My New Beginning
Dec 26, 2011 by Kaitlyn Suarez
My heart began to flutter as my parents and I pulled into the High School parking lot on that June morning. I slowly stepped out and walked to the track, a task I had done so many times before; but this time was different. This time my heart raced as my dream began to fabricate; I was about to run. The sight didn't disappoint my feelings, the utter beauty of the track sprawled out in front of me, beckoning me to accept the challenge. It was a surreal feeling; I couldn't believe that only 3 months earlier I battled through my bone marrow transplant, grateful each day I could leave my bed and sit in a chair. Yet, here I was, standing on the line, about to take my first steps on a long, and all too familiar road to recovery. I looked up at my Mom and Dad, smiled with all of the confidence I could muster up, and together we took off.
In June 2011, I completed the 100 days of isolation after my bone marrow transplant, and therefore finished the third treatment against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I am currently running for the Union College Cross Country team, and I am so thankful for it. The camaraderie from my endearing teammates motivates me to train back into the shape I was once in. Union was my first choice college, and I loved the idea of continuing to run Cross Country. When I heard the news of my acceptance to Union, I was in the hospital recovering from my transplant. All to eager, my Mom couldn't wait another second to tell me, so as I was standing in the bathroom- in my underpants - she barged in, exclamatorily told me the news, and I just began dancing, dancing and shouting in my underpants. As embarrassing as that sounds, I will never forget that moment. I was so unbelievably happy. For in that moment, I truly felt hope for the first time in a long time. I felt hope because I knew if I went to Union, I would run Cross Country, and I would regain my life.
Battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma three times was a battle in itself. The bigger battle is the transition, summoning the will to push back to normalcy. After the first and second time battling cancer, I found myself at the start of High School Cross Country season. Bald, weak, and frail I put one foot in front of the other, and returned to great strength by the end of the season. After the third time battling, I can't imagine myself doing anything else besides running Cross Country. For me, normalcy is running, and normalcy is what I truly want.
So in June 2011, I stepped onto the track with the ability to run - no rather slowly jog - 100 meters. Today, I successfully completed four 5k races starting the season at 27:30 and my recent season PR of 25:50. Each day is a little stronger than the last. I am so thankful every time I step onto the line, thankful for my health, and thankful that I am able to race again.
With the great success in my recovery, I decided to run the Disney Half-Marathon. I have wanted to run the Disney Half-Marathon since I was diagnosed in 2008. Each year the disease has prevented me from doing so. But not this year, this year I will run the race on January 7th, which also happens to be my 19th birthday.
As I run this Half-Marathon, and every race, I run for not only myself, but for my best-friend Alex Mele who lost his battle to Leukemia last year, for Liam McGuire my 7 year old friend fighting Leukemia, and for all of those whom I have met along the way; the list, unfortunately, goes on and on. I run for all of those who have faced this battle, for their families, and for their friends.
Thank you for your donation. I am so grateful for any amount that can be donated. Every penny funds my goal, and every penny funds the cure. One day, it will be found.
*Support my friend Liam McGuire- "like" "Friends 4 Liam" on Facebook. His goal is to reach 10,000 "likes" please help him reach his goal!
Union Cross Country - 2011
My Fundraising Page
Sep 16, 2011
Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.
Welcome to my Team In Training home page.
I have a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.
Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.