- guest messages May 07

Tempe, Arizona
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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guest message archive - May 2007

This is where we'll post older guest messages - the most current ones are on the home page.

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Click here for messages from April and before (including lots of candles)

5/31: From Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento, CA

While I had six wonderful miles yesterday, I have no miles to report this day. However, I did make it down to the postal center and placed your t-shirt in their hands. I'm told it could reach you as soon as Saturday, but most likely won't be there until Monday. It is my deepest wish that you wear it until it is fully tattered and that it take a long, long, time for it to reach that stage.

Be back with you on Sunday to share our nine miles along the American River Parkway.

Walter W. Walrus

5/31: From Patti Hamill, St. Louis

I hope you are continuing to get some peace and rest. I will be taking lots of pictures for you tomorrow. Our girls have finshed decorating their luminarias for you and they are ready to walk in the Relay for Life tomorrow night.

Jill, Jamie and Megan are so excited to try and stay up all night. They cannot wait. There will be lots of activities for the girls to participate in. We will say a prayer for you and all the cancer survivors. I pray my girls understand cancer can be beaten. There will be a survivor lap at the beginning of the night followed by our firemen, police officers, doctors and nurses.

My friends have told me that it is a very uplifting and awesome night. I am sure it will be a bit emotional for me since the survivors camp is where the high school students put my Dad's tree and benches. The Relay for Life has no idea that it is such a special place at the school. My Dad's spirit will give the survivors the strength to fight the beast. Sooo, Team Gaffney will be praying and thinking of you and remembering my Dad throughout the night. God Bless You and your family!

Team Gaffney (in memory of Papa)- Patti, Pat, Jill, Jamie, Megan, Cathy, Brian and Eileen.

5/29: From Pam Mutchler in Minnesota.

A candle burning for you in the land of 10,000 lakes

5/29: From Cheryl Himle in South Dakota

Keeping the Flame and Faith alive in South Dakota

5/29: From Nancy Price, Lynchburg, Va.

Today I dedicated my run to you, Liz, and my friend Renee Scott's son Daniel. The place was one of my favorite running areas. The 3 miles we ran together is in a beautiful area of Lynchburg with older Greek revival, Federal sytles and Tudor homes. Gorgeous trees line it and the breezes come just when you need it the most. Today the hills were so meaningful to me.
The young women pushing their babies passed me on those hills and didn't cause my usual pang of envy for their youth and vitality. I felt so grateful for my ability to put one foot in front of the other.
My run this morning was meaningful to me because of your courage and your strength. For Daniel, who is suffering numerous fractures and whose young 19 year old life hangs in the balance.

Thank you Liz and I continue to pray for you and your family.

Waddling in Va.

5/28: From Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento, CA


Very nice Memorial Day Sunday in Sacramento. With a little bit of late spring warmth in the air, a little over 1,000 of us gathered in William Land Park for the 3rd Annual No Excuse 5K.

It’s a novel name for a novel event. It’s age graded, which means that time is subtracted from your finishing time depending on how old you are. So I don’t bore you with too many details here’s a link to the explanation to how it works.

The sole purpose is a provide a whimsical way of determining a winner and that it does. The first year saw an 8-year old girl walking off with top honors, while the person who crossed the finish line first was placed 13th. This year’s results were no different as the top five were a 62-year old man, 52-year old man, 65-year old women, 10-year old girl and 12-year old girl, while the fastest of the fast was place 15th. Quite the fun event.

As for me. Well I arrived with a whole bag of excuses and little expectation of doing well. I left without need of the excuses and all kinds of expectations for future races. In essence, it was a good day. A very good day.

Strolled the course in 44:12 as I managed to hoof three consecutive sub-14:30 miles…and then tossed in a 1:34 final tenth. And since I can’t quite figure out why, I can only assume that the time was a direct result of having you with me.

Yes, it’s true. You were with me during Mile one. Mile two. Mile three. And as I crossed the finish line. Right there in my head and heart. And having you there makes it very difficult to offer up any excuses at any time.

So, my friend, because you were there and because you have been with me so many times in the past I’m sending you an official No Excuses 5K t-shirt. It’s yours because you earned it. Put it in the mail tomorrow and should reach you my the end of the week. Wear it often, wear it long and please wear it in good health.

God Bless,

5/27: posted by Ken Myers and Bill Hermann on the running list

Hello Folks,

A year later...we got to meet. It was this time last year that Liz and I were to meet at the Beach Cottages and go for a run on the boardwalk. That run never happened. Liz got sick and had to cancel her trip. Now we all know why she was too sick to make that trip.

Today we didn't run...but we were able to meet and talk. This morning Ken Myers, aka Satch---one of the original Penguin Brigade members-- met me at the boardwalk walk in front of the Beach Cottages. I called Liz. She came down to meet us. Flippers up for Penguin hugs. And then..............

The two of us followed Liz up 3 flights, yes "3" flights, of stairs to top floor where she and her family were staying. We then got to meet, the Mom, the brother...and Liz's own "I only make right turns daughter"----you see it was 5 years that her daughter had one of those terrible things happen to a new driver; oh well I'll let it go---she was surprised I remembered.

Anyway....We sat outside on the 3rd floor balcony, looking over the sand and Ocean and talked a bit. Liz, looked and sounded very well. She laughed...most of all at Ken's reaction to her reaction to a slight
discussion regarding taxes. Ken didn't know---she's an IRS person. "Badge and all" as she said. Quite funny stuff for the moment there.

She's going to miss being here next week. Health wise it's just not going to work for her. But, she'll know what's happening. Her memory of RnR1...helping to carry the Pink Guitar. Of was really hot that
day and at mile 23 she saw a 7-11 off to the side of the course and said to me "I'm going to get a Slurrpe. You want one?" And she did!

If you've met Liz...she sounds the same; has dark hair now,--it grew back dark and not blond...but most importantly, to me at least, she has the same sense of self and determination in her voice that I have always heard from her. I can't really describe me there is just something that she has that tells the world, "I can do that; I can handle that." It's like this: I know that she is not really well but once Liz starts to head up 3 flights of stairs I'm not going to say "are you sure"; I'm just going to follow. Does that make sense? Liz is special.

Pictures...Ron, her Mom took some. Her Mom said...I need some pictures; we stood there, Ken on one side, Liz in middle, me on the other. Her Mom looked at that and said..."A Rose between two thorns". Then the words of Ken..."truer than you know".
Nuff said!

Bill Hermann
RunLizRun;I'll be there, somehow, someway.


Greetings all,
I have patiently waited for Liz or Bill Hermann to post some notes about our encounter. But since they've both made the mistake of remaining silent for so long, they have to endure my take on it.
First of all, LIZ LOOKED GREAT!! From what I'd read on her web site, I was expecting a shadow of the Liz I knew. But no, it was Liz, darker hair, with more curl in in than before. But a great looking, smiling Liz! Why was she smiling? I promised not to tell. ;-)
Mom and her brother Tom - author of many of the postings on her web site - were there. Liz's daughter and some of her friends. But most of them headed for the beach, and Liz, Bill, and I sat on the balcony watching the pelicans fly by, and watching the ocean, and talking.
It's hard to imagine someone as enthusiastic and vibrant as Liz being sick. She came down from the 3rd floor to the gate of the Beach Cottages and escorted us up to their room. Just a friendly chat with 3 old Penguins. I think the last time I saw Liz was when I was running north and she was running south on the coast highway. So it's been a few years at least.
Bill won't be running RnR, and I'm not sure I will either. As Bill mentioned in an earlier post, I said I'd never to run RnR again after the 1st one. Only running with or for Liz could cause me to abandon that assertion. I was hoping to run *with* a lot of Penguins, but with current numbers and dispersion that doesn't seem likely, so I may opt to be a scream team member.
In case I do run RnR, I'm tapering. So 12 yesterday, and rest today.

Ken Myers
earlier in Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA

5/20: From Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento, CA

Little bit of a Sunday report for you, my friend. Hope it finds you enjoying time with your family and friends in the friendly confines of your home. Yes, I do.

Very, very, nice day in Sacramento. I got out a little later than usual. Sat around last evening sucking down some wonderful Chardonnay and watching reruns of MASH, so I turned in late and decided to sleep in a tad this morning. Hey, old guy has to have a little relaxation, doesn't he??? :-)

First time I've been out at the old Sunday stomping grounds in a couple weeks. After failing to come out after Parkway and taking last Sunday off it felt good to return. Been coming out there since the summer of 1996 and it has come to represent more than just a way to begin Sunday. It has a grip on my soul as much, if not more, than any other thing.

Today's mission was to stroll for eight miles. Eight nice easy miles. My friend, I couldn't have asked for better weather for it. Could not. Near perfect. And it was used very, very, well. Never concerned myself with the pace and my last mile was by far my fastest mile.

Spent much of the time thinking. Actually preparing in my feeble old mind a speech I have to present next month in San Francisco. Some folks have decided they want to present me with an award and it requires me to say a few words. Been working the words since early this year. Speech will be short and it will turn the attention back upon the most wonderful people who are responsible for it being awarded. Should be fun.

And, yes, my friend you were part of my thoughts as well. Much of my speech will center around desire. I will mention my belief that while it's speed that distinguishes runners, it is heart that defines them. We can't all be fast, but we can all stride to be the best we can be. It is called effort, spirit, courage and the desire to be the best that we can be. How can one not think of you when such thoughts bounce off the walls of the mind?

While I look forward to the night it's given, I'm also looking forward to a week from tomorrow. That's the day that we partake in the No Excuses 5K. Should be fun...we be ready...and it represents one more step forward. And moving forward is all that counts.

So, as my eight miles today brings to a conclusion my first thirty mile week in a long, long, time, it's now time to conclude this note to you. I'll try to touch base with you midweek and hope that you will be ready to join me for our next event.

God Bless,

5/19: From Patti Hamill, St. Louis

I am wiping the tears from my eyes as I read you are home. YEAH!

Today we spent the day at our girls' softball games. Our girls are so excited to walk in the Relay for Life. We were talking about how we are selling candy at my husband's auto shop and we heard some great stories about how people are so excited to buy our candy. Today, I am happy to say, without asking people, we received $185 for the American Cancer Society.
The donations were from some very special people, including our 93 year old grandmother, who sat through two softball games in a row. Our girls are so excited. I cannot wait to tell them you are home. You are our survivor. I want my girls to see people survive cancer. They are going to see all the survivors walk their lap on June 1st and now I can tell them you are home.

We will continue to pray for a painless recovery. We are still lighting our candle and tomorrow the girls are decorating their luminaries. I will send pictures.

Rest and enjoy being home. God bless you and your family.

5/17: From Kevin Wiley, Marcos '84 (currently living in Buckeye, AZ)


Having spent over 18 years as a Paramedic, I have taken care of many people that had cancer and other types of illnesses, I have found there are people with cancer, and survivors of cancer. Survivors always have a positive outlook no matter how dark the trail, faith, and a good support network of family and friends that love you.

It sounds like you have all three going for you, So I am sure you will do well. Please don't hesitate to call on me if there is anything I can help you or your family with.

5/17: From Judy Butler, Dallas, GA

We are so happy you are back at home! We pray for a speedy recovery and that you are back to normal activities soon! I am sorry I did not get to see you when I was back in AZ for Diane's wedding. I enjoyed seeing Mark and talking with him. I hope you got to see the pictures I emailed you. Our hearts, love and prayers are with you and your family.
Lots of love,
Judy Butler

5/17: From Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento, CA


Great news, my friend. Great news indeed. So glad to hear that you are once again home in the midst of those who love you so much.

Not a whole lot to report from Sacramento. We have a couple of wayward whales swimming around not far from here. Folks are trying to turn them around and head them back towards the bay and open ocean. Sure hope they're successful.

The old guy is starting to build back some miles. Been an excellent time since my debacle on the Parkway. Ended that week with eight miles for the month and twelve days later I'm up to forty-five. Amazing how quickly the total builds and the benefits start to pour in. More energy. Less desire to take afternoon naps. And, best of all, that little person who resides around my middle is getting smaller. Damn, with luck and a lot more walking, perhaps he will soon be gone for good!

Okay, not looking to make this into a Tolstoy, just wanted to touch base, let you know that your still very much on my mind and in my heart and to remind you we have an event coming up on Memorial Day...the No Excuses 5K. More on that later, just don't forget to mark you calendar...May 28.

Oh, and you will also be with me this Sunday. We be taking a little stroll on the Parkway...eight miles. Given the six I have planned for tomorrow, it will mark my first 30 mile week in ages.



5/16: From Julie Cafferty-Klewer, Tucson

Liz....I've been tracking your progress on this site, and I continue to be inspired and amazed by your strength, resolve and outlook. Welcome home.

You are an amazing woman. I am truly inspired by you.

5/16: From Lis Shepard, Denver, Colorado

YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Just catching up on my Penguin digest ... you're HOME!!

The interesting thing was this morning I got my SDR&R Packet and was thinking "Time to check Liz' site ..."

This might make you laugh ...

I was slowly checking everything out ... and realized in my post Disney Marathon haze I decided I was going to do this in 6:15:00! I'm a WALKER! AEII!! What WAS I thinking?

I'm hoping to get the fundraising up for St. Jude's so that I can earn one of their Heroes singlets for the Celestial Seasonnings Bolder Boulder ... and wear it also at the SDR&R ... with your name on the back ... we Liz's gotta stick together ...

My bib number is 21665 (Elisabeth "Lis" Shepard) and if they print it ... "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" on it! Knowing I'm putting in miles for you too has kept me going ... and will keep the big bad Wall away! (I hope)!

Hugs and Love from Denver -

5/16: From Ron Horton, Charlotte NC

We put in a few miles for you over the last weekend. I was part of a group of four bicyclists that rode from Charlotte to Washington DC, ending our ride at the Police Officers Memorial. This was to honor the memory of fallen officers, especially the two we lost in Charlotte on April 1 of this year.

We rode 360 miles in four days. The first three days were over back country roads with hills, hills, and more hills! Each time I would gear down for one more pull up a steep hill, I thought of your valiant struggle to get out of that hospital and back home.

On the fourth day we joined several hundred riders from across the country and finished at the Police Officers' Memorial, near the Capitol. We were greeted by family members who had lost their fathers or mothers, children, or siblings in the line of duty. It was an inspiring and humbling experience.

Back to the hotel for a shower and then to RFK to see the Nats play the Marlins. Around the 5th inning the rain moved in, so we headed back to Alexandria - and Generous George's!

Remember this picture? Way back in 2000 YOU led us all to Generous George's for our Friday night encounter. When I realized we were staying in Alexandria, I took my guys there for the extra generous helpings!

Not much has changed - the food is still great and the people make sure you have fun. One of these days, you'll be leading us there again!

Run Liz Run...

5/16: From Patti Hamill, St. Louis

Hi Liz,
Our girls received their luminary bags in honor of you and are so excited to decorate them. I will send you pictures after they are done. I continue to pray for you and your family. My favorite place to do this is running over the Missouri River. It is very high now and moving very fast. It reminds me that mother nature cannot be controlled. I think of you, my dad, and some friends, as I run on the bridge. I find it very peaceful. I am praying your body will soon be calm and without pain. We are sending positive vibs from St. Louis for you to be at home soon.

5/8: From Daria Pilipczuk, Utica NY

First of all, I need to thank your brother Tom for keeping us posted on your progress. I just got back from WDW and went right to your web site to see what you were up to --- maybe "baby steps" should be changed to small penguin waddles :>) Your mom asked what keeps us going when the going gets tough....hmm....that would be easy--LIZZY and of course "Run with perserverance the race set before you" Those words are printed by me on every bib # before I head out for a race. Yes, I have a choice as to whether I start but once I have stepped across that start line,there is no quitting, I have accepted the challenge and I will run with foot in front of the other all the way to the finish.
Of course, all my runs are dedicated to someone or a cause and it keeps me going. CMM 1/2 was dedicated to a local police officer Thomas Lindsey 32 years old who was killed in the line of duty--a friend of my sons.The next line of the dedication said "SD Rock n Roll in 5 weeks for Liz".
You are our inspiration and motivation so take care and get better real soon.
God Bless you and your wonderful family. Keep your spirits up.

5/5: From Karen Getzinger, Redmond WA

Oh Liz, I've been out of town and had gone no-mail on my lists so was unaware until now of your current struggles. A candle is burning and there are lots of prayers and positive thoughts headed your way from Washington! God bless you and your family!

5/5: From Courtney Nelson, Gilbert, AZ

Hi liz,

This might sound a little funny, but my name is Courtney and I do your husband, Marks dry cleaning. He is a doll and always in a high spirit. You are lucky to have a husband like Mark. He came into my store today and told me a little bit about whats going on and I wanted to check out your website and give you a little inspiration! I know there are many people that care so much about you and you and your family will get through this. You are in my prayers!

5/3: From Randi and Chris Rusnell, Peoria

We wish to thank Mark for calling us to inform us of Liz's progress. She is lucky to have such a dedicated husband and family. Each of us who knows Liz realizes how lucky we are to have the good fortune to have such a wonderful friend.

5/3: From Sheran Mattson, Tempe

Liz, You are doing a great job of living the journey. You inspire us all. I am so sorry that you have this type of travel, but I know you are up to it. Love, peace and Joy. Your flame is glowing. Love, Sheran

5/3: From Harriet Svatora, Tempe, AZ

Hi Liz:

I am so deeply sorry for all you are and have been going through. I have known many people who have won the war against cancer through prayer and treatment. I will keep you in my prayers each week.


5/2: From Karen Bingham, Murfreesboro, TN

Liz, this is for you, from the depths of my heart, in which you’ve been ever-present these past few days.

Your mom asked: “What is it like to come to the end of a very long rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life? What do runners do?” I don’t know that answer.

Let’s be clear. Running changes lives. I even grant that it can indirectly save lives if bad habits and poor health are the issue. And, what we learn during marathon training, unquestionably, informs many other aspects of our lives.

But not many of us have reached the end of the rope and had to make decisions on which our very lives depended during our marathon training. All the emotional drama that may attend life’s major crises is not the same as fighting for your life, which is what you’ve been doing for months, Liz. Yes, your marathon training will help by guiding you out of the dark places when you struggle with despair. But it is your own unique spirit that is saving you, Liz. Hold on to THAT! It is priceless.

We are lighting candles for you all over the world. We are saying our private prayers from afar. We are running and walking with you by our shoulder because you can’t.

That is because YOU touch us. That is to honor the valiant spirit you bring to this fight. That is because YOU are the light.

I firmly believe this website, these lights, and these prayers are our way of thanking you, Liz, for being who you are, have always been, will always be. That has not changed, nor will it ever.

My prayer for you today is one that has guided me through many life changes:
“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answer, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer.” ~~Rainer Maria Rilke

You're loved,
Karen B

5/2: From Dizzy Miss Lizzy Shepard, Denver, Colorado

Hey Liz -

It's interesting how people really pull together for someone ... create first a far reaching web that ties people together in this fragmented world ... and then creates a multi colored quilt to envelop one in love, healing and smiles (and a few penguins, blister plasters, double lined sox, wicking clothing and BODY GLIDE!)! Oopse ... there's my bad sense of humor!

OH -- there's a photo of a bunch of penguins by a 1/2 marathon sign from the Antarctic Marathon you'd love! I think they're racewalk judges ... but that's just me!

Take care, Fellow Lizzy! Heal Well!

5/1: From Patti Hamill, St. Louis

We continue to pray for you. Each of our girls will be lighting a luminaria in honor of you at the Relay For Life at our high school June 1-2. They love seeing all the candles lit for you on this site and want to have a luminaria burning for you when they walk the relay. Of course, they each need their own candle burning. We will take pictures to show you how awesome it looks. So, rest and recover, and know we will continue to include you in our daily prayers.

Love, The Hamill Family

5/1: From Stacy Gleason, Lowell, Indiana


I wondered where you were when I didn't see your posts on the Cancer Survivor Network's web site. Thankfully, you posted this web site on one of your posts, and I was able to find you. My heart goes out to you and your family during these rough times. I know if anyone can whip this, you can. You will do whatever it takes to make your body, spirit and soul complete. I never actually met you, but I really feel I have learned so much from you. I especially learned that you are one tough cookie, and you will be successful.

My best for you and your family for always,


5/1: From Barbara Grandberg, Somerville/Boston:

I feel so weird answering Joyce's question, 'cause I've never been close to going through what they are...What has helped me though, in running and teaching kids with severe and profound needs is to break things down into small steps and just keep going...Sort of one foot in front of the other...

5/1: From Maria Gonzalez, Austin, Texas

By this time you will have already made a decision as to what to do to recover. I knew your mother in high school, just from afar. However, I wanted to share my story with you. My father had a colostomy in 1973 and he lived a long time. My uncle also had a colostomy and he is now in his late eighties and going strong. I pray that you are doing well and I will keep you in my prayers.

God bless you and your whole family.

5/1: From Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento, CA


My thoughts drift back to 1996. My last marathon. My toughest marathon. A defining moment in my life. It was the day that I didn't let the Bad Guys beat me. The day I didn't let those who would do me in win. The day that I could have gone a thousand miles to cross the finish line because they had made me mad.

A marathon hurts you on your very best day. It causes you more anguish on a normal day. And it will cause you to question your own existence on your worst of days. The first Sunday in December 1996 was the latter of those days.

A marathon will make you proud on your very best day. It will bring you extreme pride on a normal day. And it will provide you with an uplifting life experience if you endure and finish on your worst of days. The first Sunday in December 1996 was the latter of those days.

And it does so because you come to grips with yourself. You come to grips with all the hobgoblins in your mind. You are in a fierce fight from mile one to the finish line with both internal and external forces that will do you in...if you flinch that one time, show more than a fleeing lack of resolve, they will take away all you had worked so hard to achieve.

That day in December was dark. I knew from early one that it was not going to be a good or easy day on the course. Knew it. Could have bagged it and hopped on the bus. But wouldn't do it. Giving up was not an option. Leaving the course was not a choice. My goal was far too precious to be abandoned in midcourse.

That day in December became darker when with almost 18 miles left in the race the barriers started to be removed, the course opened back up for the normal flow of traffic on one of the major traffic arteries in Sacramento and the aid stations began to be disassembled. Yes, darker.

But it is always darker before the light. Always. And what the events above did was to bring the light of day upon me. They brought the light of day upon me because they made me mad. They made me furious. They brought feelings and thoughts into my mind and being that should never exist. They made me realize that the Bad Guys were out to beat me. They were out to destroy me. They were out to take away everything I had worked so hard for. AND I WASN'T ABOUT TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN!

I vowed at the point that nothing would stop me. I would drag myself across the finish line. I would help others do the same as I was not the only one left out there to fend for myself on that first Sunday in December 1996. No, I would not give in to the forces of evil. I would not let those who would harm me win. I would succeed and then I would laugh in their faces. I would dance on their heads. I would prevail and their was nothing they could ever do to stop me. Nothing.

Eighteen miles of walking the streets. Eighteen miles of fighting with traffic. Eighteen miles of stopping for lights. Eighteen miles of watching cars zoom by. Eighteen miles will only a little amount of water. But eighteen miles with total resolve that I would make it. Eighteen miles knowing that the bastards wouldn't beat me. Eighteen miles of knowing I would win. And that is what it takes.

I walked those eighteen miles. I fed off my anger. Even when my leg started bothering me about mile 20 I knew I would make it. I knew I would make it because I knew I wasn't going to allow the Bad Guys to beat me.

And perhaps that's what this is all about. You can never let them win. Whether it be doing a marathon or facing an even tougher battle in life. You can never let them win. You can never give up hope. You can never toss in the towel and walk away. It is always darker before the light and you must always keep searching for that light.

Fight on...continue to fight on. Hundreds and hundreds of folks are praying and thinking of Liz each and every day. We will never given in. You must never give up. Let us rise as one and shout the resolve: "The Bad Guys will never beat us!"

God Bless you, Liz and your entire family...


5/1: From Sally Broder, Mountain View

Hi Elizabeth,

You are on my mind today as you go in for your surgery. I love you and am sending you hugs from me and David and my mom and Bob.
You are a wonderfully strong woman and such an inspiration to so many people.

With a big squeeze,

Cousin Sally

5/1: From Tory K, Marysville, WA

Liz knows how we keep going. We take just one more step...and then we take just one more step...and just one more until the finish line. It takes heart, bravery, and determination, but sometimes it also takes just letting go and letting God carry us when we don't feel we CAN take one more step. He always comes through.

5/1: From Cher Link, Dublin, Oh

It's 7:50 pm in Ohio. I imagine that you're in surgery right now. I've got a candle lit and I'm saying a prayer that everything goes perfectly. I hope that by this time tomorrow you're enjoying some lucious chocolate. You are an inspiration. Stay strong.


5/1: From Lauren Clark, Columbus, Ohio

Dear Liz,

Even though we haven't met in person, I know you from the Penguin Brigade e-mail list and have been following the ups and downs you have been going through by reading the website and by Ron's updates. I have lit a candle for you today and will be thinking of you during your surgery and recovery. I have a huge amount of admiration for your strength and determination. Also, what a wonderful and supportive family you have!

Ron asked us to reply to the question of what keeps a runner going when it feels too hard to do so. I guess in very difficult times during a race, I have slowed down or walked when I felt I could not go on. If I was already walking, I walked slower. Then, after some discussion back and forth with myself, I adjusted my goal to fit my new situation. Maybe a 5 hour marathon wasn't going to happen that day, but a 5:15 was do-able and that would be my new goal. I found that once I accepted the new goal, the race became easier. I hope you find that is true for you also.

I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Lauren Clark

5/1: From Dizzy Miss Lizzy Shepard, Denver, Colorado

Liz ... You're AMAZING!!! Nothing is keeping your heart from flying on a whole bunch of feet! I was thinking how kind of afraid I've been in some respects to live ... and I re-read your Brother's post ... next thing I knew I was asked to be a leg on the Team Aviano (coffee shop) woman's relay team for the Colfax Marathon. I laughed and said I'm 'just a walker' and it turns out I'm the only one who used to do relays in high school before a series of accidents. So - this Just A Beginner is putting in loads of miles in sneakers for ya, Girlfriend and Fellow Lizzy ... you'll be missed if you can't get to San Diego ... but I did ask to have my bib say Dizzy Miss Lizzy ... so it's for the two of us! Take special care of yourself! You're an inspiration in a great number of ways. Will send the candle photos soon ...

Hugs and Love from Mile High - Dizzy Miss Lizzy Shepard and Miss Bailey Boop Doo-Wop, Princess of the Universe (the dog with big brown eyes)

5/1: From Cathy Mabry, Maricopa

Hey Liz

I am thinking about you today as I have been over the last months. I wish you the best in your surgery later today and will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Cathy

5/1: From Carlene Paquette, Carp, Canada

Liz - Today is your surgery day and I dedicate my thoughts and efforts today to you. I know your life after today is very different than the one you imagined for yourself just a few short days ago. However, I know you will heal and your spirit will support you as you seek ways to go back to living life to the fullest. I am sending you my prayers and strength for the days and weeks ahead. And wishing for an end of pain and a return to joy.

Flipper hugs

5/1: From Melanie Jobes, Columbus, OH

Dearest, dearest, Lizzy,

I'll be thinking of you today and sending lots of good energy your way. It will be evening here by the time you enter surgery, but my thoughts and prayers are with you, girl! Wishing you an uneventful surgery and a speedy recovery. All my love to you and your family and friends who are with you in body. Know that I am with you in spirit, sending you lots and lots of love and support for all your decisions.

God bless you and keep you and yours.




Click here for messages from April and before (including lots of candles)