How The Running Community Gives Back To Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation
Written by Kayla Giacin. Kayla is a survivor of a brain tumor during her childhood. She is running the 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon on behalf of Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF) as well as raising awareness along with two other children’s brain tumor survivors, David Cuadro and Jake Noone. If you’d like to contribute to David, Jake, or Kayla’s runs, please visit CBTF’s team page: CBTF Crowdwise Page
As you can imagine, being diagnosed with a brain tumor creates many challenges, but also many opportunities to find meaning in parts of life that others might not.
Jake, who is tackling the Ultra-marathon notes that running is an outlet for him “…a place to escape the normal stresses of life and the hectic pace of living in New York City. It’s also a form of active meditation where I can reflect on where I have been and where I intend to go.”
It gives survivors the motivation to try something new. David was three years old when he had his tumor diagnosed and removed. “Twenty-three years later, I find myself wanting to run marathons. I want to run for something other than myself.”
It helps survivors to fill voids a brain tumor diagnosis may leave them with.
“Your physical self-changes after a brain tumor diagnosis,” says Kayla. “Running helps me to bridge the gap between the mental and the physical aspects of life in order to create balance.”
Each of these survivors chose to run for CBTF because they know how important it is for families and survivors to have support post-diagnosis.
“I am one of the fortunate children who was given a second chance at life,” says Jake. “ I wake up every day knowing that there are children out there far worse off than I was and that their families are enduring things that words can simply not express. I run for them.”
“As a survivor, to be able to be any sort of inspiration for kids and families that went through what I and my family went through made it all a perfect fit,” says David. “The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation gave me the opportunity to give back to a community that I am apart of and that I could raise awareness for.”
What many people might not know is that life after a brain tumor doesn’t mean you are home-free. Kayla shares that as a young adult, she lacked independence that her peers had and often felt very isolated, but CBTF changed all of that.
“After I attended their Young Adult Heads Up Conference in 2011, my world opened up. I developed beautiful friendships and relationships meeting my boyfriend, also a survivor. I began working for CBTF and moved to New York City. Knowing what their support has done for me makes it crucial that I can help other survivors experience the same thing.”
Every survivors’ story and source of motivation can vary greatly, but David, Kayla, and Jake all agree that their experiences are what helps keep them running.
If you’d like to contribute to David, Jake, or Kayla’s runs, please visit CBTF’s team page: Crowdwise Page