Sandy's Team In Training Page
Oct 30, 2009 by Sandy Lamparello
Racing for Richie!
Welcome to my Team In Training home page!
When I was 4 years old I met a boy named Richie on the first day of Kindergarten. We quickly became friends and like most kids, we often got in trouble for talking in class. Richie lived only a few blocks from me and we'd walk to and from school together, laughing and having contests to see who could make up the best stories.
When we were in 1st Grade, Richie was diagnosed with leukemia. As 5- and 6-year-olds, we all struggled to understand exactly what that meant. All we really knew was that he was very sick and he would have to miss a lot of school. Richie was often sick by the time we got to 2nd Grade, and he missed a lot of school. But he came to class whenever he was able. I can still see him sitting in the front row wearing a baseball cap to not only cover a big lump on his head, but the hair loss he suffered as a result of his treatments. But through it all, my friend Richie always had a big smile on his face.
Richie was too sick to start 3rd Grade with us, and shortly after school began he passed away. I missed him greatly, and as the years went by I often thought of him when my classmates and I would reach milestones such as 8th Grade graduation, getting our high school class rings, attending our Senior Prom, or graduating from high school. I know we would have remained close friends for life, and we would have enjoyed calling each other from college (or later, Law School for me) and sharing stories of all the new and exciting things we were doing. 30 years later, I still miss him.
As many of you know, I have previously completed the National Marathon in DC, two Rock 'n Roll Half Marathons in Virginia Beach, two Marine Corps Marathons in VA/DC, and the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach with Team In Training. (That's a total of six races in two years, if you lost count.) Along the way I met a wonderful group of teammates, captains, and coaches, and they have all become part of my extended family. And, more importantly, I met and/or heard stories about our Honored Teammates--those people who are fighting these deadly diseases. Those people are the true heroes. The pain I felt during and after my races was gone in a few days, most of those people are still suffering today, long after my races.
I decided to sign up as a Mentor again for the Spring 2010 Season, and I am training for the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 21, 2010. Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and advance The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma from taking more lives. I'm running in memory of Richie and in honor of all those people who are still fighting blood cancers. They are my motivation, and they're what gets me out of bed in the wee hours of Saturday morning to go meet my teammates and hit the trails.
Even if you only have a few dollars to spare, every cent counts. If you are unable to donate at this time, please pass the link to my site along to your friends and family who may be interested. Together we can make a difference. I'll do the running, and with your generosity, support, and encouragement I'll cross the finish line once again.
* $25 provides patients and their loved ones with FREE booklets containing up-to-date information on their disease to help them make informed decisions about their treatment options
* $50 makes possible a Family Support Group with a trained facilitator where patients and family members can share experiences and find comfort
* $100 helps supply lab researchers with supplies and materials crucial to carrying out their search for cures
* $500 provides financial aid to blood cancer patients to use during treatment--regardless of income, diagnosis, or duration of treatment. This money can cover everything from transportation to and from treatment to the cost of a bone marrow transplant
Please check my site often, and you can follow the progress of my training on my running blog. GO TEAM!