Last year, on a whim
, I decided to join the NYC chapter of Moms in Training. I came across it at a time when I was looking for somewhere to volunteer. This was a no-brainer…. get some exercise, meet new moms, help cancer patients and be a good role model for my children. Perfect!
This was before Moms in Training went national with 30 cities across the US and Canada. This was before there was a Moms in Training Leadership Committee, which is made up 100% of moms who thought so much about the program that they decided to volunteer whatever spare time they had to this great organization. This was before I met Lucy, Alex’s mom who writes about her journey on Alex Fights Leukemia
Alex was 15 months when she was diagnosed with leukemia and has been such a brave little girl. She hasn’t known life in any other way than in and out of hospitals. Alex has become our local heroine, and my first race was dedicated to her recovery. She still has a way to go, but last time I saw Lucy she gave me the great news that Alex has the green light to start attending mommy and me classes, and interacting with other children.
Imagine not being able to take your child to the supermarket, or a playground for fear of germs. Imagine sitting by your baby’s bedside in the hospital for days and weeks at a time, over and over again. Imagine holding your baby in your arms while she receives anesthesia, and walking your sleeping infant into the operating room for yet another surgery. No mother should ever have to go through this.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) was one of the first organizations to invest in Dr. Carl June’s research when everyone else deemed his research to be too risky and unconventional. Treating leukemia patients with a strand of HIV virus? The results are astonishing. LLS has invested $30 million in Dr. June’s research since 1990 and continues to invest in cut-throat ground breaking research like his (I highly recommend you watch this video
to find out what he’s done – it’s amazing!).
The survival rate for childhood leukemia in 1949, was zero, while today it is 90 percent. To date, Moms in Training have raised over $500,000, 95% of which goes straight to the cause, either towards helping patients or medical research. Most of LLS’s medical findings are tested and eventually rolled out to fight other types of cancers as well. I have been so overly impressed by the organization, I can’t even put it into words.
Now I am about to embark onto my third season with Moms in Training. I have met new neighbors, made friends, and lost some of my baby weight (I still have a bit to go – but it’s getting better every day :)!) I ran 2 races already, which I never would have thought possible a year ago. I have joined the leadership committee and am trying to recruit new moms to join our growing little family, because no mother should watch her child suffer.
Would you like to learn more about LLS? Are you interested in finding out if there is a Moms In Training team in your area, or maybe even starting your own team? Do you live in NYC and would you like to join our team? Go to or you can ask me directly in the comments! Would you like to support me in my next race (coming up in June)?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya.
Photo credit to the author.
For almost 5 months, I’ve been changing my life in a way that I never thought possible before. First, I joined a gym and was working with a personal trainer 3 to 4 times a week. Then, I revamped the way I eat.
My son became used to “Mommy, are you going to the gym?”, when I kissed him in the morning if he woke up before I left for my 6 am session.
He’s getting used to it.
My weight has been an issue that I battled for years. As an emotional eater, my weight went up and down like crazy over the last couple of years. I tried many things, from crash diets to those magic ‘drinks’ that are supposed to make you lose weight. None of them worked, they were only temporary fixes.
I didn’t sit and plan that I was going to start changing my life. Actually, it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. (more…)
I recently drove past a sign that read, “Children are great imitators. So give them something good to imitate.” And it got me thinking…
I’m a mother, maybe just like you, who is navigating.
I often feel that everyone always thinks I have my act together. I may run a mom-blog that writes from 22 countries and has an editing staff but I don’t always know what I’m doing in the driver’s seat of my own mom-mobile.
I think the key is redirecting when I gain new, useful information. I’m always actively reading, thinking, trying, asking and watching, like so many of us are.
The questions that I’ve recently been repetitively savoring in my head are:
Why am I saving my own passions for later? When is later? Will I still have the spark for them later? (more…)
My children, both boys, are 16 and 10 years old and for their entire lives, I have been a single mother. (I don’t count my first disastrous marriage that lasted all of six months.) There was a point in my early 30’s where I believed that single motherhood was just as good as it was going to get for me. And I was fine with that.
Seriously, it was easier to be single and my children had extended family that stepped in for their absent father. Sure, money was always tight and there was never enough to make ends meet. However, we were just fine, the 3 of us had each other and that was enough. Our little family was complete.
I was lying to myself. There was nothing fine about my children only having the love of one parent. No matter how much their Nanny or Papa stepped in, it was not the same as having a father figure in their lives.
My children are biracial so I dealt with a double-edged sword; not only could I not teach them to be men, but I certainly could not teach them to be strong black men. They deserved much more than I was able to give them, and I will live with regret for some of my decisions for the rest of my life. (more…)
Six years ago today, my Dad lost a brief but excruciating battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed just three months previously, and he had gone through rounds of crippling chemotherapy, as well as a ten-hour long operation. Although Dad had been so desperately ill during the last weeks of his life, I had held onto the hope that he would survive and grow old with my Mom.
And so, when my Mom called from the other side of the world with the news that Dad was gone, I went into immediate denial. What do you mean, gone?
This is the man who raised me, played with me and read to me as a kid, gave me financial advice as an adult, watched an entire Olympics with me when we both had the flu, attended father-daughter dances with me and helped sell my Girl Scout cookies, and so much more. Gone? It just didn’t seem possible. (more…)