Paxten Reede Pearson was the daughter of family friends, Blake and Libby. She was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 9 months and lost her battle on January 29, 2012 (just before her 2nd birthday). Her parents started a journal shortly after she was diagnosed. Their posts were raw, honest, and gave very detailed descriptions on Paxten's treatments, struggles, and recovery. Their journal went viral and touched many hearts throughout the midwest. In February, I wanted to do something for the family that not only showed my support for them, but showed support for current, past, and future patients. In March, I decided to sign-up with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and pledged to raise $10,000 in Paxten's memory. (CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ ABOUT PAXTEN'S BATTLE- image courtesy of Mindy Rae Photography)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Times, They Are a Changin'

It has been quite awhile since I've updated my blog. Life has thrown a few curve balls our way through the last few months. Back in July, I had a small injury occur to my knee which prevented me from training as hard as I wanted to. After that, I had the stupid re-occurring cold of the summer! It was awful. Once I started training again yet another medical issue came by surprise! I woke up one morning, feeling perfectly fine and out of no where I had HORRIBLE abdominal pain. It was so bad that I had to go to the ER. After 6 hours my doctors told me I had 4 kidney stones, 1 blockage in my ureter, and an infection in my entire urinary tract. Definitely not what I wanted to hear after training for 4 months. My doctors told me I was no longer allowed to run the full 13.1 miles because they needed to do more research on what caused my stones. She said I would be allowed to do a run/walk where I run 1-2 miles and walk 3...VERY DISAPPOINTING NEWS! Especially since I wanted to not only reach a life time goal, but reach my promise to Pax. My fundraising was affected by it, unfortunately, because I had to spend time with doctors and working to pay off the medical bills :(. 

But I can say I reached my minimum goal of $1,000 and I will still be able to cross the finish line, regardless if its by walking or running. I've decided to continue my fundraising throughout the year until next year. I'll be able to do longer training and get my body healthy again.

Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported my cause and for making Paxten's story public. There are so many little ones who are suffering from childhood cancer and we need to fight for a cure. I'm sorry I haven't been keeping you all updated!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy, Bee

It has been awhile since I've updated my blog on my progress with everything.

First off, let's talk about my weight loss goals. So far I have lost a total of 15 pounds. WOO! I'm back in the size pants I wore last summer, which means I'm track to be in my high school size jeans by the end of the year. Seeing results has made it more motivational to continue with my healthy eating habits and my workout routines.

Speaking of workout routines, my half marathon training has help IMMENSELY! I'm running 2-4 miles 3-4 times a week now. I unfortunately have not been able to do the group training runs with Team In Training, but I've staying up on the mileage week by week. One thing I have learned while running is to control my pace. In the beginning of the week I usually run an 11:00 min mile, as the week goes I lower the time by 30 seconds. I think it's helped my endurance and to strengthen my leg muscles. I've started adding sprints and walks in between the runs too. 


First Run: Average time 14:30/mile, lots of walking in between running

Current Runs: Average time 10:30/mile, occasional walking

I've adjusted my time by 4 minutes! (Thank you Nikeplus for helping me keep a record). I've discovered that using Pandora radio keeps me more entertained during my runs, considering it plays a variety of music. The playlist I origionally designed made me unmotivated and bored, since I knew ALL of the songs coming up.

Now that it's starting to get hot has Hyades, I'm going to swim laps. I have to measure the distance so I can have a proper count of "Mileage". Not really sure how to do that though.

Now to update everyone on my fundraising, I have received $60 in a check form that I need to send to LLS so my website total will be updated. I have sold over 150 wristbands, which is roughly $300, so we are at about $1,200 raised. I still have 2 fundraising events, more wristbands to sell, and a "Pennies for Paxten" jar for spare change. My husband and I have decided to sell Koozies too, who doesn't want a nice soda/beer can cover? I'm making a sugar body scrub and ceramic drink coasters also. I've sent out over 70 letters to family, friends, and major businesses asking for donations. So far I haven't had any luck, but it's not too late to get a few extra dollars. My minimum was to raise $1,000 so anything about that won't disappoint me--even though I set my goal at $10,000.

I want to take a moment to everyone who has been supportive of my cause. A special thank you goes out to the ones who have donated money, purchased Crush Cancer wristbands, and to the people who are helping to promote my blog, facebook fan page, and my fundraising events. I really wouldn't be able to do this without help from the community. Please continue to help me. Finally, thank you Paxten for being with me on every run and helping me push through my "I can't do this" feelings.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Time Runner

Everyone knows how to run, but does everyone know how to run for 13.1 miles? I sure don't. I recently started following "Runners's World" magazine, (thanks to my running mentor Cody!) and they have some amazing tips for first time long distance runners. One thing I was never aware of was the concept of "Carbing Up" before a long run. Eating carbs the day before your long run is highly recommended, because you increasing the energy you need to make it to the end. If you think about it, your body roughly burns 100-200 calories a mile(sometimes more depending on how hard you run). I'll be running 13.1 miles, so in theory I will be burning roughly 1300 calories. If I don't store the energy needed to burn 1300 calories I could seriously injure myself and I may not make it to the finish line. So, where do I go from here?

 Well, according to Runner's World, you should carb load the night before and 3 hour before a run. Here's the problem, my long distance runs are going to be at 6:00am.... let's be honest, I like my sleep. If I could hibernate, I would and I'm sure as heck not getting up at 3:00am to eat! So I found some solutions that will help :).

FIRST: I could do a light weight, high carb breakfast before bed, which actually be nice considering I work as a server during normal dinner hours and I generally don't have the opportunity to eat before 10pm. Most of the recipes I've found are perfect! They are designed to fill you up, without interrupting your sleep.

  • A bowl of cereal with milk and fruit
  • A yogurt (I love Greek yogurt), milk and fruit smoothie
  • A glass of milk with 1 waffle with syrup and fruit
  • An egg and ham sandwich
  • A peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich with a large glass of water
I feel like all of these would be perfect! They are all high in nutrients and aren't too heavy.

SECOND: I need to remember that fueling up AFTER a long run is important. I found a great recipe for a Minestrone soup that is high in vitamin K, fiber, and folate.

  •  2 quarts of vegetable broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 peeled carrot diced
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasonings
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (15-16 ounces each) small white beans NOT DRAINED
  • 8 ounces frozen green peas
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  • 8 ounces of chopped escarole (very similar to lettuce)
Microwave broth and tomatoes together on high until steaming (about 5 minutes)

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot and add onions, celery, and carrots. Sautee for 5 minutes and add italian seasonings, peper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add broth micture and remaining ingredients and cover of medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occassionally, until vegatbles are soft and pasta is tender.

This amount should serve 8 people

CARBS: 41g
FIBER: 10g
FAT: 4g

As always, keep sharing the blog and get the word out for Paxten :) The more we can raise, the more we can help!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Paxten Pearson

I have recently received many private messages on facebook about Paxten's story. I know the Pearsons through my husband and his brother. We did everything we could help them financially and I wanted to take it another step further. With Paxten's parents permission, I want to share her story, help them and current patients financially, and to bring awareness on blood cancers. I would like everyone to still have respect for the family and remember that all of my efforts are 100% going towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am not keep a dime of the profit I'm making.

If you would like to learn more about Paxten's battle here is the website:


I would like everyone to keep Paxten's family in their prayers and thoughts during this difficult time and to help if they can!

Fundraising Opportunities

I know most of you originally started to follow my blog because I was posting about my weightloss journey. Well I have recently decided that my blog will be dedicated to both my weightloss and my progress with T.E.A.M. (Train, Endure, Achieve, Matter) in Training.

First of all, this has been an amazing 30 days. Not only have I lost a total of 8 pounds (mostly because of my running but I'll go into details here in a minute), but I have sold over 117 Crush Cancer wristbands, with a profit of $100 so far; I have created an amazing network with such kind hearted people, designed a t-shirt, and came up with a few other fundraising opportunities.

One of the opportunities is to send letters to large companies, small businesses, and individuals. If you are wondering what my letter says here it is-I removed some of my information for online purposes :) (Thank you Susan Fleming for giving me a template to work off of):
The main purpose of my letter is not to gain money, but to touch people's hearts. I don't think people realize how often a person is affected by a blood cancer. In the time it's taken you to read this far into my post, 1 person has been diagnosed, FYI. Obviously I am hoping to gain a donation, but I want people to realize that they have a purpose. They have an opportunity to help someone they have never met and to better the life of at least 1 patient and their family. Life is OBVIOUSLY too short to waste, so let's make the best of it.

I have been trying to think of how I can make donations while giving people something people can use, my wristbands was my first idea. It is a way to bring AWARENESS. My second idea was the t-shirts. It is going to bring SUPPORT for all those affected by blood cancers, specifically Paxten. Now I'm going to make a sugar body scrub and homemade ceramic coasters. I believe this will bring HAPPINESS. Every time someone uses either of them, they will think about their kind gesture and think about how their money has helped someone in need.

I have dedicated myself to running at least 10-15 miles per week. Not only will this help me reach my weightloss goal, but its reminding me that I'm running for those who can't run anymore. The other thing I will be doing will be to donate plasma. Sure I'm getting paid for it, but 100% of my pay will go towards my monetary goal. I will not only being saving lives with my plasma, but also be helping current patients affected by cancer, burns, HIV, and other immune difficiencies.

I have decided to challenge myself even more. I have changed my fundraising goal to $10,000. I really want to make a difference and I really want to help continue Paxten's fight! Please help me by spreading the word about my blog and all of my fundraising ideas. The more support I have, the more likely I'm able to achieve my monetary goal and help more patients. We can also bring more awareness about blood cancers and get more people involved!

Friday, May 11, 2012


I have decided to sell "CRUSH CANCER" T-shirts :). If you are interested purchasing a T-shirt, please click on the image, print out form and fill in your information. When ready, please mail it to me (with the payment) to the address listed on the form. Thank you in advance for all of your support!!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

One word... GRATEFUL

Today my post is going to be about how doing this half marathon has affected me as a person. First off, I never in a million years would have thought I would be this successful with a fundraiser. I had this idea that I would struggle with raising the money, having people take this fundraiser seriously, and most of all, achieving my monetary goals. It is absolutely amazing to have so many people stand behind me. People I grew up with, people who are close to the Pearson family, people who have never met me but are inspired by my cause...It's truely a remarkable thing. I had to take a step back and evaluate the situation I'm in. I'm not just doing this for Blake, Libby, and Paxten now, I'm doing this for all of the people who were touched by their story and wish they could have done more, for the people who are currently fighting the treturous battle, for the people who have HOPE, STRENGTH, and PASSION that one day we will find a cure. The money I raise doesn't just help the current patients, but future patients. This is a very humbling experience.

Yesterday on my run this is what I thought about it. I may be complaining that legs are sore and I don't think I have the energy to run anymore, but then I realize, I'm running for those who can't. I have never been more motivated to accomplish something.

In my first month of fundraising I have raised $720. Within the last week I have created 2 fundraising events, designed CRUSH CANCER wristbands, designed homemade ceramic tiles, and helped design a T-shirt for my run. I know I will reach my goal and I know Pax is smiling down.

Please join me at the first fundraising event: