My Fundraising Page
Feb 20, 2013
Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.
Welcome to my Team In Training home page!
This picture of me was taken just moments after I crossed the finish line of America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride last year. After I had time to wipe the tears away, of course. That moment marked the end of what was easily one of the most amazing journeys I have ever taken. Despite all my training, completing that race was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. After almost 9 hours, I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I had a scraped knee from a fall I took when I became light-headed from the elevation and dehydration. My entire body was sore from pushing myself up more than 4,000 feet of vertical elevation gain. That last mile, I was so worn out, I couldn’t even push my foot with enough force to snap my shoe into the pedal, so I rode without it. The fact that I’m doing it again probably makes me sound even crazier than I did when I first decided to take on the challenge. But blood cancer is still a real problem, and I’m more connected to it now than ever before.
I’ll admit that I started on this path mostly for selfish reasons – to get in shape. But it quickly became about much more than that. For those of you who don’t know, I came late to riding a bicycle. Unlike my brothers, I had no desire to learn, which made it that more unusual that I would challenge myself to 100 miles. I was never very athletic either, so it was odd that I would finally participate in my first team sport at the age of 27. But I had such an amazing experience last year that I have decided to return as a mentor this year to help inspire new cyclists to push themselves beyond what they think is possible, to raise money and to find a cure.
Last year, I rode alongside Cassie – a teammate who had to interrupt planning a wedding so she could plan for survival. Our honorary teammate, Laura, planted a living tree when they told her she had months to live. The tree died within a year, but she’s still alive and an advocate for LLS; she wouldn’t be here without their help. I met countless teammates who shared stories of the family or friends that brought them to the slightly unorthodox idea of cycling 100 miles with little to no prior experience. But then something even more amazing happened – I heard from so many of you. You shared your stories of the friends and loved ones who were affected by this disease. I quickly learned that blood cancer wasn’t as far away from me as I had originally thought. Some told me of the brave people you knew who had fought and beaten leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. Others told me of those who were not so fortunate – those that I carried with me as honored teammates, inspiring me to fight back against the “good pain” that I was lucky enough to feel, knowing they had been through much worse. My friend Carol shaved her head in solidarity with her sister who just months before had been diagnosed, and told me of the difference LLS made when being given such difficult news. Even when I was out on the street, learning to ride clipless, a woman in my neighborhood shared the story of her late husband, an avid cyclist, and thanked me for “falling so that others can stand.” I haven’t forgotten those words. They kept me going, because, let’s face it, I did a lot of falling.
I couldn’t have done it without the support of each and every one of you, and so I hope you’ll join me once again in the fight to bring an end to this terrible disease. But there’s an even bigger picture too; out of the 50 cancer drugs approved in the past 10 years, 23 started with blood cancer research and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Because it’s easier to study a potential treatment’s effects on the blood, once successful, it can then be used to look at solid tumors. 5 drugs have already been approved for use against other cancers and others are being tested. Even if you don’t think you know anyone who has been affected by blood cancer, I guarantee you know someone who has been affected by cancer in one form or another. 75% of every dollar I raise goes directly to help advance new treatments and cures through research, and provide critical education and support to cancer patients and their families.
Survival rates for children with leukemia have improved from 3% 40 years ago to 90% today. Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have more than doubled to 88% since the 1960s. And the survival rate for myeloma patients tripled in the past decade. With your help, I raised more than $4,000 to move us toward even more promising statistics. And I’m not stopping there. If I raise $5,000, I’ll dye my hair purple. I have a whole bunch of exciting things planned to thank you, ranging from more goofy pictures to some others I’m not quite ready to tip yet (did someone say homemade wine?) More about all that later.
But now, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for standing with me last year to kick cancer’s butt, and hope you’ll join me again.
Contributions are tax deductible (ID #13-5644916) and can be made online (it’s super easy!) at:
(or to make it even easier, check out my facebook wall for the link!)
Thank you for your support!
P.S. – Don’t forget to check to see if your employer has a matching gift program!