run for travis
When David and I were first married – both full-time students and working part-time and adjusting to a new phase of life – we found ourselves blessed enough to be fast friends with a couple other newlywed couples on campus. The Williams and the Kennedys were in our same boat and we had an immediate connection with them. We just clicked. Spending time with each other was such a fun “break” from the everyday rigor of studying, paying bills, taking tests, and other stress (or what we felt was stress at the time).
That was nearly 19 years ago. Which feels insanely crazy to say it’s really been that long. I think we all still feel like we’re in our twenties sometimes. But here we are … all these years later … and we’re still very dear friends. Anytime we’re together, we pick right back up where we left off. These are the best kind of friends. They are lifelong friends. We know each other’s core. We’ve seen each other’s ups & downs and we’ve supported each other all along the way, even though we’ve never been in the same town since college.
At age 34, Travis (below) received the awful news about a tumor on his brain stem. This wasn’t much longer after their daughter got through the battle of having Leukemia. We were all stunned. But true to form, Travis & Andrea have done everything humanly possible to fight, fight, fight. We are very disheartened to learn that the cancer isn’t gone and, in fact, 6 years after that original diagnosis, it’s back with a vengeance.
Seriously – We were babies!
Travis & Andrea Williams were high school sweethearts and they now have four kids. I can’t say enough about these two people, how solid they are, and what they mean to us – and to their community. Most of you know that it wasn’t that long ago that my brother suffered from colon cancer and passed away. Cancer has been – and still is – affecting both of our families to this day. And we have too many friends affected by cancer.
Right now, at age 40, Travis can’t eat, walk on his own, or use fine motor skills to care for himself. He is unable to work. He is making progress each day and wants nothing more than to be home with his family. David and I visited him in the Intensive Care Unit just a couple weeks ago and were reminded once again of how blessed we are to have Travis & Andrea and their family in our life.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Two main reasons, really. First – I wanted to express my gratitude for lifelong friends, dear friends, genuine friends. I know you have those kind of friends, too, and I encourage you to reach out and express what they mean to you. A text, a phone call, a letter in the mail. But more than just a “Hey, what’s up?” message. Tell them what they mean to you. Tell them what you admire about them, or what you’ve learned from them.
And secondly – I wanted to share with you something that is happening to show support to Travis and his family in case any of you are interested. I know many of you are affected by cancer and may find it very rewarding to join with the rest of us in this effort.
Run for Travis
On March 29th there will be 5K / Family Fun Run / Silent Auction in Gilbert, Arizona. 100% of all proceeds will go to the Williams family to relieve some financial stress. This is something that some of their local friends have organized. I am just sick that we can’t physically be there because it’s while we are in Australia for the Spotlight Tour.
We are of course donating Project Life® products for the Silent Auction … and I am planning to run a 5K wherever we happen to be in Australia that day. I will run for Travis … and for Jonathan. Ever since my family participated in the American Fork Half Marathon / 5K last Summer, I can’t run without thinking about my brother.
If you are in Arizona, please consider attending. I just know it’s going to be such a fun & special event. There’s something really neat about coming together with others – even total strangers – to show support to someone who is struggling.
If you are not in Arizona (most of you obviously are not) … you can still contribute. Click on the link in the next paragraph or if you want to make a donation using your PayPal account, simply send that to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you could stop by a local Wells Fargo Bank and ask to donate to the Run For Travis Fund.
Whether attending the event or not … The website to register for the race, buy a t-shirt, or donate in some way is >> HERE. You can follow “Run for Travis” on Facebook or @RunForTravis on Instagram for updates on Travis & the latest information about the race and silent auction.
Just one more reason I’m grateful for scrapbooks: The photos at the top of my post? Found those in our earlier scrapbooks and scanned them. Here’s another page that I came across.