win part of the pot).  I’m donating my winnings and hostess commission to CMN- and you can bet I’m going to win!  Come join us if you also need a jump start on your weight goals!

How else can you be involved?  Here’s 3 ways.

  • Donate.  All funds are appreciated and welcome!  Here’s the link to my personal fundraising page.
    but waitI have a special person in my life who pledges to donate $10 for every donation made of $10 or more.
    How this works:  You donate $10, my friend will match it.  Boom.  $20 donated.  You donate $40, my friend will add $10 to that donation bringing your efforts to the $50 mark.  Amazing, right?!
  • Share.  If you can’t donate, I totally get it.  But I’d LOVE a social media share to get the word out.  Use one of those cute little Share-a-holic buttons at the top or bottom my the post.  You ROCK.
  • Join.  The Miracle Makers hope to have 500 participants at the runDisney Princess Half Marathon this year.  YOU could be one of them!  Entries are available for ALL races at this time (FYI- the 10K is the most limited race right now- everyone loves that distance!).   Check out the website and consider signing up HERE.

I know this was long and basically off topic, but it was from the heart.  And it felt right to share this tonight.  It also feels right to join this team for the 2016 Glass Slipper Challenge and I’m proud to be part of the Miracle Makers this year.

Have you ever run for a charity?  Which one holds a special place in your heart?

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  • I am so sorry for your loss. I am here because of the brother I never knew – my parent’s first born died of cancer before I was born. They only wanted 3 children, so if he hadn’t died, I might never have been born.

    My parents & you – very strong people.

    Still, I had a lot of medical issues as a child (none serious when all us said & done) & quite frankly it left my kind of suspicious of doctors. Either they didn’t tell me a procedure would hurt, or they minimized how painful it would be. I’m glad you had such “good” experiences, since of course it can’t really be called good.

  • Melanie says:

    I think it’s awesome that you are honoring Jacob through your race. By doing that, it will add so much more meaning to what would just be another race. Makes it special!

    • patty says:

      It will make training mean more- which is important to me. I’ve been dialing it in for the past year. This year I have a bigger reason than myself!

  • Jennifer says:

    This is awesome, Patty! Running a race for a cause is so meaningful. Your reason is so personal, you will be beaming with pride on race day! Good luck and I will do what I can to support you!

  • Lesley says:

    You’re going to make me cry! What an awesome way to honor Jacob!

  • Patty, I have no words except to say Go You! Thank you for sharing this and the deeper personal story that goes along with it.

  • Jessica S says:

    Such a fantastic way to honor your son! A lot of tremendous work is done at Children’s Hospitals supported by CMN and they’ll be so grateful for your support. As someone who works with those hospitals, thank you so much for both your kind words about your experiences and for the work you’re doing to honor Jacob. My husband may hate you a little bit though because now I’m tempted to run Princess again just so I can run it for CMN this time. 🙂

  • Ellen Cusack says:

    Your article not only touched my heart but made me feel so grateful for the little things.
    I’m so,so sorry for your families heartache and pray that the love of your other children keep you busy as a Mom, and help keep your son”s memory alive.
    You rock as a Glass Sipper runner. I too promised never to participate in another 1/2 marathon ( foot issues), but I’m registered for the 5K, we all do what we can.
    Good Luck with raising funds and ith the race!
    Thanks for sharing and opening your heart.

  • Kirsten says:

    You know I think its so great that you’re running for such an amazing charity this year! Gives me the warm fuzzies all over. And tears at the same time! I decided that since this is half #9 for me its about time I Run for something other than myself too! I signed up for Star Wars RC through Team Muscle Makers for UCMD. I’m half way to my fundraising goal and struggling for more fundraising ideas. So thank you for your dietbet idea. I just joined and I’ll donate my winnings to my fundraising! Great idea and gives me even more motivation to win the diet bet! Love and hugs to you Patty! Can’t wait to see you in Jan!

  • Tammy says:

    I ran for AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) in Atlantic City back in October. I only raised a few hundred dollars, but it was the best feeling and actually my best race time. I think because I was running for a reason. I plan on running the 2018 Princess Half and it will be for charity most definitely.

  • Lauren says:

    What an amazing reason to run a race! Kudos to you! I’ve never run a Disney race but it’s on my bucket list.

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Patty Holliday

If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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