Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Running for MUSC Children's Hospital Cancer Research: My Story

Dear reader,

Throughout the months of November and December only, Pluff Mud Kids have added a new annual goal to raise funds for MUSC Children's Hospital Cancer Research and we need your help. If you have enjoyed this blog and find the daily feed of fresh ideas useful for your family, now's your chance to chip in and show your support. Every dollar helps! (Did I sound like PBS there for a minute?)

My goal is to donate 100% of all proceeds raised by community donations to MUSC Children's Hospital to benefit furthering pediatric cancer research. I plan to run two half marathons - one in November and one in December - to total 26 miles to raise awareness for breast cancer and pediatric cancers. I will post periodic updates and picture stories about the locations so you can follow along and see where this fundraiser goes. There is a Paypal account set up to direct all proceeds to MUSC in the top right corner of this page with a tally to keep track of our progress. I like to share information about the Lowcountry and ideas for family activities, but I am more reserved when it comes to putting myself out there and sharing stories about my life. However, when it comes to supporting MUSC, I would run through the streets with my hair on fire! 

Cancer hit my family hard when both my mother-in-law and father-in-law died young of the disease and missed ever meeting my sons. An even deeper personal connection with cancer began with my Dad's diagnosis of male breast cancer. It was shocking to absorb the idea that an otherwise healthy, strong man could be afflicted with what is typically thought of as a woman's disease. Shortly after his diagnosis, my best friend from grade school and I ran a half marathon together and immediately following the run weekend, she too was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, cancer was a part of my daily life and thoughts; much of my energy was given over to trying to make sense of this brutal disease. 

 My Dad lost his battle with the cancer that overtook him this past December. There is nothing more that can be said about that other than it is a devastating loss that has forever changed my life and the lives of those closest to him.

 My girlfriend fights on and celebrates her fifth year cancer-free anniversary this coming weekend. She is incredibly strong and has a fantastic outlook on life and so she has chosen to commemorate this milestone by gathering together a close group of girlfriends and we will run the half marathon with her... in Puerto Rico at the Diva Half Marathon in San Juan this coming Sunday. There are worse ways to earn a half marathon medal and I am delighted to run along with her!

The second half marathon is December 13th at Kiawah Island, SC. These runs will mark my sixth and seventh consecutive half marathons. I hope my photos will depict the beauty of these two very different runs and raise awareness for male and female breast cancer, surviving cancer treatment, and the research being conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina.

I appreciate any donations and support you can give to this project and this cause. Thank you for supporting this website through daily reading. Again, this fundraising event will come to a close after the second half marathon in December.

 The training miles are behind me and my bag is packed. I look forward to the journey ahead and thank you for coming along for the ride.

 --- Leigh 


  1. I am so excited to hear more of your running stories. Kudos to you for raising funds for such a horrible illness affecting SO many people.

  2. Thank you Jessica! Pray for my strength! Love the folks at MUSC