September 21, 2014 would have been my mother's 68th birthday. To celebrate, I will be spending the day running the Capital City Half Marathon-- my very first half marathon--in Lansing, MI!
September is also Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month. To do my part, I will be fundraising for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. In honor of her birthday, I have set my fundraising goal of $6846.00, and I'm hoping I can count on you to help!
Odds are, if you've found this page, you already know me, but for those who do not, Hello! My name is Jessica, and I'm a pretty average 29-year-old (whatever that means!) living in Lansing, MI.
I love to cook vegetarian food and drink black coffee. I spend Sundays marathoning TV shows on Netflix with my boyfriend and taking selfies with my cat. I play pub trivia every week and am very competitive about it.
On July 19, 2008, when I was 23, my mom suffered from a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage as the result of a brain aneurysm rupture. She survived, but sustained pretty severe brain damage, was in a coma for about a month, and eventually died of cardiac arrest less than 8 months later in April of 2009. The brain damage turned my mom into a new, absolutely loveable and endearing yet entirely brand new person. I felt like I had lost a mother twice: once from the aneurysm, and then again from her death.
I never want anyone to go through what I saw my mom go through; I never want anyone to go through the losses my family and I went through. Over the years, I have worked to spread awareness to those around me, but I've always wanted to do more, to reach more, to help more.
In January of 2013, I started the Couch to 5k program. I soon became addicted to the sense of progress and accomplishment. Now, one year after finishing the program, 50 lbs and a handful of 5ks later, I have found a love of running and road races. Itching for another goal to reach, I've decided a half-marathon is the perfect next step--challenging, but attainable. As I began to research half-marathons in my area, I found one that takes place on my mom's birthday. It was fate!
This race is my way to do more for brain aneurysm awareness, but I must admit, I have an ulterior motive: every cent that is donated will help keep me motivated! From week 1 of training until race day. I know that with your support, I can follow through with my goal and cross that finish line!
About My Mom:
Where to begin?! Well, there's the beginning: Beverly Irene Twitchell was born September 21, 1946. She married my dad, Terry, at the Alumni Chapel on MSU's beautiful campus, where I hope to someday be married too. She gave birth to four daughters, was an accomplished and revered editor of scholarly works, and still managed to serve on neighborhood committees, chair choir fundraisers, and cheer her daughters on at every track meet, cheerleading competition, and softball game.
My mother was vivacious, generous, and the smartest person I've ever met. She was creative, crafty, and my sisters and I have the beautiful hand-knit scarves, mittens, and purses to prove it. She was a True Spartan, bled green, and could be heard cheering on MSU hockey/football/basketball from all corners of the house. She loved holidays, and worked herself way too hard to make them special for my sisters and me (and my dad too!) long after we grew into adulthood. She was independent. She was self-deprecating but not modest. She believed in doing the right thing even when no one was looking; she probably spent hours of her life sitting at broken red lights as a result. She loved crosswords, baby animals, and maps. She hated her beautiful curly red hair and freckles almost as much as she hated the University of Michigan. She baked the best homemade bread in the world. She was valedictorian of her high school; she received a full academic scholarship to Michigan State. She knew every cashier at Kroger by name.
She was my mom, and even throughout the nastiest of teenage-girl fights, I was completely in love with her. I miss her every day.
How To Donate (And Why!):
Giving is easy! Just click that green button on the right at the top of the page. Your donation is secure and can be completed safely online! Be sure to leave me a message too! I love hearing your words of support, memories of my mom, and personal reasons for donating!
You can read more about what the Brain Aneurysm Foundation does here, as well as on their official webpage, www.bafound.org
If you cannot make a donation at this time, please forward this link to everyone you know. Post this on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Every donation counts, no matter what the amount. Even a penny will help!
Where is your donation going?
The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is the world's only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysm ruptures.
All proceeds go towards:
- Funding and supporting new research, such as clinical trials.
- Providing support and educational materials to the medical community, the newly diagnosed, survivors, family members, friends and the general public regarding the facts, treatment options, and recovery process for brain aneurysms.
- Increasing awareness of brain aneurysms by promoting National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month in September and by distributing aneurysm awareness materials to Emergency Departments in every hospital and to the community.
With your support, we can start making a real investment to help fight the devastation caused by brain aneurysms and save lives. All donations are tax-deductible and every dollar raised goes to help support the mission of The Brain Aneurysm Foundation.
Too many people have been lost to brain aneurysms. Awareness leads to prevention; no one has to suffer or die from a brain aneurysm rupture.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated.