Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I was 18 and about a week away from moving down to Athens, OH to attend the best college on Earth. I was moving into a quad room, but one of the girls decided to switch schools at the last minute, leaving us with only 3 roommates.
A few days before we were supposed to move in, I got a random facebook message from a girl named Katie Marvinney. Katie was also about to be a freshman, but her rooming assignment was not the best. She was given the option of moving in with us since our roomie bailed, so she sent me a message introducing herself and asking if it would be ok. Of course I was ecstatic (she was such a cute little thing!) and one week later, we met for the first time. She was sick as a dog. From that day forward, almost every single memory I have from college includes her.
The last day of college Katie & I loaded up my jeep wrangler and cruised out of Athens together with the top down bawling our eyes out. We couldn't believe our 4 year journey was over. Imagine a life when leaving college was the biggest of your worries! Katie moved to Boston shortly after (another very sad day for me) but to this day, all of my major memories STILL include her.
Fortunately for us, our friendship has only gotten stronger. Last February, both of our lives changed drastically. I had JUST found out that I was pregnant. She was one of the few people I called the day I found out. The following week, she texted me saying we needed to catch up. I thought it was strange since we had just talked a few days prior, but when she called me twice in a row the next day, I knew something was up. I will never forget that phone call.
How does the most healthy, active, fit person I know get diagnosed with breast cancer at 27? Wasn't it just a year prior that I was cheering her on during her first marathon? How? I was angry. Very very angry. I could not understand why I was going through one of the most exciting times of my life and she was going through by far the worst of hers. It wasn't fair.
We soon realized that though we would not ever fully understand why, some things do happen for a reason. For the next 9 months we would spend hours facetiming sharing puke stories and weird changes to our bodies (hers obviously far worse- my heart aches thinking back on those days) but we also realized what a blessing life is and took full advantage of what we did have. We traveled & traveled some more, making memories that are so incredibly special, they will last a lifetime and beyond. Have I mentioned that this girl is a rockstar?
On September 18, 2016, 11 days early, my little Fox came into the world just hours before Katie completed her final round of chemotherapy. I kept thinking of her during labor-- telling myself, "if Katie can make it through a year of hell, I can make it through this". At 9:52 pm Fox finally arrived. I was sure he was going to hold off until midnight just to give Katie some extra happiness on her last day, but lucky for me, he didn't. Instead, he arrived the night before, almost as if to say, "you've got this tomorrow- I've been cheering you on all along!" Katie and I agree that these two share a special bond that we will never truly understand. Which is why Phil & I didn't even think twice about giving her the title of Fox's Godmama. How cool that my kid has a real life superhero watching out for him?
Over one year later, I have a 7 month old and Katie has successfully rang the victory bell after 333 days of kicking cancers ass (she also got engaged to the best guy imaginable). She has brought LOADS of awareness to breast cancer- I think more than she ever knew she could. Like I have said, she is the bravest person I know.
SO. Now that you understand a little bit (or a lot a bit) of background, you will see why it is absolutely AMAZING that Katie is running in the FREAKING BOSTON MARATHON TOMORROW!!!!!! As if she didn't already put the rest of us to shame with her kindness, generosity, strength and courage, she is running 26.2 miles in one of the world's most prestigious marathons. This has been a goal of hers since long before she was diagnosed with cancer, and here she is, months after ringing that victory bell. I can't imagine how Katie will feel crossing that finish line tomorrow, but I do know one thing-- the whole wide world is whistling for you my gal. We love you.
"You will ride life straight to perfect laughter, it's the only good fight there is."
**Please consider making a donation to the Ellie Fund, a foundation that is near and dear to Katie's heart**