Keep On Keepin' On!
Aug 23, 2011
In order to keep fighting - I have to keep running! So, Dublin Marathon... Here I come!
Nearly 958,000 Americans are battling blood cancers - and I am one of them.
I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a participant in their Team In Training program and I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign.
On October 29th, 1997, my life was forever changed when I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). After chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in 1998, I thought my fight with this awful disease was done. However, in November 2009, my annual blood draw tested positive for the Philadelphia Chromosome - the marker for CML. For now, they will just be more aggressive about monitoring my blood. I am unsure of the road ahead, but with the endless support, research, treatment, and prayers, I know that I will win this marathon for my life.
I have committed to raise funds to support the cause, and would love your support. Your donation will help the mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of finding cures and saving lives. Your donation is fully tax deductible.
To donate now, click on the "Donate Now" button on the right side of this screen.
And, just in case you needed another reason to donate to my fundraising event... I also found out that it was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that funded Dr. Brian J. Druker, an oncologist at Oregon Health and Sciences University and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, during his laboratory and clinical studies that led to Gleevec approval!!! The very drug that may save my life!
Thank you in advance for your support. I could not do this without so many wonderful friends and family on my side. Life Is Good! I LOVE the support that comes from being a part of something bigger than myself - Team in Training. A big "Thank you" to each of you and your support in my endeavor to complete this event in celebration of my life, as well as in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers.
P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this link to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.
As I begin my training for the Dublin Marathon, I will be dedicating each of the 26.2 miles to individuals who have inspired me along in my own battle with leukemia. Each person's name will be written on my race shirt to help keep me going and to remind me of why I run. Over the next few months, I intend to share their names with you...
*Mile 1 is dedicated to my brother, Karl, for being my bone marrow donor and literally giving me my second chance at life.
*Mile 2 is in honor of my friend, Jenny W, and Tom R. Jenny selflessly saved Tom by being his bone marrow donor & helped him survive his battle with leukemia. Prior to the event, these two were strangers, but now, they are forever friends.
*Mile 3 is for Nathanael L. the sweet little boy of our dear friends Aaron & Becki. Nathanael was born on May 4, 2006 with Down syndrome. On February 22, 2009, he was also diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. His battle is ongoing.
*Mile 4 is for Angela H. This wonderful angel was instrumental in bringing our precious daughter, Katie, into our lives. Angela was diagnosed at age 26 with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She underwent chemo every 3 weeks for 14 months, radiation daily for 20 days. Her lymphoma decided to keep growing 6 months into the chemo, so a more aggressive regimen was applied with a high chance of causing infertility. She received that more potent chemo for 8 months. 3 months after the last chemo, follow up tests showed that the cancer had started again. She was in the hospital for 10 days and received a miraculous healing from God and has never seen the cancer again. The only residual effect of her treatment is infertility which has been cured by the adoption of 3 wonderful children.
Although I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a victory over ANY cancer is a step in the right direction...
*So, Mile 5 goes to a 25 year Breast Cancer Survivor... My Mom. (I am her 5th child, so that's why I picked #5 for her.) I was 12 years old when Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It is a frightening thing for a child to see what cancer can do to their mommy. But, throughout the surgery, the harsh chemo and radiation, the hairloss, and all the other stressors of everyday living, my Mom stood strong and optimistic. I will forever be in awe of this precious woman who I am blessed to call Mom. <3
*My inspiration for Mile 6 comes from a true Survivor... My Dad.
I am convinced that, at some point, a novel will be written about the life of this fascinating man. But, in attempt to summarize: In 1950, at age 7, my dad, alone with his 3-year old sister, Monika, left East Germany by train and traveled to West Germany. They witnessed several refugees who were pulled out of the cars and shot to death. When they arrived at their new camp in Worms, famed for Martin Luther, their parents weren’t there. No one seemed to know where they were. The Red Cross and the Catholic relief organizations were alerted and began to search the various towns and cities where refugees were situated, but for the next FOUR months the two children had to fend for themselves. Every day, this 7 year old (my dad) had to find food for himself and his sister. He had to find shelter and warmth when all they had were the worn-out clothes on their backs. Survival was day to day.
My dad is an amazing man, dedicated husband, and a father to 6 pretty amazing kids ;). With very little formal education, my dad went on to not only obtain a BA, but a Juris Doctorate from BYU Law School.
Dad, Thank you for your example! I guess Surviving runs in the family.
*Mile 7 is for Camie Casper Jacobs, a friend of mine from high school. Camie is a runner - always has been. She was on the Cross Country team in high school and is now a Distance Running Coach at a local high school. This amazing athlete AND her husband both ran the 2009 Boston Marathon in under 4 hours! However, just last month, Camie was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. After initial surgery, they found out that the cancer has metastasized to 2 lymph nodes. She currently undergoing chemo treatments. This young mother of 4 beautiful children is a survivor and will make it through this ordeal. Camie, you are an inspiration to me on so many levels - as an athlete, a runner, a mother, and a fighter! Thank you for your extraordinary example.
*My sista-in-law gets Mile 8. Kerry-meister Ellis , helped me transition from walking to running. We trained for the Salt Lake City Race for the Cure 5K in 2003. We had plans to train for a marathon, but I got stress fractures in my feet, and the following year, Kerry was in a major car accident with her son, Ian. So, our goal of running a marathon fell to the wayside. But, she lit the desire in me, inspired me to reach higher and achieve so much more than I thought I could. Love you, Kerry!
*Mile 9 is dedicated to my dear friend, Sarah Millward, who has truly inspired me and helped me find my motivation to get back out there and run! Up until about 4 weeks ago, I had been taking a sort of hiatus from running. I was going through some funk (i.e. depression) and had zero dersire and zero motivation to run. Sarah ran her first 1/2 Marathon last month and is on fire! She and I ran another 1/2 Marathon on July 9th AND are going to run the St. George Marathon on October 1st. I simply love her and am so grateful for her friendship, love & support.
*Mile 10 is for my awesome brother, Alex Mueller. Alex ran the SLC Race for the Cure 5K, in May 2004. It was the first race he did and then he took off with running - literally. That same year, he did a 10K and then a 1/2 marathon. He then completed his first a full marathon in Las Vegas, January 2005 (just 8 months since he ran that first 5K. I was in awe. I thought, “We’re in the same family, we have the same genes, if he can do it, I can do it.” Alex has run a total of 4 full Marathons. Love ya brotha - keep on keepin' on!
*My inspiration for Mile 11 is my Savior, Jesus Christ. "And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. (Doctrine & Covenants 89:18-20)
Christ had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I live because of Him. He is my hope. He is my strength. He is my Everything!
*Mile 12 is for one of my Besties, Allyson Jeppson. Just the thought of her makes me grin... She is such an inspiration and an amazing example of womanhood, of being an outstanding wife and mother. She is down-to-earth, creative, ambitious, loving, charitable, and someone I am blessed to call My Friend. While she is humble about her own accomplishments and shys away from the spotlight, she is quick to compliment and encourage everyone else around her. One of the silliest peeps I know - every time I spend time with her, I can't help but think, "I wanna be Allyson when I grow up."
*I am runnning Mile 13 in honor of my friend's (Jennifer Davis) son, Taylor Davis - a valiant, strong & determined 16 year old currently fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma. On January 20. 2011, Taylor was diagnosed with Stage IIB Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Upon learning of Taylor’s diagnosis, he cried for a brief moment and then the first words out of his mouth were, “I guess I got what I was praying for.” His mom asked him to elaborate. He explained to that he had been praying really hard for a way to strengthen his testimony and to become a stronger person. He felt that cancer was the answer to those prayers. Thus far, Taylor has undergone 6 rounds of chemotherapy treatments and 4 radiation treatments. He has kept a very positive attitude and feels that he will beat this cancer. In the beginning he chose a slogan. “Cancer Fears Me.” His mom believes it does! He has fought hard from day one - believing that this is just a learning experience and not a death sentence. This battle has not been easy. Yet, Taylor continues to amaze everyone around him, both with the physical and spiritual strength he has shown through this trial.
Jennifer stated, "We have known since the day Taylor was born, that he was different. Special and unique. That he is a choice and noble son of God. That he is only on short loan to us. We have always known that his time to prove himself wouldn't take long. That he would do miraculous things while here on this earth. That most of his mission here would be for our benefit. Cancer has only reaffirmed that."
*Mile 14... My sister, Helena Mueller, started life as a fighter and a survivor! Born three months premature and weighing a mere two pounds, her inner strength and determination helped her pull though those first rough months. As the oldest of 6 kids, Lena is a natural leader and a teacher. She inspires me to want to to keep acheiving. This Fall holds much adventure for both of us - for different reasons. While I am training for my marathon, Lena (aka Ms. Mueller) will begin her first year as an elementary school teacher! Her positive outlook and contagious smile will influence many! Love you sista!
*Mile 15 – Martin Douglas Mueller, my brother - a true American Hero. With almost 15 years of active duty service, Doug is currently serving his 5th tour over in “the desert.” His 1st deployment was to Bashur & Kirkuk in Iraq; 2nd deployment to Taji, Iraq; 3rd deployment to Baghdad, Iraq; 4th deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq; and now, his 5th deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan.
I came across a poem entitled “The Son, The Brother, The Solider, The Hero” by Lindsay Rae Cummings, whose brother also served in Afghanistan. I have modified it slightly... Love you, Dougie! Come home soon!
When I first met him, he was my brother,
He is the second born, the first son to my mother,
As time passed he came to be a good friend -
Someone I could count on until the end.
There were times I didn't want him around.
There were times he didn't make a sound.
Now everyone around him stops to listen -
He is at war, and he is now on a mission.
My brother, the soldier, is in battle for us all.
Beside his comrades they all stand so tall.
Awaiting their orders to march off and fight,
Their silhouettes sliding off in the night.
My brother, the hero. My brother, My friend,
Every day my prayers to God I send,
That you come back to us, you must.
In His light, I place my trust.
*Mile 16 is in honor of a true Wonder Woman - Petrina Mueller Steele. This wife and mother of 3 boys (ages 15, almost 14 & 10) is also a full time school teacher, church & community volunteer and someone I am lucky enough to call sister, as well as friend. Growing up, we fought a lot - as siblings often do. But now I cry every time she leaves to go back to Texas after her annual summer visit to Utah. She has always been one of my best (and loudest) cheerleaders in anything I do - whether it was a basketball or volleyball game in high school, crossing the finish line after a marathon, or fighting off Cancer, my dear sister has been there. Thank you, Tre, for all that you do and for all that you are! Love you!
*I am dedicating Mile 17 to my courageous cousin, Bobbi Abplanalp. One of the most beautiful & vibrant grandmothers around, this 3 1/2 year Breast Cancer Survivor is busy living life! She has 3 great kids (ages 27, 19 & 12) and 1 adorable grandson (2 years old). I love Bobbi's contagious laugh & huge smile! She radiates such a positive spirit that anyone who knows Bobbi, Loves her. She says, "I am happy that I was able to fight cancer with courage so that my kids could see that they too can do anything!! Cancer is not the worst thing that has happened to me. It was a blessing in a way, it brought my family closer and it brought more intimacy to my marriage. I fight harder for my health! I feel because I talk about it that I might help someone..early detection is the key!! I think it's important for young women as well as older women to check their breasts and not be embarrassed or afraid of what they might find. EARLY DETECTION IS KEY! We as women need to advocate for ourselves and our own health and life!!! Don't give up whether its cancer or hard times in life. WE have the power. And with the support of friends and family we can do anything we set our minds to. Cancer is just a weed in the garden of life...and i pulled that weed!! Now i have room for more flowers and i appreciate my garden more now than ever....
Thank you, Bobbi, for your awesome perspective! YOU INSPIRE ME!