The Funyons. I’ll always laugh about the Funyons. Our cousin Jess had just had a baby and my sister and I arrived at the hospital to meet her. We frantically ran around the lobby looking for a baby gift. Quick – there has to be something in one of these shops. Nothing was open so we resorted to the vending machine. We each picked one thing. I picked a bag of Funyons and my sister said EW, not FUNYONS.

What did Jess say when we walked in the room? OOOOOOOO, Funyons! my favorite!

That was her first baby. Jess has since given birth to twins. Two more beautiful baby girls! and I always joke with her every time she posts a photo – “that is a whole lotta babies.” (It makes my head spin. I can barely handle a puppy, let alone three kids. I have have nothing but respect and admiration for her and husband Mark.)
Jess and I live on opposite sides of the country so I don’t know the babies as well as I’d like to. Thank goodness for social media, I get to watch them grow. and follow their progress. The good and the bad.

In January, at the age of 19 months, one of the twins was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that required surgery to remove the tumor plus intensive chemotherapy treatment for 24 weeks. Every Wednesday.

Jess has been writing about this journey when she can in her blog, Breaking the Momma Mold – she writes about the realization, the adaptation, “Shit, our kid has cancer,” said Mark while cooking dinner one night. And about her warrior 19-month old daughter who is beating this thing.

April marked the halfway point for her treatments and while tests show no signs of cancer, poor little baby is exhausted by treatments, has lost her hair and sleeps a lot.

But every photo and video I see of her, she is beaming. Simply beaming with life.

“ …after all of these circumstances so far, Twin B, is proving to be a rockstar. She is running, dancing, smiling and lighting her path with a fire of courage that is monumentally admirable and inspiring.

This is only the beginning of our journey. Mila, (Twin B), makes it look pretty damn easy. She has given her entire family the courage to race after her without looking back.”

I can donate to her crowdfunding campaign and buy a bravelet, follow along and give moral support in our Team Mila Facebook group, but other than that I feel helpless, so far away – I don’t accompany Jess to treatments, or chip in and bring a meal over.

What I can do, is join the race. Race in her honor.

So I’m running the Broken Goat 25K trail run in Rossland BC, on July 16th, in honor of Mila Martineau. If Mila can go through her Wednesday treatments with a smile, and have to carry a hydration backpack her size once every three weeks; if that little body of hers can fight the good fight, I can do this run, carry that Mila warrior spirit with me and finish with a smile.

Go Team Mila!

If you want to learn more, please visit Jessica’s blog , donate to her GoFundMe , and/or pick up a cool Be Brave bracelet.

By Lisa Gerber