Running shoes-The gift that keeps giving! 

You might think this is crazy to have a sentimental blog today about a pair of running shoes?  
But these shoes are more than just sneakers… these shoes represent STRENGTH, COURAGE, DETERMINATION, PAIN, DESPERATION, OVER COMING OBSTACLES AND SO MANY TEARS. These shoes are beat up and have holes in them. I had to break down and buy a new pair and I hate to part with them. I never want to give them away. I will sit them in my room and whenever I feel down I will look at these shoes and remember where they took me!
My dad bought me these shoes when I checked in for my life saving bone marrow transplant. 
  He asked what he could do for me and I said “Lisa is giving me her marrow to save my life just buy me sneakers so I can ArmorUp for LIFE® and walk my ass off around this hospital so I can get well and go home to my son.” These shoes gave me LIFE too. I Sounds so ridiculous to say that but they really did. I used to sit them next to my bed and when I was crying and got so depressed that I didn’t even want the nurses to see me fall apart I would lace up my shoes and take off on a walk as far as my hurting body and these shoes would take me. I wanted to run away but knew I wasn’t healthy yet. So every moment of every day I would focus on my next walk. My next journey. I would lace up these shoes and walked miles and miles around Johns Hopkins. I walked those halls until I couldn’t stand anymore -dreaming of being cured. I know each and every painting. I walked outside the hospital as I pushed my IV stand up a very bumpy cobblestone road around the streets near Johns Hopkins. I pushed my limits in these shoes and found exercise and #ArmoringUp as my therapeutic way of healing and coping along with prayer. Somedays these shoes would just lead me to the community courtyard within the hospital. I would go hide there at night when I was depressed and cry my eyes out and was so lonely. I was too embarrassed for the nurses to see me crumble. But I would pick myself up and go back after I dried my tears just in time for my late night 1030-11pm blood draw. These shoes- gave me STRENGTH. HOPE AND PEACE. 
After my transplant I wore them on a 5k run with Gabriel to raise money for Be the Match. My first run since my transplant. I cried as I cross the finish line because that run, those shoes and THAT moment meant so much more than JUST a run!
These are not your ordinary shoes.

So many friends write me and ask— what do I give a friend who is in the hospital with cancer? Hope.. and perhaps a pair of walking shoes.

Help them #ArmorUp for LIFE® and give them the gift that keeps giving. Give them shoes and see where they will take them.  

They will not only give them strength and hope to get up and fight but there are countless studies on the power of exercise DURING CHEMO…. and how it helps. 

I promise you that your family, friend, loved one will cherish those shoes.

#ArmorUp for LIFE®

Loriana Hernandez

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