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Running with a PURPOSE

4/18/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

As you know, I'm trying to learn how to run. Last week I did successfully complete Week 1 of the Couch to 5K Running Plan. Feels great. I will be beginning Week 2 today.

But today, I want to dedicate my post to a special woman who redefines willpower and determination. Today she will be running her 9th Boston Marathon and has been recognized for raising more than $50,000 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the process. She's Elizabeth Puopolo, mi suegra, and she's running with a purpose. Here's a letter from her:

Boston Marathon 2011 will mark the 9th time I have run as part of the DFMC team. I have been privileged to connect with so many wonderful people throughout this journey.

When I began 10 years ago to train for my very first DFMC/Boston Marathon 2001, I dedicated my run to my sister Theresa and my sister-in-law Nancy, both of whom were faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer in the fall of 2000. Many of you have shared their journeys and mine, as well as those of many other special people of whom I have written over these last 10 years.

Nancy is an inspiring breast cancer survivor, who leads a very fulfilling life. I am honored by her love and encouragement.

Sadly, Theresa was not so fortunate, she left this world on July 6, 2010. She was, to the very end, fierce in her will to live a full life even facing a Stage IV diagnosis since the spring of 2006.

Theresa gifted me with her love, friendship, and sisterhood. She inspired so many of us with her faith, hope, and determination in spite of very slim odds.

Theresa was a two time DFMC alum, she ran the 2007 Boston Marathon with me. My family and I treasure every memory we made together.

One year after emergency brain surgery in March 2008 to remove a brain metastasis, and only 10 days after receiving brain radiation in April 2009, Theresa ran in the 2009 Boston Marathon. In her 2 Boston Marathons for DFMC, Theresa raised almost $11,000 for basic cancer research. Talk about an inspiring woman!

I am dedicating my 2011 DFMC/Boston Marathon to my beloved sister Theresa and to all the sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, friends,and families affected by this disease. Won't you please join me in supporting this cause? You may donate online at Just click on "Support A Runner" and type in my name, you'll be linked to my personal webpage. Please let me know if you would like me to remember someone special in your life who has fought this disease, I will carry their name with me on Marathon Monday, inspiring me to keep moving forward and close to the finish line.

I am thrilled to say that my niece, Lisa, and sister-in-law, Anita are also part of the 2011 DFMC family, they will volunteer for the team. Lisa has run the last leg of the Marathon several times, I look forward to the day when she will run the Boston Marathon herself!

If you’ll be in Boston on April 18, 2011, won't you join my family and please come cheer on my DFMC teammates and me as we race towards the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer. We train and run with thousands of special people in mind and hope in our hearts. Dana-Farber is setting the pace in the race against cancer, and we’re grateful for your help.

God bless you all!

xo Elizabeth aka "Lizzie", "Liz"

WOW, I'm just trying to run 1 mile without huffing and puffing...can't even imagine 26.2.

Best of luck Momma Pops!

*Picture is of Mrs. Puopolo with Theresa on the left in April 2007, two days before they ran the Boston Marathon together.

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