Halpern raises money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society


For many cynical high school students, ‘can’t’ has become the default excuse for idleness.  I can’t get an A. I can’t do my homework.  I can’t arrive to class on time.

Jessie Halpern, senior, however, embraced the inspiring words of Edgar A. Guest: “Can’t is the worst word that’s ever written or spoken.”

Guest’s words propelled Halpern to complete the seemingly impossible: a half marathon.

For Halpern, taking on the challenge of a half-marathon was a major step.

“Due to asthma and a lack of coordination, I always avoided athletic activities.  When I realized that by doing so I was succumbing to the supposed stereotypes and limits placed on asthmatics, I realized that ‘can’t’ could no longer be a part of my vocabulary.”

Motivated by the drive to achieve new goals, and the recent completion of a half marathon by her mother, Halpern decided to train for the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Half-Marathon.

In honor of her grandmother, Gail Grossman, Halpern decided to join Team in Training, a fundraising organization for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The team meets each Saturday at 7:00 a.m. for long runs, and Halpern committed to running on her own and cross training through tae kwon do during week days.

Halpern plans to run the 13.1 mile race on June 6, providing her plenty of time to prepare physically—and financially.

Before her race, Halpern aims to raise $3,500 to donate to the cause.

In order to raise sufficient funds, Halpern is holding a Karaoke Night on March 26 at the Caribou Coffee on Duraleigh Road.

Entry is free, but there is a $10 minimum donation for singers, as well as a $2 fee for each additional song.  There will be a 50/50 raffle, and the possibility of free coffee.  All are welcome, and any donation is encouraged.

Halpern recognizes the importance of the contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, but also views the race as a personal obstacle to overcome.

“For me, this event is not only about raising money to help save the lives of blood cancer patients like my grandma, it’s not just about bonding with my mom, it’s about proving to myself that I can.”


  1. Hey Jessie,
    I must have done something right to have been blessed with your Mom and you. Thank you for being you and for being mine.
    Love ya,


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