Addison Earnest is 12 years old and currently in the sixth grade. Do not let her age or tiny frame fool you, though. Addison is a strong and mighty young woman. She is currently preparing to run the Lincoln half-marathon as a member of the Project Purple team. She will run in honor her of mother, Lynette Earnest, who passed away on December 21, 2014 at the age of 47. Though Addison’s mother died as a result of Colon Cancer, Addison has chosen to run with the Project Purple team. She is hoping that by fundraising, she can help other families who are faced with a devastating cancer diagnosis.
Addison’s parents Lynette and Mark Earnest were high school sweethearts. Lynette worked in the banking industry for 18 years. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and eventually became the Assistant Vice-President with Pinnacle Bank. While her job was important to her, Lynette valued her family even more. Lynette was a mother who was completely dedicated to raising her twins, Addison and Austin. She did all she could to make sure that she supported and cared for her children. Lynette made sure that the kids were involved in a range of activities, from 4H to athletics to church groups.
Lynette Earnest was a woman who loved life and had many friends. She enjoyed traveling and spending time with her loved ones. What Addison remembers most about her mother is how nice and kind she was to everyone. Addison describes her mom as being someone who took care of others before tending to her own needs. Addison says, “She had a really pretty smile. She was funny, strong and she was really caring towards everybody.”
Addison recalls being told that her mother had cancer. Her parents broke the news to Addison and Austin shortly after speaking with the doctor. Lynette had been given 2 years to live, but ultimately she survived for four years. During that time, Lynette endured radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Approximately two years into her treatments, Addison’s mother had to medically retire from work. After leaving the bank, Lynette derived a sense of fulfillment by working at her church. Eventually, however, she was physically unable to continue with her church duties. Despite being extremely ill, Lynette continued caring for her home and her children.
Addison remembers this time as challenging for their whole family. She tried to help her mom out by doing more chores around the house. Even though she was sick, Lynette still took care of the house and the family. Addison remembers how her mom took extra care decorating for the holidays, as she wanted Christmas to be special for the family.
As she battled cancer, Lynette took time to impart practical knowledge upon her children. Addison is proud of the fact that her mom taught her to do things like properly clean her room. Lynette wanted her children to know how to take care of themselves in the event of her absence in their lives. She also talked to her children about how to manage their money. Addison says that her mother gave her lots of good advice when she was sick. She explains, “She told me to stay in school, go to college and get a good degree. She also told me to continue to stay busy with all of my sports.”
Addison has been involved in a variety of sports over the years. She plays softball, volleyball and basketball. Along the way, she has also become a runner. Addison often runs with her friend, Addy. Not long ago, they completed the Mayor’s run together. At the time, Addy said that she would like to do a half-marathon and Addison thought that sounded like it would be fun.
Addison wanted to sign up for the Lincoln Half-Marathon, but she discovered that it was full. She and her dad happened to see Project Purple on the local news one night. They thought that running for the charity would be a perfect fit for Addison. Now she is an official part of the Project Purple Lincoln team. She and Addy have been meeting for group runs. Elli Zadina of Project Purple has been leading some of these group runs. Elli also lost her mother to Pancreatic Cancer. Addison has found comfort and friendship in her time running with Elli and Addy.
Addison typically runs every other day. Her goal is to run the race with her friend Addy and they are hoping to run about a ten minute per mile pace. Running has helped Addison to cope with the loss of her mom. “Running,” Addison says, “Helps take the weight off of my shoulders.” Addison says of her mom, “I think about her a lot when I go out on training runs. I know she is watching me and she is proud that I am helping other people by running for Project Purple. I am going to try to run to help find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.”
You can Support Addison’s efforts to help fight cancer by donating at the Crowdrise link below: