Janet Glasgow was 57 when she first became ill. She had lost weight and began experiencing digestive problems. Those symptoms prompted Janet to seek medical care. The doctors initially seemed perplexed by what was causing Janet’s pain and discomfort. Eventually, CT scans revealed a devastating diagnosis. Janet had stage IV Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Janet started on chemotherapy, but her cancer continued to progress and she developed jaundice. There was little her doctors could do at that point except try to make her comfortable.
Janet had been an extremely active woman who played tennis every single day. She was a free spirit, who was vibrant and optimistic. Janet was welcoming to all and was a deeply comforting presence in the lives of all who knew her. It was devastating for her children to see their mom, who had been so adventurous and full of life, decline to the point where she could no longer walk up the stairs. Janet’s two sons, Marshall and Matt, both did all they could to spend as much time with their mother as possible. Matt moved back home and Marshall visited every weekend. Despite their love and devotion, Janet’s cancer spread quickly. She passed away just a month and a half after she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
A year after Janet’s passing, Marshall Glasgow met Kelley Harlan. Kelley had recently returned to the Austin, TX area after having spent a year teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey. Marshall was still grieving the loss of his mother when the two met. The Glasgow family was greatly affected by losing Janet to Pancreatic Cancer. They have done all they can to promote awareness and fundraise for the disease. Kelley was so moved by her boyfriend’s commitment to eradicating Pancreatic Cancer that she felt compelled to also join the fight.
Kelley was a competitive soccer player as a kid. Back then she ran as a means to train for her favorite sport. As her college career came to an end, she decided to get back into running more seriously. The Austin, TX resident has run ten half-marathons and one full marathon. She says, “Half-marathons are my favorite race. I think that they are the perfect length for me, personally. I remember thinking that I wanted my mom to come pick me up when I was running the LA Marathon!”
Kelley has not run a race in approximately a year. The idea of running to support Pancreatic Cancer funding appealed to her, so she began looking for a charity that would align with her goals and values. She found Project Purple and applied to be a part of the Denver Rock ’n ’Roll team. She is feeling a little nervous about running at altitude, but knows that training in the heat and humidity of the Texas summer will provide plenty of challenge to prepare her for the half-marathon distance. Kelley is also looking forward to exploring Denver, Colorado for the first time. Marshall, whose preferred form of exercise is cycling, will come to Denver to cheer Kelley on as she runs in honor of his mom.
Kelley loves running and says, “It makes me feel good. I have a lot of stress in my 9-to-5 job as an accountant. Running is therapeutic. When I do not get my runs in, I do not feel the same. It provides a nice relief from the stress of life.”
Kelley is currently in her base-building phase of training. She is looking forward to gearing up her training in the coming weeks, adding in speed workouts and longer runs. She is most excited about running with a team that is united by a common goal. She says, “It feels great to train with the Project Purple team. I am used to being in a team environment because of soccer. Running was always a solitary thing that I did on my own. I know I am part of a team where all of my teammates get why I am doing this. That is truly comforting.” She continues, “Janet was such a super upbeat and positive woman. Her passing was devastating for her family, but it is important that we keep her positivity going.” Kelley will keep Janet’s positivity going on October 18, 2015 as she runs the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon with her Project Purple team.
You can contribute to Kelley Harlan’s Project Purple fundraiser by clicking on the link below to donate at her Crowdrise page: