Oct 01, 2012 by Bob Leahy
I know I said my last one was my final update, so this isn’t an update, it’s the results report. Yesterday was the marathon and I did finish, with Jessy running beside me. What a feeling; it is a finish that I will never forget.
I was cruising along and passed “the wall” at mile 20 with the help of one of the TNT coaches running beside me. Then around mile 23 my knee really began to flare up and I had to stop and walk. After walking for a bit I got a text telling me that Jessy and her mom were about a tenth of a mile from the finish. With that I started running again and around mile 25 another TNT coach showed up and began running with me, encouraging me and keeping my mind off my knee. He ran until we saw Jessy and said, “I think you got it from here”.
About four and a half hours after I started I crossed the finish line with my hero. I battled through some pain, some miles and a lot of rain, but Jessy has battled through so much more . The smile on her face as we crossed the finish line together says it all.
Thanks to all of you I have been able to raise over $8,000.00 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s race to find a cure. If you would like to you can still contribute through my web page, or better yet you can get involved. It does not have to be a marathon; it could be a half marathon, a Spartan race, a triathlon, a bike ride, a hike even a walk with the Light the Night walks. The feeling is amazing! You can find out more at www.lls.org/ma or ask me, I am more than willing to talk about it and help you get involved.
Sep 20, 2012 by Bob Leahy
September 19, 2012
This will be my final update on my Team in Training (TNT) progress. In less than two weeks, I’m going to stand at the starting line for a 26.2 mile race. Because of the generosity of my friends, colleagues, and family members, I have surpassed my third and final goal of $7,500.00. Amazing, thank you!
I wish your generosity could help with my knee pain. Since my last update, the training hasn’t been going any better. The knee pain has become knee, leg and foot pain even with time off from training. I had an MRI the other day which revealed no fracture and I’ve been cleared to run, but the pain is still there and that means it’s a pinched nerve. I’m trying to run through the pain – I tried a 20 miler last weekend, but had to cut it short. I’m hoping a cortisone shot a couple days before the race will help me get to the finish line.
Speaking of finish lines, in my last update I told you that I’d get there however I had to, including crawling. And you know that’s because I’m running for Jessy who will be waiting at the finish line, hopefully, even if it takes me 7 hours to get there. I haven’t gotten the chance to see Jessy recently because she hasn’t been at the hospital. And that’s a great thing.
I’m looking forward to finishing the race and raising a toast – to Jessy and her new beginning, to this old man finishing a marathon, and to you since your generosity has helped the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fund research to find a cure.
You know, when I was a kid the survival rate for childhood leukemia was less than 10%. Today, it’s greater than 90%. The training, the fundraising, the race are all secondary. This is really about finding a cure so that one day kids like Jessy will be looking at a 100% survival rate. Research is the answer and your donations help fund that research.
There’s still time to donate. If you have contributed, please accept my heartfelt thank you – your generosity is truly appreciated. If you have not yet donated and would like to, there is still plenty of time. Donating is easy; you can visit my fundraising web page http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/maine12/MilesintoMiracles
or send me a check made out to “The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society”.
Training and Fundraising Update
Aug 14, 2012 by Bob Leahy
I think it’s time to update you on my Team in Training (TNT) progress. Just the other day I signed recommitment papers which means the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) will officially register me for the race and place me in a hotel room for the night before. There is no turning back now.
In a few short weeks, six to be exact; I’m going to stand at the starting line for a 26.2 mile race. I have no expectation of winning, but you know as well as I do that that isn’t why I started this journey. I signed up to raise money for a great cause and thanks to many of you, I have succeeded. My fundraising success means that LLS and the people it helps get to be the real winners.
The show of support has been overwhelming. My original goal was $2,500.00 - I think that was surpassed in less than two weeks. Because of the generosity of my friends, colleagues, and family members, I have been able to update my goal three times since then and am close to reaching my final goal of $7,500.00.
I wish I could tell you that the running has been going as well as the fundraising. Things were going very well, but then I started to have problems with my knee. My doctor tells me that my knees are “built for 5k’s, not for marathons” so I took a couple weeks off. I’ve had a few cortisone shots to help with the pain and am pretty hopeful that I can get back out there running long distances.
The thing is, that even though my knee hurts, it doesn’t compare to the pain faced by patients with leukemia or lymphoma. Every time I think about those patients and their strength to battle these forms of cancer, I am compelled to keep on running.
On September 30th, whether I have to walk or even crawl to the finish line, I will. Because Jessy will be there to cheer me on. She’s gone the distance in her race against leukemia, so I should at least be able to run the Maine Marathon. The other day I asked her “What now? What next?” wondering about the next course of treatment or testing. Her response had nothing to do with the disease. Jessy started talking about her life plans – what she wanted to do and how she was going to do it after all her treatment was done.
And that’s just it. The training and the fundraising and actually running the Maine Marathon, they all lead to research for a cure so people like Jessy can think about life plans instead of treatment plans.
There’s still time to donate. If you have contributed, please accept my heartfelt thank you – your generosity is truly appreciated. If you have not yet donated and would like to, there is still plenty of time. Donating is easy; you can visit my fundraising web page ,http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/maine12/MilesintoMiracles or send me a check made out to “The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society”.
My Fundraising Page
Aug 14, 2012 by Bob Leahy
I began running a few years ago. I had quit smoking and gained a “few” pounds, so I took up running as a way to lose them. Well, I lost those pounds and gained a hobby. I’ve logged quite a few miles, running solo every morning and joining others in races for causes like the NorthShore Cancer Center or Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty.
Recently, I saw the slogan “Miles to Miracles” and it got me thinking about all of those miles I’ve logged and that maybe some of them could be turned into miracles. Every day, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society turns monetary donations into miracles researching a cure for Leukemia and blood related cancers, a disease that claims over 1,000 victims a week.
Leukemia is a malignancy of the blood-forming tissues – bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. It is estimated that it will strike over 100,000 Americans this year. Although the causes remain unknown, the effectiveness of recent treatment methods bring us closer every day to finding the cause and probable cure . The Team in training (TNT) Program is part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and any funds donated will go to LLS. LLS's mission is to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancer; to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.
Through the TNT program, I am able to raise funds for LLS in exchange for a bib number in the Maine Marathon. This fundraising effort isn’t just about raising money for a good cause or helping me join a race for a distance I haven’t run yet. Recently, I’ve gotten to know a very brave young woman who is battling Leukemia. Jessy is a co-worker’s daughter who happens to be right between the ages of my two daughters – her diagnosis struck a “what if?” chord in me. What if this was one of my girls?
On September 30th I will be running 26.2 miles to raise funds and awareness for research leading to a cure for Leukemia and related cancers. Each of those miles will be run in honor of Jessy. Hopefully, I can borrow some of her strength to make it to the finish line. I know Jessy will continue to fight to her finish line – a clean bill of health.
My goal is to raise $2,500.00 for LLS as well as to finish the 26.2 miles. I did a little research on LLS and TNT and was satisfied that the money would go where it was doing good. Seventy-six percent goes to program services while 15% goes to fundraising and just over 8% goes to administration. The funds raised go directly to research and provides help to those families struggling with the financial burden of treatment.
I am committed to running this marathon in honor of Jessy because I can. I hope that you will consider supporting me and join in the battle against cancer because you can. Donating is easy; you can visit my fundraising web page, http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/maine12/MilesintoMiracles or send me a check made out to “The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society”.
PS. My original goal of $2,500.00 has been changed twice because of the generosity of all of you, which has been overwhelming. My new goal is $7,500.00.
"Getting cancer can become the beginning of living. The search for one's own being, the discovery of the life one needs to live, can be one of the strongest weapons against disease." - Lawrence Leshan