My Fundraising Page
Nov 03, 2009 by Meagan Jenkins
Only a week and a half to go!!! I can't believe after all this time the big day is almost finally here! Our longest training run was just over a week ago: 19 miles! It was the most pain I have EVER experienced in my life! I almost thought Andy was going to have to carry me to the end (which I think he would have :-) but we made it. What an accomplishment... We are in our tapering phase now, letting our bodies recover for the race.
Thank you all for your support - both emotionally and financially!We raised $300 at The Marlay House on Feb 18. And I am a Top 10 fundraiser in the state of Georgia still. The generocity of our friends and family has really blown me away. I can't express what it means.
The marathon is March 21 - it starts at 7:30am in Centennial Olympic Park. We are planning to finish right around 12:30pm. If anyone wants to come cheer us on along the route, the course can be found at this website:
Before I sign off, Ijust have to say that this experience has changed my life. This running has given me a positive, healthy place to focus my grief after the death of my awesome brother. I was in such a dark place 6 months ago... Team inTraining saved me. I felt so helpless when Ron died, and this is a way I feel like I can make a change for good. Your donations are going to help us find a cure for blood cancers, and are helping patients every day.
I also know how proud Ron would have been of both Andy and me, and that gives me a sense of pride that I can't describe!
Thank you all!!! Now... wish us luck for March 21!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi again! Just a quick update here - training is going well. We are now up to 15 mile runs! WOW! 32days to go and counting...
Also, I am currently a TOP10 Fundraiser in the entire state of Georgia!!! Please help me keep my place in the top 10 by donating any amount you can!
Thanks to everyone who has helped me reach these amazing goals - both in fundraising and the training!
Thanks for checking in. My original message is below where you can find more details about my brother's illness and why I'm running this marathon. But I did want to just let everyone know how we're doing with training AND fundraising.
Our training has been going very well. We have good days and bad days, but we have been sticking to the program so we should make it to 26.2! Andy currently is battling an injury, but we are hoping it is minor and he'll be back in full health before you can say Jack Robinson (as he would say!) We have learned so much about our bodies, keeping healthy and our limits during this experience!!! Our longest run so far as been 11 (hilly) miles. I couldn't imagine running 11 miles in a WEEK 4 months ago, let alone all at once! We are so proud of our accomplishment so far. The month of February will start with a 12 mile run and end with an 18 mile run, so the coming weeks will be very tough. We will need everyone's support!!!
As you can see, Andy and I have almost reached our minimum donation requirement for running the ING Georgia Marathon with Team in Training! But we have set personal goals a bit higher than our minimum fundraising requirement. We are aiming to raise $5,000 between the two of us - a lofty goal, yes. But we know every penny is worth it for such an incredible organization! Please donate what you can and spread the word about our fundraiser to your friends, family and colleagues who may also want to join in our fight to beat cancer!
In order to help us reach our goal of $5,000, the owners of The Marlay House - formerly The Grange - have generously offered to donate a portion of their proceeds from the evening of Thursday February 18, 2010 to our fundraiser!!! PLEASE if you are free on that night, come out to drink, eat, support a great local pub AND help us reach our fundraising goals all in one! The event officially begins at 5:30pm and will continue until close. Its perfect: drink beer, give back!
Spread the word about this fundraising event to your friends, family, colleagues, etc. The more the merrier!!!
We look forward to celebrating Ron's life and the efforts of the LLS on February 18, 2010!
All our love,
Andy & Meag
Where: The Marlay House
426 West Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030 US
When:Thursday, February 18, 5:30PM
Next March, my husband Andy and I, will be taking on what seems right now to be an impossible task: we will be running in the ING Georgia Marathon on March 21, 2010! We have decided to take on such a goal (when at this point I think that 3 miles will kill me) in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through the Team in Training program.
Many of you may know that my brother, Ron Ward, has battled leukemia over the past three years, a battle that he ultimately lost this past September. In the fall of 2006 Ron came down with what he thought was a bad cold. Over the following months his symptoms worsened, when finally, in January of 2007, Ron suffered a stroke. After a series of tests it was determined that Ron had Acute Mylogenous Leukemia, and the stroke was a result of the cancer cells thickening his blood to the point where a clot formed. After 7 months of chemotherapy, total body radiation and an autologous stem-cell transplant, Ron was in remission.
One year later, however, we learned that Ron had relapsed. Ron once again underwent multiple rounds of intensive chemotherapy, because this time the doctors couldnâ€™t get him into remission. All of Ronâ€™s treatments were really taking their toll on his body. He never faltered or wavered in his determination to fight this disease. Finally, after about 4 months of chemo, he was in remission, allowing him to undergo a bone-marrow transplant from a near-match donor. After 7 straight months of living at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Ron went home. He got stronger by the day, he was exercising and even came on a beach vacation with his wife Stephanie and me and my husband last summer. It was a great 5 months.
Then in July of this year, Ron came down with graft versus host disease, an ailment in which the bone-marrow donor cells attack the recipientâ€™s body. He was treated with various drugs, but his symptoms persisted. Days became weeks, weeks became months. In the end, the 3 years of treatments had taken its toll on Ronâ€™s poor body and his liver failed. Within days Ron was on full life-support. The doctors told us that he would never recover. On September 29, 2009 Ronâ€™s family and friends were at his side as he took his final breath.
Over the next 4 months I will be taking my own body to places itâ€™s never been in order to train for this marathon, but at no point will the pain ever compare to that Ron had experienced over the last 3 years. I am asking for your donation to help support my efforts, and support the efforts of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Treatments for blood cancers have been transformed due to the grants given to support life-saving research, but there is still a long way to go. If there were easier methods of detection, perhaps Ron could have been diagnosed sooner. If chemotherapy wasnâ€™t so toxic, his body may not have been quite so damaged. If there were better treatments for graft versus host disease, he may still be with us. Research funded through the LLS is aimed at making these dreams a reality, and may even lead to a cure.
During the past 3 years Ron was in the hospital for over 400 days total. The patient advocacy efforts through the LLS helped pay for Ronâ€™s wife Stephanie to park at the hospital to visit, helped to pay the co-pays for the life-saving drugs Ron had been taking as well as the search for a bone-marrow donor. These efforts changed Ron and Stephanieâ€™s lives over the most difficult times either of them had ever experienced. Your donation will not only support the life-saving research that is on-going in this country, but will have a direct impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families.
I wanted to take this opportunity to explain to you all exactly what Ron endured over the years as a result of his leukemia to show you how devastating a disease this truly is. You have an opportunity to change that for millions of people by giving a donation of any size on this website.
I said goodbye to my brother, my hero and my best friend this fall because of blood cancer. Please help to make sure that someday no one else ever has to do the same. Thank you for your time, your support and your donation.