Speak Eagle

Peri’s Audacious Goal for 2014

Her blue eyes are full of courage, full of hope.  My friend and neighbor, Peri, sits in the hospital bed that has been set up in her bedroom, writing out her goals for 2014 on a tablet.

She lists things like finishing her scrapbooks and celebrating her 50th birthday on February 4th.  And then she says the audacious:

“And I want to do one more marathon.”

I feel my eyebrows go up.  It was only last fall when she knocked on my back door to tell me her ovarian cancer was back.  It had been in remission for a few months after 3 years of fighting, but it was back with a vengeance.  Now in Stage IV with hospice called in, I can’t fathom how her body could handle a marathon.

“Really?  How could…?”

She smiles and shakes her head.  “I’m not running it.  Chris and her sister Peggy have this thing called ‘Hope Walking Across America’ and are doing a marathon in Louisiana in March.  If I can live that long, they said they would push me in a jogging stroller.”

If she can live that long.  I hate those words.  I’d rather drink my cup of denial, please.  The doctors gave her just 4-6 months, and that was 3 ½ months ago.

But Peri is undaunted.  IMG_3565She invites Chris over to start training her upper body so she’ll be ready for the task.  With a background in exercise science and a former marathon runner, Peri is a tough coach.  She sits on the couch directing while Chris does 25 sets of soup cans on the floor and 10 sets of running the stairs.  I join them occasionally and suffer the consequences in the morning.  Wow.

I decide I’m very happy just being the photographer.

We all know Peri’s goal is audacious.  As Chris said last week, she is running a marathon every day to stay alive.  And if Peri is no longer with us in March, Chris and her sister will complete the marathon in her honor and give the funds they raise to her family.

Audacious Peri.

May we all have the courage to live 2014… Audacious.

 

If you would like to read more or donate to Chris and Peggy’s marathon (100% of the funds raised will go to the Thomas family), see https://www.livinlively.com/pushing-peri/

6 thoughts on “Peri’s Audacious Goal for 2014”

  1. What a blessing that Peri has wonderful friends! Don’t give up hope! I have two friends that beat stage-4 cancer, with mere months to live, one of them 2 times!

  2. Heidi, I ran across this on Facebook and read your post. This is absolutely beautiful. I love her life perspective. Our hope IS in Christ alone! What a beautiful friendship. What audacious living. Thanks for posting. This was such an encouragement to me today.

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