Missy Beatty, a music teacher at Chinn Elementary in the Park Hill School District, took a ceremonial lap around the Mary Sue Grant Chinn Panthers Walking Trail with her two children and member’s of the school’s running club in tow. Fellow teachers and students joined in the ceremony for a cause dear to Beatty and her family.
“Just one step at a time,” Beatty said. “I started today. I’ll do a few miles each day — just whenever and wherever I can , just pound the pavement.”
Already a participant in multiple marathons, Beatty hopes to log 130 miles of running in the month of May to raise money and awareness for her brother Cary Mock, who was recently diagnosed with myelofibrosis — a rare cancer of the blood. She wants to use the money to help cover his medical expenses and lost wages the family will incur during his treatment.
Mock, a husband and father of five, set aside his work as a local singer, actor, director and instructor to undergo chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant to deal with the cancer. Beatty asks for pledges for every mile she runs with all proceeds going to her brother’s family.
“I don’t necessarily have a financial goal; I just want to help him out as much I can,” Beatty said. “Just help him out as much as I can. I’m a marathon runner. It’s a big passion of mine. I can take that and put it to good use.”
According to mayoclinic.com, Myelofibrosis is a serious bone marrow disorder that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells. The result is extensive scarring in the bone marrow, leading to severe anemia, weakness, fatigue and often, an enlarged spleen and liver.
Chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow and stem cell transplants can all be used in the treatment of the disease, which is related to leukemia.
“If I can use it to raise awareness for bone marrow registry, too, that would be great,” Beatty said. “It’s so important. I’m trying to get people to jump on board with that as well and get themselves in the registry. It could save a life.”
Beatty recently learned she is a full match for her brother and is unsure if her timeline for completing the 130 miles will need to change in order to allow her to make a donation.
For more information or to pledge money to Mock’s cause, visit https://rallyup.com/f257f9/. As of Tuesday evening, $341 had been raised on the website, which details Beatty’s thoughts on the situation.
“(Mock) has just crossed the starting line, and faces a long road ahead of him,” the site reads. “Cary has the training (his faith in God), the support (his family and friends who love him), and the fuel that will be needed along the way (the appropriate medical treatments). He must now take one step at a time toward the finish line. There will be uphills and downhills along the way, but each step will carry him forward toward recovery.”