Run for a Reason: Sabrina's Story

by Sabrina Mitchell
My mom Chrissy used to run every day before work. While you could say I followed in her footsteps by running a half marathon in 2014, I also told myself I would never do it again after crossing that finish line. But my mindset began to shift when mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just a year later. 

Though the cancer kept her from running and even working, mom still walked three miles every single afternoon. It didn't matter if it was raining, snowing or freezing cold. It didn’t matter that she went through massive surgery and countless chemotherapy treatments. She would get that walk in each day - until she passed away in August 2017 after a long and brave fight against the disease. 

I was extremely sad but also inspired. Knowing my mom and other cancer patients can face a relentless battle, I was inspired to run for her and everyone else that couldn't because of cancer. I registered as a charity runner for the 2018 UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon to benefit the American Cancer Society

I decided it wasn’t enough to just run in my mom’s honor. I wanted to bring more awareness to those affected by cancer - the patients, the caregivers and the families of those battling the disease. I wanted others to understand that there is so much that can be done to help find a cure and help those in need.

Raising money for the American Cancer Society has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! Exceeding my fundraising goal and becoming the top DetermiNation fundraiser in 2018 is an accomplishment I will never forget. I was moved to tears when I realized what I had done and how it would help so many. 

I know my mom would be proud of what I accomplished both off and on the race course. I wish she could have been there to watch me run on the streets that she grew up on and congratulate me at the finish line. Though she can’t be there in person, I know she’s there in spirit. 

And I am not the only member of DetermiNation to have an angel watching over me. While I hate to see so many impacted by this heartbreaking disease, it is a comfort to know I am not alone in my personal experience with cancer. DetermiNation is like a big family to me. We all are running for one common reason: to stop cancer in its tracks. 

Because everyone is affected by cancer in some way, four wonderful friends chose to join me as charity runners this year. We registered as a five-person team for the 2019 FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay to go on this incredible journey together. Whether raising money individually or as a team, it is equally as rewarding. Though I must admit it is much easier to get the word out about DetermiNation and meet our fundraising goal with five people running for the same reason!  

I look forward to crossing the finish line on May 5 knowing that I have four close friends and the entire DetermiNation team running for the exact same reason that I am. 

The Run for a Reason Charity Program presented by Bank of America is an amazing opportunity to give back. Raising money for a charity close to your heart is not only rewarding, but also a relatively simple process. If you’re thinking about running for a reason, I can guarantee you will not regret doing it!

Click here to support Sabrina, her relay team and the entire DetermiNation team of charity runners. Click here to view the new Run for a Reason Charity Program video series highlighting the charity runner and charity coordinator experience.

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