Thank you and a Message from Arnie
Dec 08, 2008 by Dan Poneman
With a strong surge at the finish, Arnie's Army exceeded its $20,000 fundraising goal in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and closed its campaign as the #1 fundraiser in the Nation for the St. Anthony's Triathlon. In St. Petersburg, hundreds of blood cancer patients, survivors, and family members -- including many of the participating triathletes -- gathered at the Inspiration Dinner the evening before the event. Their stories, as well as their courage and determination, reminded us all of the concrete difference LLS has made over the years in the battle to defeat blood cancer. Thank you for your exceptional generosity in support of this worthy effort.
The morning of the race, as the participants assembled at the swim start at 5:30am to don their wetsuits, the race officials announced that, with two to four foot waves challenging the ability of the kayaks to get into position along the swim course without capsizing, safety considerations required them to cancel the swim portion of the event. While disappointed, everyone understood that safety must always come first. I completed the balance of the course -- the 40km bike and 10K run segments -- in 2:15:55. All in all, it was a great experience.
Most importantly, Arnie remains cancer free, fully engaged at work and at the gym, and in fine spirits. I think it is fitting to close with the following message, which Arnie has asked me to add :
"I want to add my enormous thanks and deepest gratitude to all of you for your support. That support will make a material contribution to improving the treatment of, and hopefully finding a cure for, blood cancers, diseases that at present are in desperate need of both. At least as important, it stands as a vivid reminder of all of the folks out there who are rooting for me. With all due respect to modern medicine and wonderful oncologist, it is hard to exaggerate the difference that makes. I am coming up on the second anniversary of my initial diagnosis, and while the past two years have had their ups and downs, the bottom line is that I continue to beat the odds, and I want to thank all of you for the part you have played in making that possible."
Thanks again and best wishes to all.