The best birthday present.

January 11th marks my 31st birthday. Thirty wasn’t the greatest year, so I have decided to make 31 the best year yet.  As most of you know, some friends and I have a little website called The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, where we write about all things healthy and fit. This year, we decided to challenge ourselves and formed a national team with Team in Training to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Each one of us has committed to raising $2900 and will begin our 1/2 marathon training on January 30th! We will train, train, and TRAIN until June 6th when we will all fly to San Diego for the Rock n’ Roll Half!
Why put myself through this torture? I want to push myself and see what I am capable of. I did this in 2007 and found it to be one of the most rewarding gifts in my life to date. I raised over $2500 to aid in the fight against cancer. I wanted to make it bigger and better this time around. I know that my 13.1 miles will be NOTHING compared to what my honorees have gone through!
What am I asking of you? Instead of showering me with the diamonds, camera lenses, and luxury items I know you were planning on buying me, I am asking you to instead, donate $31 to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through my Team in Training page. It’s easy AND tax-deductible. If you would rather send me a check made payable to the LLS, let me know and I will give you my contact info.
EXTRA INCENTIVE (giveaway!):  If I receive ten or more donations of $31+ up on or before January 15th, I will donate a $50 gift card to Amazon or Target (your choice) and will randomly select a winner from all eligible donations!
I am running in honor of these two beautiful children:
**Meet 2-year-old Ezra.
The weekend before May 22, 2009, Ezra was bitten by a spider and had several bites on his leg. After he began limping, his parents were concerned that the spider had been venomous. They took Ezra to the doctor, where the doctor said to monitor him and ordered a precautionary x-ray because of the limp.
That is when their world turned upside down.
The radiologist noticed abnormal markings, which can be indicative of leukemia. They were referred to the oncologist, who looked Ezra over and didn’t see any telltale signs of leukemia. Blood was drawn to rule leukemia out.
The Mancusos received a phone call from the ER later that night and were told to bring Ezra in for more labs. When the results came back, Ezra was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Luckily, it was caught pretty early on (thanks to the spider!).

Ezra will receive three years of chemotherapy treatment. Most children recover completely from this cancer, and go on to live a normal cancer free life.

A quote from Ezra’s mother:  “Prior to Ezra’s diagnosis my husband and I always talked about how there was something special to Ezra. There is a light in Ezra , that not every child encompasses. His light is infectious and can put a person at ease, make them laugh, or make them cry. He is a sweet old soul, who is knowledgeable beyond his years. He is a fighter.”

He is a little fighter, indeed! 

Ezra is now in the long-term maintenance phase of his chemotherapy where he will receive chemo every day in the form of a pill, steroids 5 days a month, spinal taps every 12 weeks, and Vincristine once a month. 

In his spare time, Ezra enjoys Thomas the train, rice cakes, his big brother, and running!

**Meet Peyton

In June of 2006, Peyton and her brother and sister were suffering from a summer virus. They took a trip to the pediatrician and were told that it would probably just go away on it’s own. Peyton started running a low-grade fever and they were told again that it would work itself out. After 3 weeks of this, Peyton began waking up at night screaming in pain. Being only 2 1/2, she couldn’t really describe the pain, only that it HURT! They made yet another trip to the pediatrician, who ordered labs and blood work.

July 13th, the Mayhews got the call. THE call. The one that changed everything. The one that no parent EVER wants to get. It was the doctor’s office and it was suspected that Peyton may have leukemia. She was referred to an oncologist for further evaluation.

Peyton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She was also diagnosed CNS (Central Nervous System) positive because high amounts of leukemia was found in her spinal fluid. She would be considered a high risk case for relapse and her treatment would be longer and harder than the average leukemia case.

You can read about Peyton’s treatment here.

She is one tough cookie!

Peyton just celebrated her 6th birthday in December and has been “off-treatment” for over a year now!

Peyton loves drawing and painting, dressing up (in MANY outfits a day), school, dancing, Littlest Pet shops, and Legos!


When I cross that finish line in June, I will be thinking of these two little fighters. They are the real heroes. 

–If you would like to join our Team, contact me ( and I will get you the information you need.

–If you are unable to donate, please help spread the word by emailing, tweeting, and blogging about the cause. Thank you!

–Also, a HUGE THANK-YOU to Karena, for her very generous donation this morning. xoxo

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  • Brooke

    I've already donated to someone else this week and I'm trying to spread it out so the hubs doesn't catch on 😛

    I'm gonna try to get to everyone before the race. I'll be back to donate I promise! :)

  • Karena

    The kids are wonderful — it chokes me up to read the stories and to imagine my kids in the same circumstances. SO SO glad that you're doing this!

    Oh, and if I'd known your birthday was coming up I totally would've waited!

  • Shawn

    How did you choose your kiddos?

    I know Peyton IRL. Email me and tell me what the 7* of separation is here!

  • TheCrazyCrabb

    My brother had hodgkins (and survived) and my son recently went through a scare…how wonderful for you to be workind so hard for this cause! good luck girly. I'll be thirty on feb 10th…hope my 30th is a better one for me than it was for you. and that you have a great birthday and 31st year.

  • keli.h

    happy birthday, hooker!!! love ya bunches and bunches!!! xoxoxo

  • AnnG

    Hope you have the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! You are the best!! This is your year! Hope you have a fabulous birthday and a great weekend!!

  • Melissa (TheDailyMel)

    Happy Birthday!!!

  • Kristin @ The Krumwiede 6

    I know that your bday is this week but my check book says I have to wait till next week…