Smiles for Margaret: Race Recap

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This race was a last minute sign up for me.  Coming off of a marathon, less than a week ago, I wasn’t planning on “racing” for at least three weeks.  But it came across my facebook feed, and it made my heart heavy.  This race supports a little girl named Margaret, who lost her life at 12 years old to brain cancer, and her continued memories, as her family raises funds for other children battling brain tumors, as well.


I asked the family for permission to blog about this race, and feel honored to share this little girl’s story.  Meet Margaret. 🙂


Margaret starting experiencing vomiting and headaches, that lasted over a time span of 6 weeks.  She was eleven years old. She went to her Pediatrician, who sent her to the hospital once for a spinal tap.  The ER doctor said she was dehydrated and sent her back home.  Her symptoms continued and the pediatrician told her mom to call a neurologist.  After he examined her, they went to the ER for a CT scan.  The scan showed a tumor in the middle of her brain. She had a biopsy the end of November 2012. By January 2013, Margaret had most of her tumor removed. The tumor was found to be malignant, and she started chemo and radiation just three weeks after her surgery.  Her treatment was set to be a 12 month cycle, but unfortunately, she did not make it through all 12.  Margaret’s brain tumor exploded and she passed away. 

 Before Margaret passed away, her family discussed continuing Smiles For Margaret, when she was all better, so they could help other families. Smiles For Margaret, Inc was started to make other kids fighting the fight, smile. And helping those families that are now in the ocean swimming for their families survival. For more information, and ways to contribute to such an amazing cause, please visit:


  • 40-80% of the children diagnosed with a brain tumor survive 5 years post-diagnosis
  • brain cancers account for 15% of all pediatric cancers

I feel so blessed to have been a part of today’s race, and honor this beautiful little girl’s life.  The community came together, and put on a very nice time.  Her infectious smile was felt and her memory will never be forgotten.  My heart goes out to her family.  I admire their courage and heroism.  I want to thank everyone who made today happen, and send my love to the Walling family.

Please, please, please, check out their cause and make a contribution.





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