Killing it in the Butt One Mile at a Time.
Aug 02, 2011
My name is Jenna Benn, I am 29 years old, and I am a survivor of Grey Zone Lymphoma. Grey Zone Lymphoma is a disease that affects less than 500 people worldwide. While we may be few in number, we are determined, committed and passionate about finding a cure.
After 6 months of flu like symptoms, weight-loss and nerve pain, I was officially diagnosed with Cancer on December 20, 2010.
I will never forget the out of body experience that ensued when I heard those three words.
With just three words, my hopes and dreams were abruptly taken from me, and my life was put on hold.
I had no idea how to navigate and exist in this new chaotic, terrifying, and uncertain Cancerous world.
How did I get here?
Up until this point I was a healthy. I worked out regularly, watched what I ate, and made sure to keep regular doctors appointments. In December, my team of doctors at Northwestern University Hospital found 3 large tumors resting on my heart, lungs and in my neck.
My life after diagnosis moved at lightning speed. I underwent fertility treatments, multiple surgeries, scans, and then started a very aggressive chemotherapy regimen called R-Epoch. My regimen required 6 rounds of 5- day in patient hospitalization, where I received 120 hours of continuous chemotherapy.
I stand here before you today, 6 months later, with no sign of disease.
Throughout my journey, I realized I needed to figure out creative ways to hold on to my spirit. Cancer may have come uninvited, but I had a choice about which parts of me I was willing to sacrifice. She may have ravaged my body, but I refused to let her take my mind, heart, and soul.
I chose to beat Cancer through writing.
I chose to beat Cancer through singing at the top of my lungs.
I chose to beat Cancer through dancing alone in my room.
I chose to beat Cancer by running.
I was never a runner before Cancer. I actually hated running. After my diagnosis I found running to be therapeutic because it allowed me to process my feelings and reconnect with a body that I no longer understood.
Throughout my treatment, I have been running 6 miles a session-one mile for every round of chemotherapy.
On September 11, 2011, 4 months after the completion of my treatments, I will be running in the 15th Annual Chicago ½ marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
LLS is an organization that raises millions of dollars a year to fight blood Cancers. I have a special connection to LLS as it was responsible for discovering the drug Rituxin which has saved my life. I will be forever grateful to LLS for their work in raising awareness and finding a cure for Blood Cancer.
I ask that you join me in Killing Cancer in the Butt one mile at a time.
I am running this race for the Cancer Crushing Warriors that are fighting and desperately waiting for a cure.
I am running this race for your family and friends that have been cruelly touched by this disease.
And I am running this race for you- my army of supporters, cheerleaders, and dancers who have lifted me up and provided me with tremendous ammunition throughout my fight.
I encourage you to give generously.
With affection and admiration,
To Learn more about my story please visit my blog
A special thank you to all those that attended Yoga for a Cure hosted by brillant instructor Becky Strauss. To all participants and supporters that chose to breath deep, move slowly, and focus on this moment- I thank you.
Don't miss our next Twist Out Cancer event on August 11, 2011 at the Hideout Chicago. Starting at 8pm artists Jesse Palter and the Alter Ego, Laser Love and the Heated Heat, Deanna Neil on the Ukelele and DJ David Pelerin will be gracing the stage to help show us what twisting out Cancer really looks like.
Jonny Imerman, Founder of Imerman's Angels will be speaking at the event.
Anthony Ponce from NBC5 will be the event's emcee.
Come join me on the dance floor.
Twist because you can, because you should, because you must.
Tickets are $25.00 in advance, $36,00 at the door.
Tp purhcase tickets online go to http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/41343/
This Winter I am pleased to announce that I am the Illinois Chapter's Honored Hero! For those of you that are interested in participating in an event with TNT - now is the time to get involved!