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~Shared by J. Ranner

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Now that I think of it, I’ve learned more from Dr. Seuss than I did throughout four years of college. There’s an awful lot of truth in his words. We live in a world with almost 7 billion other people, so at times it’s somewhat easy to feel small and insignificant.

Even though there’s nothing further from the truth.

Change has to start sometime, somewhere, with someone. So why not be the one to make it happen?

We’re proud to announce that Woodloch’s very own guest, staff member and friend is doing what she can to make some positive change in our world. Jocelyn Gebhardt of Fallston, Maryland, will be running in the Saint Luke’s Half Marathon on April 28th, 2013. She is doing it all to raise awareness for melanoma. 

Her motivation comes from the heart. She will be running in memory of her mother, Teri. Teri was not only a Woodloch guest but a very special Woodloch guest; she was the recipient of Woodloch’s “Chuck Russell Award,” which is handed out during the summer to people who demonstrate the true meaning of the Woodloch Games. Teri had a very welcoming disposition and knew how to make everyone smile. “She loved everyone,” says Jocelyn. “No matter who you were or what you did, she just loved you, and she let you know that. I remember her as always trying to help someone.” Woodloch provided the Gebhardt family with 15 years of “leaving reality” for a week. To Teri, Woodloch was a special place where she could just be herself and be “crazy” without anyone thinking it was odd!

Teri was diagnosed with stage three melanoma in 2004 when Jocelyn was just 16 years old. Though doctors gave her just 6 months to live, Teri, alongside her loving family, fought as valiantly as possible. “She didn’t let the disease get the best of her,” says Jocelyn. “She still came to my college lacrosse tournaments and went to our beach house on the weekends. I learned so much from her during that time about what it was to be strong.”

Sadly, Teri lost a very tough battle with melanoma in 2007. Though she was deeply saddened by her loss, Jocelyn keeps her spirit alive with a great attitude and willingness to help others. “She was always so positive and upbeat, living everyday like it was her last. Today, I try to live my life just the way she did, never taking anything or anyone for granted.”

She set out to find ways that she could help and make a difference against the disease. Jocelyn, a proud Woodloch competitor herself, found Miles for Melanoma, which raises funds for the Melanoma Research Foundation. This organization gives people the opportunity to run for sponsorships that will all go to fighting melanoma, so even if you aren’t the next Steve Prefontaine, you can still help. All of the framework in place, she started her training routine. 

For the past few months, she has been following a rigorous training routine that has her running three to five miles three days a week and seven to nine miles at least two days a week. This is certainly no easy task, but it will prepare her for the half marathon (13 miles) that she will be undertaking in a few short weeks. She trains most days at the Sports Complex at Woodloch Springs, and if she gets a nice break in the weather, she jogs around the famously serene Woodloch Nature Trail. An absolutely great way to stay fit, if you ask me!

Need a little ambition to go out there and make things happen? Heed Jocelyn’s advice: “We are all put here to make a difference. Whether it is to impact something or someone, we are all here for a purpose. Make your purpose be known. Get out and do the things that you are passionate about, appreciate the little things, and love everything and everyone unconditionally. Live every day like it’s your last because you never know when it will be. Appreciate the life you were given!”

On a personal note, I’m proud of my friend and wish her the best of luck. I love seeing positive change and am reminded of my favorite Latin phrase Sic Parvis Magna, meaning “greatness from small beginnings.” Your journey of a thousand miles starts with just a single step; never underestimate your ability to inspire others!

Find your “marathon,” and go run it. 


If you’d like to support Jocelyn in her mission, please click here!