Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guiness World Record Attempt - 7 Day Run

Well, ya'll didn't really expect me to write that our Cures Rock! Tour event in January ( was the end of our cancer awareness stunts this year...did you?

If you caught the last day of that Cures Rock! Tour blog (check out my blog for dates January 16, 2010), you'd see that the CR Team was already talking about what was next. We were touched by the doctors and patients we met along the route...and it became all too clear that until there was a cure for cancer, we cannot stop.

Next stop? Hope. My friend, Mike, has been awesome enough to sign up for another amazing feat in order to raise awareness about blood cancers and cancer in young adults. And, perhaps, spread some inspiration along the way...(Thanks, Mike!)

We're sick of cancer...and this time -- WE ARE GOING BIG! (As if running from San Diego to Phoenix wasn't big enough!) Mike will be attempting to break the Guiness Book of World Records for the most amount of miles run in one week by an individual (May 30 - June 6 THIS YEAR!). It will culminate at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon! The record stands at 351 miles...and he'll break it. Check out our web site at: for the info & his daily blog! (And, yes, I'll be twittering, facebooking & blogging for Cures Rock! the entire time, as I'll be there every day.)

People have asked me several times this week what I think about Mike attempting this feat. Here's what I think:

I am grateful. I am lucky to still be alive after battling cancer so many times, and I'm thankful for each day I'm on my path. I mean it. I have truly the most amazing friends in the world. In particular, Mike stood by me as a warrior in my own fight with cancer, embraced the spirit of Cures Rock! and has helped me immeasureable in growing this advocacy campaign. He hates cancer as much as I do. All the volunteers, runners, LLS and sponsors are also all in this fight for a cure.

The motto for the GWR 7 Day Run?


CURES ROCK! Thanks for joining Mike, the Cures Rock! crew and LLS on another adventure. Please spread the word on our GWR site & blog, my blog, our facebook page, etc.
Pictured: Julie, Suz, Colin & Mike in Hope, Arizona during the Cures Rock! Tour (January 2010)
Cures Rock Tour (from Jan) site:
Cures Rock! on Facebook:
Cures Rock! on Twitter:
Cures Rock! Blog:

Friday, April 23, 2010

LLS' Esther Scott Memorial Award

Last night, I received the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Esther Scott Memorial award. I am honored and touched to be a recipient.

Esther Scott, the first individual to receive this award in 1999, was a remarkable woman. The award is one of the Chapter's most prestigious Volunteer awards. Much like Esther herself, it's given to someone that is "Dedication Personified" and to an individual/couple whose service and dedication endures.

Dedication personified. I like those words. A few folks asked me how I do all that I do, and I just said by doing it one step at a time --- by being devoted to a cause. My cause is fighting cancer. I admit, it's "selfish giving." I'm paying it forward because of all the amazing support and help I've received from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Lance Armstrong Foundation during my own fight with cancer. In the end, each effort I take to fundraise may raise the "magic dollar" --- the one I like to think will be the one that goes to the researcher that then finds the cure. A cure that may save my life. The Cures Rock! campaign is about dedication to the fight to find a cure for cancer. It's about working to change stigmas, raising awareness and fundraising for charities that are doing great work. A cure won't be found by "hoping" we stumble across it....we need to be diligent in working together as a community.

So, let's all renew our dedication to fighting cancer or whatever cause is near and dear to our hearts...whether that's AIDS, poverty, education....find the "cure" you want to fight for and make a difference using your gift of running, painting, singing.... You get my point. Cures Rock! is all about finding that inner passion for your cause and using your gift to make a difference in this world. We call it, "Give 360."

Thank you to LLS for this award. I am deeply grateful, and it served to inspire me even more to help do my part in supporting the fight against cancer. CURES ROCK!

Julie Westcott (Cures Rock! & Give 360 Founder and Esther Scott Memorial Award recipient), Bill Martin (President, LLS Board of Directors), Gail Fink (Mentor of the Year Award) and Colin Eckleman (Champion of the Year Award)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living Past My Expiration Date

When I was 31 years old, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was told I most likely would not have a long life span, and on that day, I didn't think I'd live to see my 35th birthday, which is today.

So, happy birthday to me. I'm still here. :)

Luckily, unlike the spoiled milk in your 'fridge and other sundries (oh, don't pretend you don't have some suspect expiration dates on things in your kitchen)...something happens to the human spirit when they stay alive pass their "expiration date" on this earth....WE LEARN HOW TO LIVE.

Every day since the day I was first diagnosed with cancer, I've learned a big lesson in living in the present. It was a 180 degree turn-around. I've learned to enjoy and live each day as it's my last one here on earth. I mean, after all, there is a 100% chance that living will kill a person. *smile* That's not to say I don't plan for the future. You know, I put money away for retirement, put money down on vacations, save up funds to take my niece for her first tatoo someday (ha ha, just kidding, sis!)...

The day I was told that I might not have long to live...was the same day that I made a choice that I would truly start living. (Oh, the irony.) And every year my birthday rolls around, I like to remind myself of this again.

This isn't something that pushes me to live out death-defying activities (I mean, seriously? I just escaped death with cancer? Why would I actually choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane??!!...j/k), but it does mean I live with death as an advisor. (yes, you read that right.) I live as if today might be my last because I know that nothing is certain. I know how easy it is to be running on the beach one moment, and in the hospital diagnosed with leukemia another moment --- all in the same week. I know today might be "it," and knowing that changes everything.

Don't believe me? Try it. Try treating everyone around you and your life as if it were your last day on the planet. (Seriously, is it worth yelling at the old lady in the car ahead of you that's drivig too slow? Really?!)

During this past weekend at the Boston Marathon, I was telling another cancer warrior during the run that I feel in a way that I'm living past my "expiration date." I've battled cancer multiple times and somehow, I'm still here. The way I look at it, the time I'm on this planet is no longer my own. It's why I try to help other charities, fundraise every day I can, work on my Cures Rock! advocacy campaign to change the stigma of cancer, and run with so many of you.

The best birthday present all of you can give me? Live today as if it's your last. Hug your family, laugh your bootie off, and hand a few dollars to a homeless person. And, watch the sunset tonight or go for a run at sunset --- all without thinking about what you're doing later tonight or later this week or next year. For once, just watch the sunset. Feel the wind on your cheek, the warmth of the star, and be happy. And then, when you wake up tomorrow it all over again. Rinse and repeat.

So, happy birthday to me. (And, to my twin that shares this day with me.) May we all live it to the fullest, happiest and brightest --- as if it's our last --- and may our lives be just a little bit better because of it.
Pic: Jenny, Dad, me & Angie (both on donkey) up in Northern California as kids.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Click link below for LIVESTRONG Blog article on Team LIVESTRONG at the Boston Marathon:

LIVESTRONG Blog » Blog Archive » Team LIVESTRONG is Wicked Fast

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Eve of Boston Marathon - Photo Collage

I cannot believe I'm running the Boston Marathon for a second time tomorrow. Last year, I ran it days after treatment, and this year I run it cancer free. I will be pounding the pavement with a grateful pounding heart for all 26.2 miles tomorrow.

It's late, and tomorrow is a big day, so I'll post my day as a photo collage instead. More stories and insight to come later.

My day (in pics)?
  • My race shirt is ready to go for tomorrow!
  • Carbo-loading = yum.
  • Short run with the Boston 5K race (Congrats to Josh Cox for the win!).
  • Picking up my bib numbers at the Expo!
  • Visiting the Team World Vision Booth to hear about the Team World Vision's participation in the Comrades (ultra)Marathon, the amazing Cause and the kids (Pictured with runners Andy Baldwin, Me, Erin M. & Josh Cox)
  • Brunch with Team LIVESTRONG, awesome cancer warriors (Best of luck tomorrow!)
  • I'm still raising funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It's not too late to donate at: !!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I Run...

Something has to drive a person to run 26.2 miles. Especially those last 6.2 miles because they are always particularly brutal on the spirit. "Mind over matter."

I run because I can. I run because this is my way of helping us take steps closer to finding a cure for cancer. I run because I want to change the stigma of cancer and show folks that...yes....I had cancer...and then I kicked it's butt and now run marathons! :)

This upcoming Boston Marathon, I run in honor or memory of some special cancer warriors. I also run in honor of cancer heroes that have opened up their wallets to donate money to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in order to "sponsor a mile" of my race. This picture is of some of the ribbons I'll be wearing on my race shirt to honors those folks. I'd like to think that one of them donated the "magic dollar" -- the one that will be the dollar that goes to fund a scientist that then finds a cure.

There are still a few more miles open that need sponsorship (for $100 donation to LAF, I'll wear a ribbon on my shirt & dedicate a mile to you!). The list of available miles left is on the right-hand panel of my blog (hint: look to the right of this post).

Any amount helps me get closer to my goal of raising $2600! I'm $100 away from hitting the $2000 donation mark!! Donate at:
And, feel free to leave comments about why YOU run. LIVESTRONG! CURES ROCK!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Watch the 2010 Boston Marathon

It's taper week for those running the Boston Marathon on Monday. This means less running mileage, a few pounds of weight gain....and we all go just a *wee* bit crazy, since we're getting excited for Marathon Monday on 4/19.

So, I thought I'd provide a link to a great highlight reel from the 2009 race (by Universal Sports) for those that are tapering and need to keep their feet rested.

Also, Running Network posted information on how to watch the 2010 Boston Marathon (from your couch, from the side of the road, via txt messages), so check it out!


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Monday, April 12, 2010

My Magic 'Fridge & One Week 'Til Boston Marathon!


I mean, it’s not like I’m excited or anything. It’s not like I’ve stared at the training schedule on my refrigerator for months now. (Uh, I have.)
Actually, I thought I was the only one that did it. Until I stumbled across the blog of another runner/cancer warrior and realized I wasn’t alone. It’s true, folks. 1 week to go until the Boston Marathon, I am here to report that there ARE magical refrigerators out there everywhere. (I'm with you on that, Joe, and since imitation if the best form of flattery, I'm going to share about my fridge, too.)

Meet MY refrigerator that contains a magical binding contract for the upcoming 2010 Boston Marathon. After some help from my dear friend Colin (and adjustments to ensure I wasn’t as fast as a hare, but was just a bit faster than a turtle), my Boston Marathon training schedule was solidified months ago. In my world, that means only one thing…it gets printed on the fancy color laser printer…and then gets posted to my refrigerator.

This isn’t like a grocery list or “honey do” list that you adjust, remove, add, etc. This is THE list for THE Boston Marathon. It stands the test of time over the training months. There are days when I stand in front of it, tired or elated, burnt out or energized, compliant or argumentative. I’ll hug it, mock it, high-five it and argue with it. In the end, there are no negotiations. The refrigerator just sits there as my coach telling me to shut up, suck it up, lace up my shoes and head out the door. (Although, right now it’s telling me it’s TAPER TIME, so I’m in love with it…!) FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

For example, if it tells me to do an 8-mile Tempo Run? No matter how late I work or how tired I am, it is a “must do.” Rest day on the schedule (my favorite)? No running/no cross-training (No problem!).
This past season in prepping for Boston, we’ve had a lot of rain in SoCal. (Now, this is where the East Coasters smile and laugh at us West Coasters because it’s inevitable that the Boston Marathon will be cold or windy or raining or snowing…or all the above.) I’m not used to running in inclement weather, but on many Saturdays this training season when it’s been pouring outside (yes, in San Diego), my ‘fridge has told me to lace up my shoes and go run 16 miles in it --- tsunami warnings and all. And I did. (Thanks, Erin, for being a pal and running along coastal flats with me during those warnings to ensure that if I washed to sea, I’d at least have a buddy with me out there.)

To miss a day feels like I’m missing something important. I haven’t been perfect. Unfortunately, as I battle my way back to perfect health from my fight with cancer, it means there are some tough, health days….days when I want to run, but the doctor just shakes his head from side to side and says quietly, “not this week.” (But hey, I just passed my 6 month cancer-free check-up, so I can’t complain.)

Regardless, each day that gets highlighted takes me one day closer to the Boston Marathon. I love looking at how “yellow” my paper is turning, which also happens to be the color of the LIVESTRONG wristband. Seeing as I’m running the marathon on Team LIVESTRONG raising funds to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, I’d say that’s pretty fitting.

Now that I’m writing all of this, I guess I lied. Neither my refrigerator nor my list is magic. The magic lies in my intent that every pounding mile I run in months of preparation, all the sweat/time/pain…every mile of that race…I WILL run to fight cancer. We WILL find a cure. It’s something much bigger than me, which is why my running buddies often hear me say, “When your feet get tired, run with your heart.”

In exactly 1 week from today, I’ll be crossing the finish line of THE Boston Marathon, the oldest internationally famous, marathon race. The best part is that I’ll be crossing that finish line with my fellow Team LIVESTRONG teammates. Every dollar raised and each day I cross off my training plan has been due to wonderful supporters like you. I appreciate all the support in kicking cancer to the curb, so that others don’t go through what me and so many of your loved ones had to face. Last year at this time I was fighting cancer...and now I'll be running cancer free. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, my friends.

So, I’m one week away with a few more miles to run this week, and I’m still short of my fundraising goal. For a $100 donation, I will run with a ribbon on my shirt in honor of/memory of someone you know battling cancer. However, every dollar counts, whether it's $1, $5 or $500! To donate to LAF, go to my fundraising page by clicking here.
I'll be posting more in this last week about the angels that have sponsored miles in the race, my tracking bib number (so you can virtually cheer for my slow bootie) and the reasons that keep me running. For now, I need to stare at my refrigerator as it's mocking me because it's 9:45pm, and I have yet to run the 6 miles that it's calling out for today on the schedule. Ah man,...time to argue with the inanimate object (and I'll lose...and hit the gym tonight, I'm sure)...
BOSTON, here we come!!! 7 days!!!

To also connect to Joe's cancer/running blog as he preps for Boston (Bib #7929), go to:
1. My magic refrigerator.
2. My magic training schedule
3. The yellow is starting to fill up the schedule as we get close to race day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Young Adult Cancer: Live Broadcast and Chat

It's Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week!! (YACAW)

Join LIVESTRONG and St. David's HealthCare talking about young adult cancer, nutrition and general cancer care. It starts at 12 p.m. (CST) today. See the LIVESTRONG Blog link below.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Help Wanted: Battling Cancer & Running Boston Marathon

Help Wanted: Battling Cancer and Running the Boston Marathon. The faint of heart need not apply. :)

Hi Super Stars ~

The email for our Team LIVESTRONG for the Boston Marathon came out while I was on vacation...but it featured a note from someone you know -- ME!! lol. I wanted to share it with all of you. (See below after my blog note). :)

I am fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and running THE Boston Marathon (in 3 weeks!!). Last year, I ran it just days after treatment...and this year, I'm running it cancer-free. I couldn't have done it without all of you, so this year, I've decided to AUCTION OFF EACH MILE OF THE RACE to raise funds and run for all of YOU!

***** That's right....each mile of my race is up for grabs, and I'll wear a ribbon in honor of/memory of someone you know that's battled cancer....or I'll wear it in honor of YOU for being stars in my life and supporting the fight against it! *****

For a $100 donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, via this link you can pick the mile you want to sponsor (assuming someone else didn't take it, so act fast with your donation & request!!!). I'll post a map on my blog with notes on that mile, so you can all understand how special each step is during the race!!

The last ".2" of my 26.2 mile journey will be just for me --- however, if you really want to sponsor those last steps and get a phone call after the finish line, it just *might* go to the highest bidder... ;)

I really appreciate all of your support! My commitment to LAF is to raise $2600 AND to run the race on Monday, April 19th!! (And yes, I've put my $ where my mouth is and also donated $100 to LAF!)

Please see the email below (and video shout-out from Lance to me from the 2009 Tour de France)...


Dear Team LIVESTRONG Boston Marathon teammate,

This week I wanted to share with you the story one of your own teammates and three-time survivor, Julie Westcott. I had the pleasure of meeting Julie at last year’s Boston marathon and have gotten to know her over the past year. Besides considering her to be one of our star fundraisers, I am lucky to call her a friend. Here is Julie’s story in her own words:

I would love to say that I got involved with LIVESTRONG—but I have to say that LIVESTRONG got involved with me when I really needed them!

I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006. I was 31 years old at the time. Since then, I've battled cancer a total of 3 times—and I have to say, "it's three strikes and you're outta here, cancer!" Each and every time, LIVESTRONG was there to offer a shoulder of support with incredible services during both my battle and survivorship.

While I feel there's no feasible way to ever "pay back" the immense support and encouragement I received, I found one incredible way to participate, and that was as a member of Team LIVESTRONG.

When my cancer came back last year, I felt defeated, but my two favorite Team LIVESTRONG staffers, Colleen Wilson and Sarah Appolito, challenged me to keep pushing through—and I joined Team LIVESTRONG for the Boston Marathon!

Why am I back on Team LIVESTRONG again this year? During the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong left a video message dedication where he said that although I was temporarily sidelined with cancer, I'd eventually be back to running marathons again soon. That day, I swore I'd fight my cancer with every fiber of my being and do an encore the following year. Well, I'm now cancer free, and a member of the Team LIVESTRONG Boston 2010 team!! (Thanks, Lance!)

I believe in the Mission of LIVESTRONG. I know first-hand that they change lives through every dollar donated in the fight against cancer. I won't stop running until there's a cure...and when my feet get tired, I'll run with my heart!


Pic: Boston Globe: 2009 Boston Marathon coverage, 4/20/09

Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

We *Heart* Our Fans

Cures Rock! on Facebook

Donate & fight to kick cancer to the curb!

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
January 1 - 17, 2010
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