"You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give."- Winston Churchill
Oct 31, 2009 by Nurit Katz
Racing to Save Lives
As many of you know, this fall my mom was diagnosed with Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma. Fortunately, it was a non-agressive type. She had major surgery to remove her greatly enlarged spleen, which was successful, and is at home recovering. She may need chemotherapy, but hopefully very light. I am so grateful that it was treatable, and so inspired by her strength and grace and humor throughout, and her emails from Lake Spleen-Be-Gone.
To show my gratitude and give back in a concrete way, I am embarking on a journey as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training, that will lead me to a full Ironman triathlon on July 31st, 2010.
This is certainly the greatest physical challenge I have faced in my life. I ran my first marathon this year in Palos Verdes, which was tough, and I cannot imagine doing much before, besides eating the peanut butter sandwich and banana that I had for breakfast that day. The Ironman will require me to swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles before completing a marathon. That's like swimming from Santa Monica to Marina Del Rey, then biking from there to San Diego, and then running a marathon.
However, the difficulty of this journey is nothing compared to the pain and struggle of fighting cancer, and of watching loved ones suffer.
I am racing for my mommy, Margo Katz, as she recovers step by step, til we can run together again. She gave me the gift of life and love and taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to, the wisdom of the tortoise, and the power of a sunny outlook on life.
For Ani Gorgorian, who is fighting leukemia and still finds the strength to be a rock for her family. She has cared for me like a daughter.
For our cousin, Fred Gysi, who continues a brave fight against leukemia.
For Patty Drasin, who survived a really tough battle with lymphoma, and was there to counsel my mom in the hospital.
For my loved ones who are brave survivors of cancer- Jessica Schairer, Juan Matute Sr., Suzanne Biegel, Larry Whitford, Jane Bryan-Jones and Jay Amestoy.
In memory of my great-grandma Dorothy Lindenbaum, who lost her life to leukemia when I was 8 years old. I remember as a child wishing for a cure, now I can contribute.
In memory of Dan Silberberg, our dear family friend who lost his life to leukemia, and who, even in his most difficult days told his daughter "How can one be sad, when the trees are so beautiful?".
In memory of Alice Cunningham, who could out harvest me at Vital Zuman farm, even at the end of her life. Her strength was an inspiration.
In memory of Dennis Munjack, father of Julie Munjack and in memory of Manny Eisenberg, beloved husband of Phyllis Eisenberg, who lost their lives after difficult battles with cancer.
In memory of Ivy Moy, remembered by Greg Ford.
In memory of Johnny Fang, remembered by Karen Miao.
In memory of Gladys Afua Ofori Gadzanku remembered by Dela Gadzanku.
In memory of Nancy Jo Kimble, lost Chrsitmas of 1997 to Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, and in honor of Rowena Netzley, survivor of breast cancer, honored and remembered by Kris Kimble.
In honor of Tajuana Robinson, supported in her fight by her friend Felicia Brannon.
In honor of Noel Greenwood, supported in his battle against cancer by his daughter, Diana Greenwood.
In honor of Tsvi Epstein, supported in his fight by Dr. Shani Fox.
If someone you know is fighting cancer, or there is someone who's memory you would like me to honor, please let me know, and I will add them to my page, and will carry their name with me on the race.
All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling cancer. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
My fundraising commitment is $6,500 I know this is a rough time for many, but know that every dollar counts. If you can donate even $10, it still makes a difference. Please make a secure, 2009 tax-deductible donation today to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. They have invested more than $680 million in research since 1949 - over $69 million in 2009. Last year alone, LLS made 4.9 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. They are one of the most efficient non-profit organizations in the US, spending only $0.16 to raise each $1 of support.
Thank you so much for your support! Your generosity is truly appreciated. I hope you will visit my web site often to read stories and see my progress.