Brutha from another mutha.
That is how our friendship has been described. I met Landon the first day of kindergarten and we instantly became best friends, brothers really. Our bond is indescribable. My brother is no longer with us because, after fighting for 18 months, he passed away on May 21st, 2014 from Rhabdomyosarcoma. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft- tissue form of cancer.
I never want to see any person in pain or struggling because there isn’t a cure to their illness. I saw Landon give himself shots, take medicine, be too tired to get off the couch, throw up, and become skinny. It wasn’t fair to him. He didn’t do anything to deserve to feel this way. We should still be playing trampoline soccer, Minecraft, and making music videos. Luckily, Landon’s “real” family feels the same way. We want to honor Landon. Landon told his mom that he wanted to help other children and their families who are fighting childhood cancer and to help fund research so a cure can be discovered.
We have developed the L3 Foundation, which stands for Live Love Landon. Although the foundation is pretty new we have already raised lots of money. The first fundraiser we participated in was the Captain Kids triathlon. L3 was the chosen foundation. People could donate to the foundation when registering for the race. People donated over $2000. I actually participated in the triathlon myself. It felt amazing racing in honor of Landon. I could feel him with me during the race. I was so inspired by the first race. Racing and raising money for a good cause made me feel like I was making a real difference.
I spoke with my parents about how racing made me feel and how I wanted to continue making a difference. So we came up with a goal. I will do 10 races a year in honor of Landon and other types of illnesses and community service. I choose the number 10 because Landon was 10 years old when he passed away. After the Captain Kids Triathlon I did Tour de Cure. I rode my bike 31 miles. I also raised over $1000 and was honored as a Champion Rider. Tour de Cure raises money and awareness about diabetes. One of the most special parts about this race is Landon’s dad, Scott, and I were both given the race number 10 to wear during the race. The number 10 is now retired in Landon’s honor for the Houston Tour de Cure.
The 3rd race I did was the Virginia Gandy 5k put on by Mother’s Against Cancer. This race benefits childhood cancer, which I support! I had never ran 3 miles before and I was proud to push myself to run this far. The 4th race I plan on participating in is the Walk by Faith 5K. The Addison Faith Foundation organizes this race. A cool thing about this race is Landon and I did this race together before his diagnosis! This race also benefits childhood cancer. I have actually done this race for the past 5 years but this year I am running for both Landon and me!
Although I am in the middle of my goal of 10 races I already feel like I have matured. This whole experience of losing Landon has made me grow up really fast. I need to direct my emotions in a positive way. Racing helps me stay on the bright side of things. Instead of being sad and mad I know I can do races that Landon would have liked to have done. I am racing for the both of us.
I plan on continuing to volunteer for the L3 Foundation as it grows. We have lots of ideas in the works for future fundraising. The cool thing about our foundation is that we want children, like me and Landon’s other friends, to run the organization. Our slogan is, “Kids Helping Kids Fight Cancer.” I want people to volunteer and get involved with L3 so that other children might not have to go through what Landon and I have had to go through. Losing my brother has been the hardest thing to have to face. You never really get over the loss. Thankfully I have found a way to keep Landon close to me- by racing in his honor and being a founding member of the L3 Foundation.
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