Why I'm Running

Why I'm Running
Sep 30, 2009 by Kirk Zarske

Racing to Save Lives

Welcome to my Team In Training home page.

I'm training to participate in an endurance event as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on the team at Team In Training are raising funds to help stop Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin Lymphoma and Myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of Judy. Judy is a Mom, and I watched her fighting for her daughter with incredible grace and dignity.

Judy's daughter, Katie, fought the good fight and finished her race on October 26.

As I get permission, I will try to share their stories and others. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!

Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.

I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!


We have made it through the holidays and a couple months or really tough winter weather. I have been able to continue with training and now, I have entered the final phase of training the taper. Two weeks till the Marathon. I can hardly wait.


Update from Judy

Katie died peacefully yesterday evening. She fought her leukemia with quiet dignity, and touched the lives of many with her strength and grace. She gave us the gift of allowing us to love her and care for her at home for her last days. She is my hero.

There is a void in the world and in our hearts. Charlie and my daughter Julia have each other and Julia's fiance; our hearts ache for Katie's DBF, who had planned to marry Katie.

Thank you, my dear master's friends, for all of your support. You have helped me so much throughout our ordeal. I thank each of you who has run in honor of Katie and with Katie in your hearts.

Thank you, thank you.


Hello to all of my dear masters friends, who have been so supportive over the past 14 months. Katie has run out of options and will be coming home from the hospital tomorrow under Hospice care. The doctor says she has days to weeks left.

Thank you for your kindness.



Update from Judy

Thanks for all the shout-outs last week about Katie's long day at the clinic and for your continued support. The treatment went fine, but things went south the next day, unrelated to the new med.

I got a call from Katie's BF while I was running on Kelly Drive on Sunday morning that Katie was in the ICU. I ran back to their house, hopped in the shower, and we headed to NJ. Fortunately, the diagnosis wasn't as bad as we had feared and while she was really sick, she was better than we had expected. She was transferred to the transplant floor on Monday night, and is doing much better now. She is going to get her scheduled cancer treatment today, only 3 days late.


If you are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you may have noticed the billboards that announce "Claire Richardson is a Child of Children's." (link) Claire is a beautiful young lady that was in my Sunday School Class last year. It was right after my first TnT experience that I learned she had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. She is one of the reasons that I keep coming back to TnT.


Update from Judy

Now I'm home so I have some time and DH is with Katie. She was discharged last Saturday and right now is feeling pretty good on the "new normal" scale. She's getting her treatments every day this week and has a big one with a new drug on Friday. It could be a 10-hour day at the clinic. Thanks for all of the support and prayers!


Update from Judy

update on Katie-since nothing's working, we're in really experimental territory now (not a clinical trial). She isn't ready to stop fighting, although that was one of the options which was presented today. A new plan will start on Monday and she's in the decision-making phase now. She spiked a fever today and was admitted, but it should be for just a couple of days.


Supporter Comments

    "Thanks for doing this Kirk. Run strong. Trey "Curves Ahead""

    Trey "Curves Ahead"

    Fri Oct 23 04:11:03 EDT 2009

    "Kirk, I am touched that you're honoring Katie and me. And thank you for calling me a young lady!"


    Tue Oct 06 08:44:44 EDT 2009

    "It's a great thing you are doing Kirk."


    Fri Oct 02 04:15:09 EDT 2009

    "Good luck Kirk to you at the race."


    Fri Feb 26 08:22:24 EST 2010

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $2,421.00 | Goal: $2,620.00
92 %

Make a Donation

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

In Memory of


My Thanks To

judy716 $320.00
Ralph Blackwood $100.00
Nancy Nicholas $100.00
Trey "Curves Ahead" $100.00
DollarBill $50.00
Egmont $50.00
Kat (katrinainpa) $50.00
Barb (BarbBQ) $50.00
Betaboo (Tara) $50.00
1stfull2009 $50.00
ElizabethNYC $50.00
Gregory DiBello $35.00
Dominic Avery $25.00
Monica Cassier $25.00
Erin (esnackpack) $25.00
Mary - BlackBear $25.00
Nancy Fries $25.00
Betsy Wismer $25.00
Greenlee 2.0 $25.00
BGrunner $25.00
Kazz (Karah) $25.00
Monica Cassier $25.00
Liney $25.00
rhkfwain $25.00