Why I Run

By Jamie Leaver Sawyer, Esq.

Nearly three years ago, my mom died of cancer. To say that she was truly unlike any other would be an understatement. She was incredibly accomplished and hard-working, shattering the glass ceiling and serving as our city’s first female mayor for eight years. She always went above and beyond, and you could literally feel the love and dedication she put into each and every thing she did in her life. She was the most selfless person I ever knew, going so far as to plan her own funeral so that we didn’t have to. She was an extraordinary person and there was not one person she encountered in her lifetime whose life she didn’t impact. But, most importantly, she was my mom, and losing her was the hardest thing I ever experienced.

So, with the hope that one day nobody ever has to endure such a devastating loss, I run. In honor of my mom, I’ve made a promise to myself to spend the rest of my life fighting this terrible disease by combining my love of running and my passion for finding a cure. I have vowed to participate in at least one race a year as a charity runner for an organization whose mission is to find a cure for cancer.

I ran the Chicago Marathon in October and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life – not because I actually enjoyed running for 26 miles straight, but because I ran as part of a group of people passionate about fighting cancer. I ran as a charity runner for the American Cancer Society and, together, those of us who ran for this organization raised nearly one million dollars. It was an unbelievable experience, and that alone made all the pain and hard work worth it. So, until we find a cure for cancer, I won’t stop running – running for those who lost their fight against cancer, for those who are currently fighting it, and most importantly, for a cure.

Most mornings, it’s hard to convince myself to wake up and run somewhere between 10 and 20 miles. With every mile, I question whether I am capable of taking even one more step. Training for and running a marathon is very challenging, both mentally and physically. But, when I remind myself why it is that I run, it’s almost impossible for me to stop running. And until we find a cure, I won’t.

Our Firm supports Jamie and this incredible endeavor. Join us, won’t you, in donating to help find a cure? Payment can easily be made at: www.heroes.stjude.org/jamieleaversawyer.

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