"My Hero is God. He is my hero because he is wonderful. He is always there when I need him. He loves me a lot. He is with me where ever I am. He prays with me all the time. He gets me well too. God is my life. Without him I would be very sad. I love him." - Erin Vallely
What a face. To look at it takes me back. In it I see her brother's eyes and smile - especially those two front teeth. Erin Lynn Vallely passed away in 1991 at the age of 12 from cancer. Our families have known each other for years and growing up we shared summers at the beach and winters in the snow. Her older brother Eric and I have been close friends since jr. high. He was one of my first full-fledged crushes.
In the years since Erin's death, her family has become greatly involved with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. This past Sunday was the PCRF Run "Reaching for the Cure." Eric's wife, Suzanne, formed team "Friends and Family of Erin Vallely" and set the goal of organizing 10 team members and raising $1500. The day of the race, there were almost 50 team members and over $5700 raised to fight pediatric cancer in honor of Erin's memory.
Here we are at the start of the race.
Grace and Tre, Megan and Molly, Vivi and Emmy all ready to RUN!
And they're off! Those are Suzanne's hottie legs. She kicked butt and finished the 10K in under an hour!
Melt my heart!
About half way thru - Molly gave up and wanted to be carried. So here we are, still running!
Crossing the finish line.
After the race we all enjoyed snacks, bounce houses, and FUN!
Later that afternoon, my parents had everyone over for a BBQ. Suzanne (artist extraordinaire) painted the girls faces...And BoBo's (Vivi's Grandpa John) too.
We had so much fun. Thank you Vallely family for including us! Erin, we hope to honor your memory everyday by living our lives to the fullest, always with our eyes on your hero. We can't wait to celebrate your life and participate in the race again next year.
If you want to learn more about PCRF or make a donation to fight pediatric cancer, please click here!