Imagine taking your three year-old son for what you think is a routine check of his eyes, because you noticed a little white light, like a cat’s eye glow, only to find out he was actually blind in that eye and needed emergency surgery to remove the eye, along with the retinoblastoma cancer in it?


Imagine all the happiness and excitement of delivering your first born son, when suddenly all your deepest fears seem to come true when it’s discovered he has been born with a rare condition that needs immediate medical care and surgery?


Imagine undergoing surgery to remove what you think are benign uterine fibroids only to be given the news that, not only do you have cancer but, the tool used to remove your cancer has now taken it from a stage 1 to a stage 4. And you have a loving husband and six kids.



I cannot imagine any one of these things, yet they are all happening or have happened to people I know and love.

When I read or am told about things like this I immediately think of my mother who suffered through relentless and pointless chemotherapy sessions for the entirety of my high school years, culminating in her death three months before my graduation. I felt helpless around her but I don’t around the women I mentioned above. Stories like theirs make me want to DO and JOIN and fork over as much money as possible to stop the madness and help other moms, kids and families from suffering or to help them suffer less.

I usually don’t get this serious in this space but I feel compelled to tell you about the three CAUSES I care about and I hope you will too.

beCAUSE it makes you feel good.

beCAUSE you can do something about it

beCAUSE it’s the right thing to do

What is your beCAUSE?



Justin is the hero of my first story and his amazing parents live in my neighborhood. After his eye was removed, his parents shockingly discovered that the non-prescription glasses with polycarbonate (shatter proof) lenses to protect his remaining precious eye from injury were not covered by their insurance.

This is one incredible family.

This is one incredible family.

So, what did they do? Instead of simply paying for the glasses for their son they started a non-profit organization to help ALL children in Justin’s situation get the glasses they need. This family is truly amazing and I was humbled and honored to help them raise money during our local triathlon a few years ago. After the race they hosted a silent auction and party at their house and my boys were given these:

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The boys with their SFLH t-shirts and the puzzle we won at the auction.


To date, Specs for Little Heroes has gifted 215 pairs of glasses to some amazing kids:

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What you need to know:

100% of your donation goes to buying glasses

The glasses protect remaining vision and are of the highest quality, with partnerships by frame maker Miraflex and sports glasses maker Liberty Sport, which allows them to stretch donations! They get the BEST glasses at a GREAT discount!

Know the glow! If you see that white light or “cat’s eye” reflection in a child’s eye, get them to a eye doctor ASAP!

Specs for Little Heroes supports families who need emotional and financial support and, to quote the web site, “They always pay it forward. It’s awesome!”

How to donate:

You can read Justin’s story and all about retinoblastoma (the eye cancer he had) on the home page of the webs site. You can donate as little as $3.50/month and you can use a credit card or your pay pal account. It all helps and helps BIG!


My next family of superheroes you may already know and love. Sarah Canney of the blog Run Far Girl is now the mother of three gorgeous children. After hearing the story of her son’s birth, I cannot imagine the kind of courage it took to have another baby! But, that’s pretty much what Sarah is all about – strength and courage.

Like the mom Erin in the story above, Sarah sprang into action after surviving her son Jack’s ordeal of discovering his congenital birth defect, a giant melanocytic nevus, going through a process of tissue expansion (growth of new skin) and excision of the affected area, which required two surgeries and then, shortly after his second surgery, having to battle a staph infection.

Today he is a healthy and happy little boy. And his mama is the true hero for giving so much back to the hospital that saved her son’s life.

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Sarah also started a shop Run Far Gear with fantastic tanks, t-shirts and hoodies. How do I know? I have four!

With each purchase, 10% is donated to Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Trust me, these shirts are the most well-fitting, washable, comfy clothes ever.

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You can donate on their family donation page and you can also WIN a RUN hoodie by liking the Facebook page!

Just tell me you “liked” the page in the comments, and also why this story means something to you. I’m guessing if you’re human, it has meaning.


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I just recently found out about this next CAUSE via Paria of Mom On The RunSanity. If you’re a woman, have a mother, sister, daughter or female friend, you need to sit up and pay attention to this. It’s one of the more outrageous stories I’ve ever heard and, what happened to Amy continues to happen to women every single day. It’s horrific.

“In October of 2013, Amy underwent surgery to have what were thought to be benign uterine fibroids removed.  Eight days later, she received a call that the pathology had come back as cancer, a leiomyosarcoma.  The tool that was used to help remove her uterus, called a morcellator, had actually caused the cancer to spread throughout her body during her procedure, advancing her cancer from a stage 1 to a stage 4 cancer.  85% of women with stage 4 leiomyosarcoma die within 5 years of diagnosis.”


Amy and her husband have been waging a battle not only against her cancer but against the FDA to ban the use of the morcellator in Minimally Invasive Robot Assisted Hysterectomy.  Since they started bringing awareness to Amy’s story, other women whose cancer was spread and upstaged by the morcellator have also come forward.

An MSNBC segment on FBI Investigating the Morcellator – a video clip that features Amy Reed

The Second Annual Slay Sarcoma 5K Run/Walk, organized by Amy’s family, will be on Saturday October 17th, 2015 in Pennsylvania. My husband and kids will be doing it as a virtual walk/run from where we live, and I will be participating at the Runner’s World Half & Festival that weekend.

All proceeds are donated to funding research specifically on fighting leiomyosarcoma.

PARIA’S family will donate and sponsor your run, if you just read and bring awareness to Amy’s story and cause.  You can walk/run by yourself or preferably with your kids from anywhere in the U. S., and they will donate the money for all of you.  


Visit the page Slay Sarcoma and either join the run in person or virtually or click the DONATE NOW button.


[Tweet “What is your beCAUSE? My top 3 @runfargirl @pariahassouri @ErinLaFleche “]

What is your favorite cause?

Which one of these will you donate to?