How can I support G9? It is a question I hear regularly. And as diverse as the individuals asking the question are the answers that can be provided. The obvious response to the question is donate. However, as individuals with talents and skills that are distinctively our own, there is something empowering when we each use our unique abilities to lend support.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Kris Bachman. I met Kris five years ago at, of all places, a group curling date with John. I had the pleasure of being seated at dinner with her and her husband. During our meal we exchanged the normal pleasantries that go along with meeting someone new. And once a certain level of comfort was realized, John and I shared about Gold In September, Jack, and why our future would forever be consumed with raising funds for pediatric cancer research.

As a parent of young children, I could see how profoundly Kris was impacted after she heard our story. And then that familiar question came. “What can I do to help? How can I support G9?” To Kris, and to so many others who have asked the question, raising the support required to fund the precision medicine needed to develop innovative new therapies to fight childhood cancer, seemed overwhelming.

Fast forward four years to the 2018 Wisconsin Marathon. The very event where Kris would qualify to run the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she will do this coming Monday, April 15. The thing that Kris could do to help?…Run 26.2 miles, using her platform to raise funds on behalf of G9. (check it out here!)

Like raising funds for childhood cancer, training for a marathon can be a very daunting task. And for Kris’ efforts, the winter of 2019 provided less than ideal training conditions. Yet, she kept showing up and putting in the miles, in spite of blizzards, ice storms, and a couple of polar vortexes thrown in for an added measure of fun. In her words “No matter how things go, I will keep showing up. No matter what, this is my fight. Kids with cancer don’t have a choice, they have to show up every day to fight for their life.” And show up she did – day by day, one mile at a time.

At this point you might be thinking, “I can’t run a marathon, so what can I do to help?” To that I will ask you another question, “What do you do?” Do that! Perhaps you are a teacher trying to help your kids understand math. Collect some coins and get them adding! Maybe you own a small business. Offer a discount or donate a percentage of sales! Are you a coach trying to teach athletes the important lessons about a part of a team? Develop a service project (or ask us and we can help). Everyone has something they can do . . . think about it and do that. All it takes is one mile, one coin, one sale; more importantly, all it takes is the belief that one person can make a difference.

There is a saying that asks “how do you eat an elephant?” A strange question, to be sure, but one with a logical and telling answer, “one bite at a time.” As we consider the sheer amount of funding required to make it possible for every child, everywhere to survive cancer, it can be that proverbial elephant. And it is during those overwhelming moments that we all need to take a lesson from my friend Kris, who is using something that is uniquely hers to raise funds, one mile at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and we’ll all get to the finish together if we take it with one step of hope at a time.