Team Rex

October 3rd


After the first round of chemo. He’d had better days.

So, my running buddy is doing okay. “Not great, not dead,” as he would put it. Many of you have asked about him. Rex has just finished his third of six rounds of chemo. Other than a 30-pound weight loss, which wasn’t necessary, he looks pretty much the same. His color is once again rosy, his attitude is good and his hair — well, I’m being kind when I say he didn’t have much to start with. The only major physical change is the man I once ran 20 miles a week with now uses a walker to hobble around the house. His strength has been zapped. Chemo is getting him as close to death as it can before the doctors will push healthy life back into his ailing system. Cancer will die a miserable death in the process — fingers crossed.
I’ve been contemplating what to do for him. For the first time, I understand that helpless feeling people write about when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious disease. Rex got cancer and I got anxiety. Rex started chemo and I started baking. Rex’s hair started falling out and I thought about shaving my own head.
Thankfully, the last thought passed quickly. I’m a single girl and frankly, me being bald isn’t going to make him better or help my chances in the dating pool. Then again, neither is the massive amounts of baking, but idle hands…
What I did come up with, other than regularly feeding him very fattening baked goods (per the doctor’s recommendations, no less) is to create Team Rex. Rex has run the Tempe YMCA Thanksgiving Turkey Trot for as many years as I’ve known him. It is a simple, easy 2-mile run and it raises money for our gym. Specifically, it raises money for kid’s programs at the facility and for low-income families who want to participate. He’s never won the race, but he isn’t one to mess with. This year, of course, Rex will be on the side lines as an observer.
I’m petitioning our gym to dedicate the race this year to Rex. He’ll be there to observe a steady stream of people wearing yellow shirts, emblazoned with a “Team Rex, Live Strong” logo.
The race is Thanksgiving morning at the Tempe YMCA. Phoenicians, consider this a city-wide invitation. The cost is +/-$15. If they Y management doesn’t want to provide the shirts, I’m going to do so out of my pocket. I can just imagine how tickled Rex will be to sit at the finish line and watch countless friends and others he’s never even met run a tiny community race in his honor. If his spirit doesn’t motivate us all to live a little bit healthier, hug those we love and thank God for each day, I’m not sure what will.
Let’s lace up, shall we?


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19 Responses

  1. poor rex. what a nice gesture to organize a “team rex.” i’m sure that will help lift his spirits.

    (and i can’t wait to make some pumpkin scones!! they sound awesome.)

  2. AAh Kelli, you are a gem. Sexy Rex is one lucky dude to have you on his team, kickin’ cancer’s BUTT.

  3. So nice to see Rex & hear that he’s hanging in there! Brilliant idea about team Rex & dedicating the race to him!!! (and it’s good to hear you won’t be bald anytime soon!)

  4. Go Team Rex! I wish I could be there to cheer you all on!

  5. Kelli, I am proud to know you if only through blog-land. You are such a giver. We could all take a lesson from you! Go Team Rex!!

  6. a huge hug for Rex and for you Kelli for being an incredible, wonderful, heart person. he looks like such a nice person in the photo. team rex – GO!

  7. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your friends, and for your race plan!
    About that helpless feeling, I know very well what you’re talking about, and I’ve learned from that experience to never let a day pass by without telling my dear ones how much I love them, and to never go to bed angry at someone!

  8. Listen UP people! Re-read the post. It’s a call for voluneers. If you can’t be there physically, send the girl some money and be there Karmically… (or some real word that meeans that).

    I’m in Kelli. Just let me know where to sign up and what you need for $$.

  9. Girl, your kindness & thoughtfullness brings tears to my eyes. If you don’t get the Y to sponsor the shirts, please let us know so we can help out.

    GO REX!!! 🙂

  10. kelli-though I could maybe struggle through a 2-miler, I’m a long way from Tempe. But send me your address and I’ll send you some mooooola.

    Best to Rex–he’s got one good friend in you. Can’t wait to see the pix of Team Rex crossing the finish line.

  11. Ugggh! Chemo makes me so ANGRY. One poison for another – I wish there was a better alternative.

    We are all running Race for the Cure this Sunday for my friend with breast cancer – we’re doing the same thing with the shirts and visors…”Cruisin’ for Susan” is what they say (and then, appropriately enough, brunch at my house after and “Boozin’ for Susan” with mimosas and bloody marys. haha.)

    Susan is tickled pink (literally) and I’m sure Rex will be too!

    I run the Turkey Trot every year in whatever city I’m eating turkey that day, so I will think of you, your friend Rex, and your GINORMOUS heart.

  12. Go Kelli! What a terrific way to honor Rex’s and encourage him through this battle. I am so excited about your idea and I can’t wait to see how it goes for you. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

  13. Count me in.

    Keep us all posted on Rex’s health.

  14. I’m praying for Rex. My heart goes out to you & him. This world really needs more people like you Kelli…your an angel.

  15. Kelli, I can’t physically participate in Team Rex but I would like to help. Please let us know an address to which we can send contributions to this worthy cause. It’s a wonderful tribute to Rex as he works towards recovery.

  16. I can physically participate, and I will! Count both Ryan and me in. Where do I sign up?

  17. Kelli, count me in on a contribution basis too. Let me know where to send the cash…I want to place a personal bet that Rex kicks Cancer in the tooshie! What a great friend you are.

  18. Kel what a cool friend to rex you are!!
    If you can’t get the shirts then I send a donation towards the cost. Just let me know.

  19. Hey Kel
    I had the same idea as JT above, that is, even if we can’t be there in person, we can contribute to the “t-shirt fund”, no? Esp. if you have to go the out of pocket route.

    I’m thinking, maybe there’s a way people could send you donations via Paypal? Or some other system? You could put a little button on your sidebar? I don’t know, just thoughts…

    As you know, I HATE CANCER because it stole a loved one from me just last year, so let’s gang up on it! Revenge is so satisfying!! Let me know how I might donate.