Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Reason To Run

I remember that he almost always sat with one leg rested on top of the other. That he drank coffee, nearly all morning long. He read the paper everyday, and he called the comic section, "The Funnies." He rode a motorcycle. And he often spoke of the towns where he rode to, for a breakfast with friends. He always watched Johnny Carson. It seemed if it weren't Carson, then it was sports, and if no sports were on the TV, it was the "numbers" channel. You know, the one with muzak and continual weather updates. When it was cold he often wore jeans and brown boots. When it was warm he wore gym shorts and laced up shoes with a large N on the side. Despite the season, I think he always wore a cap. Normally, a cap displaying the location of his last destination, or his favorite collegiate sports team. He was a school teacher. A school sports coach, and eventually a school principal. He loved chips. He flew a plane. He always told jokes. He knew everyone. He ate donuts in the basement of his church every Sunday. He refereed local sports games. He made really tiny hamburgers. He loved to have a beer at the end of the day, or at least once it was past noon. He hated turkey left overs. He seemed to always have a tan. He had a deep voice, and the one and only time he raised it at me, I listened! He told funny stories, I especially like the one about him being chased by a goose. He was a football player in college. He was a marine. He had a tattoo. I hear he could swim with grace. He was a runner, he ran nearly every day. He was a husband. He was a father. He was a Granddad, my Granddad.

As Kenton and I did our morning shuffle on Friday. (Meaning, he returns from the gym with Judah, I return form an outdoor run and we pass the baton.) He said, "are you okay?" It was a dangerously slick morning and I had slipped around a bit, "yeah, the last downhill was really tricky." "No, I mean, you look very effected by something." I was nearly in shock, does it show that much? I told him, I was, I had in fact been crying several minutes ago. He walked with me and I shared with him what had taken place.

The previous night we attended our very first Team In Training team meeting. For those who don't know, we are currently raising funds and training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). We agreed to raise money and they train and accommodate us as we take place in Oklahoma City's 1/2 Marathon in April. It's been a very rewarding process. We are running and raising funds in honor of two family friends, who have become afflicted with Leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

At the end of the night's meeting I was sharing my concerns with a staff member. I told her we had hit 10% of our goal in less than a week, but since we signed up late, were we doing okay? She assure me things were progressing as they should. She gave me more ideas and we shared a few stories about who had provided the funds. I shared with her the brief notes that near strangers had written to me, explaining their experience with cancer in their family. She then said something that I hadn't thought of before. She explained that so many people have been effected by cancer and that most are happy to help see it end. She didn't say Leukemia, she said cancer. The entire time I had been specifically focused on the one branch of this terrible disease. I never allowed my self to think that curing one form a cancer, gives hope to curing all forms. While I know who our honor patients are, and I think of them, pray for them, and run for them often, I never let my mind go there until that night.

My Granddad died when I was 18 because of cancer. This nasty disease kept him from seeing me graduate. From meeting my husband and attending my wedding. He never saw me finish college. He never met my son and learn that Judah's middle name was the same as his. Among the plethora of events cancer forced him to miss, one of the most difficult is, he never got to see me pick up one of his passions, running.
(This is a page of his running log from 1981, He had a new grandchild born on the 20th of September. He noted that along with his miles.)

As I ran that icy morning, I couldn't stop thinking about him. I recalled my mom mentioning that he used to support my sister, by running up and down the soccer field as she competed. How I wished I could have him beside me, supporting me, cheering for me.

All of a sudden, I was overcome with tears. Trying to keep it under wraps, I couldn't. So here I am, running through Eastborough on ice covered streets, gasping for air because I had become that emotional.

"Lord, I miss him so much."

I took a few deep breaths and seemed to get it together. I had taken on a new mission. I realized I needed to run for him too. I felt empowered to press ever harder to raise money for the LLS. Because I knew their money could stop someone else's grandfather from missing all this. From a little boy never knowing his namesake. It could stop a daughter's cycle of sadness, a widow's self professed loneliness, and a grand daughter's regrets.

I continued towards home and had one more break in my composure. "Where is this coming from?"

Scripture doesn't support much on the theories of what our loved one's know about this life down here. Rightfully so. I wouldn't want those who've left this earth to enter their heavenly reward and be burdened by the mess we make down here. Or see the moments when we hurt. They are done with that. And thank God for that.

Never the less, we still long for the connection with our loved one. I whispered to the Lord as I ran, "I miss him." The Lord is so good. It was almost as though he grabbed my shoulders, and tenderly said back, "I know." He gave me a picture of the healthy Granddad running alongside my sister's soccer game. I knew he was healthy now, not the frail man who lost this life to cancer. The Lord gave me another picture of him running, like he did nearly everyday of his life. I rejoice that he can do that now, with his new body. The Lord impressed upon me one more time, "He already crossed his finish line, you, you gotta keep going." I knew I was doing the right thing.

So, yes. Yes I had been effected by something. I'm thankful for that morning. Thankful to have another powerful reason to press on towards our goal. God gave me a body that works pretty well right now, so I will do what ever he allows me to, to make a difference against this disease.

Hebrews 12
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race 1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Once again, scripture leaves many things a mystery, and that's okay. But I feel confident in knowing that when I do cross my finish line, my Lord will place the medal around my neck and lead me down a path of my supporters. In that line will be my Granddad, Robert Owen Heck.

I'll see you then. I love you.


Dear Family and Friends,

Let me start by saying hello. We both hope this letter finds you all well. That being said we need your support!! Kenton and I are training to run a half marathon together this spring. For those of you who don’t know us that well, please allow me to give you a short back story. Nearly two years ago I, Lacy, got the great idea to go run around the block. Upon my return, I didn’t know if I’d ever get back out again. I was panting, sweating, and in pain. For whatever divine reason, I did return to the road and eventually fell in love with running. Kenton was intrigued by my progress that summer and hit the pavement as well. His motivation was to compete with me, but never the less, our lives changed that summer.
Since my first trek around the block I have been blessed to complete multiple half marathons and two full marathons. Kenton has taken to the shorter distances and will be running further than he ever has before this spring in Oklahoma City.
We recognize that the ability to run this distance is a gift. A blessing of health that we don’t take lightly. Because of that we have joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training program. Team in Training (TNT) is the world’s largest endurance sports training program. We have made a commitment to the society and to our honored teammates, Kalon and Kaley, to raise $5,100 in exchange for the training we are receiving from LLS for the half marathon. With our goal money, the society will provide patient services and research for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Honestly, we have the easy job. Running long distances takes determination, a firm resolve, sore muscles, fatigue, and at times a sanity check. All those factors combined still do not measure up to what our friends who are afflicted with blood cancers are going through everyday. So, why are we doing this? Because they can’t.
As we challenge ourselves during training and race day, we will have many inspirations in our mind. Specifically we will have two faces of two very brave children in the forefront. Kalon Beason and Kaley Dull.
Kalon Beeson is a fifth grader who has just entered his second round of treatment for Leukemia. Kalon was diagnosed again in late 2007. He is in the middle of his treatment process. Kalon is a sweet boy who loves to cook. He one day wants to be a chef, and when he’s not cooking he wants to be a comic book writer. Currently Kalon is involved with the Royal Rangers and wants to be a part of JROTC as soon as he’s old enough. All of Kalon’s family explain what a joy he is to be around and what a fighter he is. We want to stand and fight with Kalon so he can get on with his life and be a normal fifth grader. We are excited to taste his cooking and read his comics one day real soon.
Kaley Dull is 14 years old and was just recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL-B) on December 20, 2007. This eigth grader has under gone immediate treatment and was recently determined to be in remission. While this is excellent news, treatments will continue for quite some time to insure her recovery. Kaley is an excellent student and despite all the fatigue and illness she’s encountered from treatment, she’s pushed through and managed to stay on top of her studies. She’s also remained an active member in her church. She helps with the children as a participant in the puppet ministry. Kaley has gone through so much in such a short time. Currently she is experiencing the unfortunate side effect of treatment, hair loss. Understanding that this is a major frustration to anyone, especially a teenage girl, who wouldn‘t want to jump at the chance to help Kaley and others just like her. She’s such an inspiration and another amazing example of endurance.
As parents it’s heart breaking to see these children brave this disease. They’re kids and they shouldn’t be spending their time in and out of hospitals. With your help, these great children and many other’s just like them won’t have to live like this any longer. If you’ll join us, together we can CURE blood cancers.
We would like to give you the opportunity to help end blood cancers. We would appreciate your assistance in reaching our goal of $5,100. Your contribution to our goal is 100% tax-deductible and 75% of all funds go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please support our efforts as we strive to further the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s fight again blood cancers. Please fill out the enclosed donor form and send your generous donation by March 1, 2008. You can also learn more about our cause and choose to donate online at,

We appreciate your loving and generous donations. We are excited to take this on together, to use the gifts God has given us and help his people. Bless you for your consideration and your contribution. We will surely be keeping you posted as we journey on towards our goal.
Because they can’t and because the Lord can,
Kenton and Lacy Hansen

THANK YOU!! Together we can make a difference!
YES! I would like to make a tax deductible contribution to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and support Kenton and Lacy’s Team In Training participation in running Oklahoma City’s Memorial Half Marathon. All in honor of Kalon Beeson and Kaley Dull.
Please choose a category
* $10 “Will Kenton even make it to the starting line?”
* $25 “Lacy will have to carry Kenton across the finish line on her back”
* $50 “A dollar for every time Kenton will start crying about the difficulty”
* $75 “Kenton’s been holding back, he’ll smoke Lacy this time”
* $100 “Better them than me”
* $250 “With the promised reward of endless chips and salsa, Kenton will set a new course record”
* $500 “Lacy will feel so good, she’ll turn around and run the whole course again!”
* $5,100 “Why Not? I could use a good tax deduction!”
* $_ “Every gift counts when it comes to finding a cure”

To track our progress OR to donate online please visit us at:


  1. As I write this I'm trying to collect my tears before they run down my face, ruining my make-up. Thank you, yet again, for sharing your story.

    My grandpa died of cancer when I was twelve. Hearing you recount how you miss yours reminded me of the pain that still pierces my heart when I think of mine.

    Cancer sucks.

    Run your heart out girl.

    And remember that for those of us who can't literally run beside you, we support you just the same. And hey, I challenge you to a foot race in heaven.

  2. Anonymous5:08 PM CST

    Lacy, If Granddad were still here he would be running marathons with you (unknowingly alone the side lines). He would be so proud of you, just like I am.

    Love, Mom