Neither rain nor cancelled events can stop hope.

Put one foot in front of the other. It’s advice for patients facing cancer treatment – and for marathon runners.  

Beth Blakey, Cancer Hope Network’s Associate Director of Development, recently completed her first-ever marathon. But the challenges she faced weren’t just physical. Halfway through her training, her chosen marathon was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns.  
 
She continued to put one foot in front of the other – deciding to put the months of training she’d already endured to good use. Her Chasing Hope fundraiser was born.  

“Running a marathon has been a goal of mine for many years. So, I decided to sign up for my first 26.2 mile race this year (yikes!). I had already been training for several months when my race was cancelled due to COVID. Training was so hard, both physically and mentally. This cancellation was soul crushing news—but it was nothing compared to receiving a cancer diagnosis. My mom is a two-time cancer survivor, and I’ve seen first-hand the fear, devastation, and isolation of cancer. So, instead of throwing myself a pity party and throwing away months of hard work, I decided to focus on the fact that I had an extraordinary opportunity to make achieving my goal mean something to more than just me.”  

Beth’s tenacity paid off – as she and friend Jennifer Bauscher completed their 26.2 mile trek through the drizzly North Jersey countryside on Sunday, October 10, cheered on by family and friends. 

“Move for Hope is more than a fundraising campaign at Cancer Hope Network,” said Executive Director Cynthia Gutierrez Bernstein. “It’s about shining a light on exercise as an important tool for improving our physical and mental health. Another tool is 1-1 peer support. The efforts of people – including dear colleagues like Beth – help raise awareness of our services while also making them possible through their fundraising. We are incredibly thankful to Beth and all who supported her run. Together, we will ensure that no one faces cancer alone.” 

“Working at CHN, I’ve also seen the power of hope inspired by personal, 1-1 connection with someone who’s been through a shared lived experience and truly understands what you are going through when facing cancer,” concluded Beth. 

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Beth for the many ways she makes our lives – personally and professionally – better. Her tenacity, strength and commitment to ensuring support and hope for cancer patients and the people who love them is deeply appreciated.  

By Sarah Miretti Cassidy, Director of External Affairs

For more information about Beth’s run – or to learn more about how you can host a Move for Hope fundraiser of your own (dancing! Walking! Yoga sessions!), please contact Sarah Miretti Cassidy, Director of External Affairs – scassidy@cancerhopenetwork.org or 908.879.4039.