ALSF: How Many Miles Do We Have to Go?

ALSF-Lucy LMillion Mile Run One million is a really BIG number. Forgive my statement of the obvious (again!), but the last thirty days at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation have emphasized that numbers hold great significance and can represent meaningful accomplishments. During the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, ALSF instituted the Million Mile Run, a far-reaching effort to collectively run or walk one million miles to raise funds and spread the word of the need to support childhood cancer research. Teams could consist of friends, work colleagues, school groups, and were only limited by our imaginations, not by geographic boundaries—I recruited people to a team from four different zip codes!

But back to the numbers… I know, I know—“One million miles!?! Impossible!”—you exclaim! Well, we may still be on our way to achieving that number, but with each step forward we all remain inspired by Alex, who confidently set a goal to raise One Million Dollars through her lemonade stand, which many thought was impossible, yet she proved it could be achieved and surpassed. Let us always keep this perspective. Participants from far and wide will log probably 200,000+ miles to wrap up the month. As the Million Mile Run comes to a close, and with it Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I find myself pondering the question, why place time limits on the “awareness” portion of the need to find a cure? We can all bring such awareness through our actions and our words year round. Maybe all we need is to incorporate this idea into the everyday pattern of our lives. How can I be aware and share awareness? The greater that number, the closer the goal becomes.This is the philosophy I’ve adopted, and although no one in my family is a runner, my husband, three daughters, and I signed up on a team and set an achievable personal goal of reaching 100 miles together. By month’s end, we’ll probably be closer to 400! No huge accomplishment, surely, but the impact of the past thirty days on us has been more than a number. From our individual perspectives, we’ve made adaptations to our routines that extend beyond the calendar and beyond the mission to log miles. We get off the subway a couple stops early; we squeeze in a bike ride with Justice (my “granddog”); we spend our lunch hour walking around the park; we tack on a few extra minutes in the gym. Ultimately, in the minds of my family members, we are not simply walking. We’re walking FOR something, and hopefully, TOWARD something: a cure. Join in and find your own way to take action—it’s vitally important.