Happy Birthday America and Uncle Larry!

Happy Independence Day America! 

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Washington, D.C., is hands down the best place in the country to be on July 4. It’s the heart of the U.S. It’s a place where decisions are made (for better or for worse) that affect the entire country. It’s where people come to exercise their freedom of speech. It’s one of the most patriotic cities in the nation. Here’s to a very happy birthday, America!

July 4 on the Potomac River a few years ago. Talk about having the perfect view of D.C.'s fireworks!

July 4 on the Potomac River a few years ago. Talk about having the perfect view of D.C.’s fireworks!

Today is also my Uncle Larry’s birthday. Although he died well before I was born, we’re still connected — all the way to my cousin David and LLS. Watch as I put the pieces together.

Connection 1: Larry was my grandmother’s first child. As Larry joined the U.S. Air Force, he was away a lot so my mother (born 13 years after Larry) and her two brothers were always thrilled when he came home from a deployment.

Connection 2: Larry married my Aunt Mary when she was 21. Learned at last weekend’s family reunion, 9 months later my cousin David was born. Cousin David was named after Larry’s best friend, David Keniston. Although David K. passed away last year, his wife, Linda Keniston, still lives in Vermont and is an active supporter of LLS and my fundraising and training efforts. According to my mom, Linda has lots of stories to tell about Larry!

Connection 3: Larry died of leukemia when he was 30 years old. The family has always believed that his leukemia was a result of sleeping near bombs/missiles to keep warm when he was in the service. Why? From the radiation those weapons emitted. My cousin’s leukemia is not thought to be hereditary, but instead coincidental.

Interesting bit of family history, right? You see, my fundraising efforts and support for LLS isn’t just for David, but also his father, Larry. This challenge is personal to me, but touches so many others too. My hope, however, is to raise awareness of LLS’s efforts to cure blood cancers to those outside of my family circle.

Will you help? Making a donation on my personal fundraising page is a great place to start, but it’s just as important to spread the word about not only my efforts, but those of LLS too. Please feel free to share my blog or fundraising page with friends and family!

Enjoy the BBQs and fireworks tonight everyone! Tomorrow morning I’m running 9 miles so I’m taking it easy on the beers today! 🙂

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