22 December 2010

A Letter from a Friend

A week ago I sent out this email:

Hello All!

I'm back... well, not that I ever left, but I was very busy these past few weeks, leading trips for Moroccan Exchange, and running around enjoying (finally!) Rabat. But now all my colleagues have gone home for Christmas, and I am here, filling my alone-time with self-improvement projects. One of these is, of course, the blog. I will be trying to update it with more information about Morocco, as well as personal reflections.

More importantly, in case you didn't know, I am training to run the Marrakech Marathon on Jan. 30, 2011. I've been training for this day for almost a year now, and, although the training has been going fine, I feel like there really is only benefit for ME in running this thing. So, for the past few months, I have been thinking how to raise money for a cause for this marathon.

It was hard to choose a cause, but during my run today, I realized what keeps me going on long runs is thinking of my friends and what they've gone through. In the past, cancer did not make a big impact on my life. I heard stories, but all the events were pretty much on the periphery. After I finished my Peace Corps service, however, I was affected very much by my two dear friends Rachel and Nicole, and their mothers' struggles with cancer. Back then, I wished I could do more to help, and so now I am!

So I am asking you to donate to the American Cancer Society on my behalf. If you were even close to thinking about buying me a holiday present, please donate instead! You can donate 26.2 dollars, dirhams, euros, whatever. You can donate a dollar for ever mile, or $10 for every mile, or 1 dirham for every mile. Or, if you prefer kilometers, there are 41.8 km in a marathon.

Just go to my fundraising website:


No need to send a check, or worry about getting money to Morocco.

Thanks so much, and happy holidays!


3 days ago I got this response:

Zineb -

I was in Ohio visiting relatives last weekend, and I am in DC this weekend, so I've been pretty out of touch, but I just wanted to write you and thank you for doing this (and wish you good luck, of course). When I read your email, I immediately burst into tears in my friend's apartment. Luckily, he wasn't there to witness the mess. The most recent news on my mom is this: There are no new tumors in her lungs (the 6 that were there are still there), but two tumors have grown back in her liver. That's a real pitfall after the INTENSE surgery and recovery she endured on her liver earlier this year. We're still fighting - she hasn't given up yet, but I'm still living everyday knowing my mom will never meet her grandchildren/will never see me get married/etc. I even do strange things like look at her/my cat and realize that the cat will definitely outlive my mom. It's odd - to say the least.


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