Racing to Save Lives
Aug 29, 2011
26.2 miles…again. Crazy, maybe. Determined, yes! I'm training to complete my fifth marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. My goal is to complete the Disney World Marathon on January 7, 2012. My decision to become involved in Team In Training started a several years ago.
On May 25, 2006, my family received news that no one ever wants to hear. My father was diagnosed with cancer - just six little letters with a life-changing impact. My tough but gentle-hearted daddy decided to fight this illness with every ounce of energy he had through daily radiation treatments and weeks of chemotherapy. Despite being diagnosed with not one, but three kinds of cancer, my dad was determined to be a fighter. For eight months, he valiantly fought a terrific battle, never once complaining or feeling sorry for himself. In spite of his pain, he held his head high – resolving each day to give 100% of what he had to whatever the day would bring. He endured more in those eight months than you can probably imagine, and yet, he took it all in stride, with incredible grace, strength, stamina and courage. My dad’s motto was, “You just gotta keep on keepin’ on.” And that’s exactly what he did. I often told him that he was my hero, and he would just shake his head and say, “I’m not trying to be.” He was a living example of what the writer of 2 Timothy says in chapter 4 verse 7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
On January 29, 2007, my life was forever changed. My dad’s frail body was not able to keep on anymore, and he peacefully went to be with the Lord. As I stayed by his bedside that day, I had no idea how cancer was going to change my life. Through my dad’s fight and death, I have become a more compassionate person for those who are affected by cancer which influenced me to decide to participate in Team In Training.
Cancers of all kinds have affected many people in my life just as I’m sure it has affected those in yours. Besides my father, my uncle died of blood cancer and my grandfather passed away from cancer as well. It is an ugly disease that knows no boundaries. By signing up to join TNT, I am able to do something to fight this awful disease.
All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this marathon in memory of my father, grandfather and uncle and in honor of all individuals who are battling cancer. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Would you kindly consider contributing to my goal of $3,500 by October 15th? Your donation is tax-deductible and no donation is too small. Really! In fact, 75% of every dollar spent at LLS goes to research, patient services and education. Imagine your dollars going to make a difference in the life of a patient or family member who is fighting to keep on keepin’ on! My dad would be so proud.
I hope you can join me on this journey by making a donation. From the bottom of my heart – thank you. Whether you’ve offered financial or moral support through this training, I want to sincerely thank you. I will be thinking of you as I cross the finish line on January 7th.