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Kendra's Story

Name: Kendra Packard
Team: Onward and Upward
Event: TCS New York City Marathon
Date: November 3, 2019

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How do you thank the people who give you more days with the person you love the most?

Charlie and I are running the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon and raising money along the way to thank the doctors, nurses, and researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for all they've done for us.

In March 2018, Charlie was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer. With the help of some truly wonderful people, we were quickly in front of the country's best doctors at MSKCC with a treatment plan in place. 

At our very first appointment, Charlie asked Dr. Reidy if she had ever seen anybody with his diagnosis beat it and she said, "yes." Charlie replied, "That's all I need to know." Since then, I've been truly amazed at Charlie's determination and Dr. Reidy's compassion. Our team told us that while the medicine is important, its equally important to maintain a positive outlook. Charlie and I took that advice to heart and we try to live our lives as ordinarily as possible - cancer is just another thing we'll get through together. 

Since March 2018, we've had very positive test results and some results that were harder to hear. Charlie has completed over 30 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 consecutive days of radiation, 2 surgeries, and countless scans. Nonetheless, our team is certain that our race training has had a positive impact on our progress. So here we are, training for our 3rd marathon together. 

A cancer diagnosis is a scary thing, but there's something about walking into MSKCC that puts you at ease. Maybe it's because you know you're being treated where they're developing breakthroughs in cancer treatment every day, or maybe its because the doctors and nurses become your friends, always greeting you with a smile and a hug. We never would have imagined that we'd run a half marathon alongside our oncologist, or that Dr. Reidy and her husband would be dancing next to us at our wedding, but those things have happened as a result of the relationships we've made at MSK. 

We're raising money to fund research and clinical trials for early onset colorectal cancer so that MSKCC can continue to help people like they've helped us. While the overall rate of colon cancer is on the decline, the number of people under 50 being diagnosed is growing. With your help, the doctors and researchers can find out why, and more importantly, put an end to this. 

I hope one day we will be living in a world without cancer.

Charlie - you are the epitome of strength and determination. Your past year and a half has been the equivalent of 100 marathons already, but I am truly the lucky one to be able run this one next to you. #OneTeamOneDream

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