A Vallejoan's Spirit of Compassion
Vallejo resident, Judy Lafear recently returned from a journey which will benefit individuals and families battling blood cancers such as: leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Strangely what actually began as a personal fitness goal for her quickly blossomed into a lot more- when fate took a sudden twist. This story illustrates her true spirit of compassion.
Not long ago, the quality of life of one of her family member was completely changed by the selfless act of an organ donor. In gratitude, Lafear sought to find a cause in which she could give back. She found the Team In Training® organization which raises funds for the 'The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society'. http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org.
The organization offered her a dual opportunity to meet her physical fitness goals and raise funds to aid others. Lafear made a serious and a thorough investigation of the organization: She interacted with the organizational staff, other volunteers and she listened intently to the honorees stories. Her heart was touched and she took action.
Judy shared what she learned with me in two valuable messages:
•1. Be aware of what a blessing it is to have your health:
A serious diagnosis affecting your health or the health of a love one can have a huge impact on the family.
•2. Recognize the importance of giving back.
Recognize that we all have had or will need assistance at some time. Each of us can help someone in need. We can give of ourselves physically or we can provide financial support.
Judy became emerged in a cause she sorely came to believe in. She made a commitment to a run a 26.2 mile marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. The Mayor's Marathon took place in June. Although she had never run a marathon in her life, ironically everything she has done until then seemed to have prepared her for this major feat. Most recently she has participated in two, local, shorter distance events. In San Francisco, the Bay to Breakers and in Vallejo, The Touro University Mare Island. In preparation for the challenge she utilized the streets, hills and bridges of the city of Vallejo and Solano County. While she was aggressively training for the Mayor's Marathon she suffered a serious leg injury.
Neither her painful injury nor the stitches dampened her spirit nor hindered her determination. On her return, Judy blissfully reflected on her group's efforts and accomplishments. She summed up the experience and stated, "It was really a worthwhile cause and it was an awesome experience.
In retrospect it was no surprise that she maintained a steady pace and persevered to the finish.
Judy Lafear, Vallejoans salute you!
Author's note: Judy Lafear is a past president of Vallejo's Mare Island's Toastmaster's Club.
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