My Fundraising Page

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.


Supporter Comments

    "Hi Kaitly! I'm not sure if you remember me, but I was the Make-a-Wish volunteer that worked on your wish a few years ago. I ran with TNT this past spring, and hope to rejoin again in the new year. Best wishes to you! Maybe we'll meet up again at a TNT event/practice one day! You'll do great in Disney!"

    Debra Rothwell

    Sun Nov 20 09:02:17 EST 2011

    "Kaitlyn: Best of luck!! My 14-year old daughter Kelly is a 15-month survivor of this hodgkins lymphoma and this sounds loke a great event. We will be sure and look into participating in the futrue if possible."

    Mary Beth Drake

    Fri Sep 30 02:54:51 EDT 2011

    "Keep on running Kaitlyn! We are with you every step of the way. The Prager Family"

    Bart,Ellen & Monica Prager

    Tue Oct 25 07:02:35 EDT 2011

    "Your webpage is inspiring. Keep up all the great work. Love to you and the rest of the X-country team! Renee Garbus (Union '80)"

    Renee Garbus

    Tue Oct 25 09:16:36 EDT 2011

    "You are an inspiration to everyone you meet and I feel lucky to have had the pleasure of meeting you...."

    Denise Nicastro

    Mon Oct 24 11:13:18 EDT 2011

    "So proud of you Kaitlyn! Keep up the great work :)"

    Jess Bilbo

    Mon Oct 24 03:40:27 EDT 2011

    "You are amazing and affect so many people :) Your smile brightens all of our days and we are so glad to be friends with such a special girl. "

    Cara and Eva Zimmerman

    Fri Oct 07 04:10:18 EDT 2011

    "Good luck Kaitlyn - You are an inspiration to everyone! "

    Teal Reeves

    Fri Oct 07 10:23:19 EDT 2011

    "Love you Kaitlyn....Happy training! Aunt Val"

    Val Young

    Fri Sep 23 09:59:36 EDT 2011

    "Way to go Kaitlyn ! "

    Ed, Anne & Kaileigh Moore

    Mon Sep 19 09:41:37 EDT 2011

    "It's the best I can do right now, being a broke college student in between jobs... Go get 'em, love."

    Chelsea Ocon

    Mon Sep 19 09:15:05 EDT 2011

    "Kaitlyn, without ever having met you I am truly inspired and moved by you. Best of luck!"

    Heidi Baker

    Mon Nov 14 03:55:42 EST 2011

    "Congratulations Kaitlyn! May God Bless you always."

    Maryann & Renos Georgeou

    Mon Nov 14 09:16:38 EST 2011

    "Best of Luck. Union '86"

    steven lewis

    Fri Nov 25 11:19:23 EST 2011

    "Way to Go Kaitlyn! God Bless! Love Ken Kelly Alie and Jessie :)"

    McCormack Family

    Thu Jan 05 11:05:49 EST 2012

    "You are a true inspiration! SWR Class of '92 :-)"

    Joanne Heidinger

    Fri Jan 06 08:53:58 EST 2012

    "Totes love you!"

    Melissa Loder

    Fri Jan 06 10:00:25 EST 2012

    "Love you Kait! So proud!"

    Sheila & Austin

    Sat Jan 07 01:29:22 EST 2012

    "Kaitlyn You are an inspiration! "

    Matt Milless

    Mon Nov 14 11:06:14 EST 2011

    "Alex lives on in many hearts - but I think he's the strongest in your heart. You will never be alone - you will always have Alex as your guardian angel. Proud of you!!!"

    Doreen Parkinson & family

    Thu Nov 03 07:32:45 EDT 2011

    "Way to go Kaitlyn!"

    Jeanne and Bob Sweeney

    Tue Nov 01 12:44:56 EDT 2011

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $4,720.00 | Goal: $4,000.00
118 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Union College $850.00
steven lewis $140.00
matthew mcguire $100.00
Doreen Newell $100.00
Shawn McHugh $100.00
Thomas McFadden $100.00
Patricia Williams $100.00
Joanne Little $100.00
Shelly Shinebarger $100.00
Matt Milless $100.00
Keri Zoumas $100.00
Kate Schurick $100.00
konstadine zoumas $100.00
Brian Susan & Alan Solins... $100.00
Mary Beth Drake $100.00
The GE Foundation $75.00
Teal Reeves $75.00
Mary D'Amelia $60.00
Robert Gavila $50.00
Sheila & Austin $50.00
Joanne Heidinger $50.00
McCormack Family $50.00
Patricia VanDerhoof $50.00
Seplowitz Family $50.00
Maryann & Renos Georgeou $50.00
Gary Gold $50.00
Tina Lincer $50.00
Bob Soules $50.00
Dan Detora $50.00
Doreen Parkinson & family $50.00
Jeanne and Bob Sweeney $50.00
Marie Tramontana $50.00
Bart,Ellen & Monica Prage... $50.00
Joseph L. Suarez $50.00
Sofia Kakoulidis $50.00
Val Young $50.00
Marilyn Suarez $50.00
Ed, Anne & Kaileigh Moore $50.00
Nivea Suarez $50.00
Kyriaki Zoumas $50.00
Kalli Suarez $50.00
Melissa Loder $35.00
Pepisco Foundation $25.00
Jane Redavid $25.00
Union Alum $25.00
Amy Young $25.00
Debra Rothwell $25.00
Carolyn Flees $25.00
Michelle Pawlowski $25.00
Kerrie Wolf-Piechota $25.00
Callie Stacey $25.00
Kate Culman $25.00
Bridget Graham $25.00
Nadia Dovi $25.00
Ann King $25.00
Todd Clark $25.00
Roubina Spyros Morgan $25.00
Marilyn Suarez $25.00
Thomas Morpeth $25.00
Renee Garbus $25.00
Michelle Richter $25.00
Nancy Piscitelli $25.00
Terri Maillard $25.00
Denise Nicastro $25.00
Jessica Poremba $25.00
Geralyn Ruhle $25.00
Jess Bilbo $25.00
Cara and Eva Zimmerman $25.00
Erica Fagan $25.00
JoAnn Klein $25.00
Susan Tarrant $25.00
John Knauer $25.00
Paula Sterbens $25.00
Donna Johndrow $20.00
Sarah Iacobacci $20.00
Heidi Baker $20.00
Roe Wixted $20.00
Alexandra Franck $20.00
Ann Walsh $20.00
Erin Judd $15.00
Chelsea Ocon $15.00
Janet Blum $10.00