My Fundraising Page

My Fundraising Page
Sep 28, 2009 by Jody Merrill

Lavaman Triathlon here we come!! The Merrill's are taking on the Big Island of Hawaii and competing together as a united motherless couple to eradicate cancer!

Not much time has past since you have heard from me last, however so much has changed for so many people who got that call "please come into the dr, we found something" or the dr's visit to hear "I'm sorry but there is nothing more we can do" or "i'm sorry but your mother has passed."

My reason for doing this started 7 years ago.

When my mother Betty Lou was diagnosed with multiple myeloma she went to an info session and was told that the statistics were "1-3 years." She left that day and never spoke of it to any of us. Little did we know that she would only be with us for 18 more months. Those 18 months were not pleasant, it involved MANY rounds of radiation, chemo, countless hospitalizations and one stem cell transplant. At that time The leukemia society helped me to pay for all the parking passes to the hospital since I was a struggling college student. They helped to put together a package for my mom with makeup and other things to help keep her feeling beautiful despite losing all of her hair. I never thought about all the research because I never thought I was going to lose my mother.

Transplants are done to give people years of cancer free life, my mother had 2 months. Soon after that we realized the harsh reality of her disease when she was hospitalized for pneumonia and put on a respirator. Somehow she pulled out of that and was able to come home for a few more months and enjoy what little quality of life she had left, and I believe to give us a little more time to cope with what was about to happen, because just a few months later she would go to the hospital for the last time.

A friend of mine had just run the San diego rock n roll marathon and flew from there to the wake. She told me she wanted to run in my mothers honor the next year with TNT, somehow, she talked me into it. I still recall sitting at the info session just months after my mom’s passing and thinking “there is no way I can do this.†Since then I have completed one San Diego marathon(have the hog to prove it), 3 Boston marathons, an Olympic tri and a Half Ironman. More importantly you have all helped me to raise over 70K in my mother's honor.

I will never forget my mothers doctors coming into the waiting area the day she passed, and crying with us saying "I just know that there will come a day when there is a better treatment and we will think of Betty Lou." That is why I have been pushing my limits for 7 years and begging everyone for money so that someday I can read an article about a life changing treatment. My mother may be gone, but you just never know who could be next. Don't you want to be that possible donation to find a cure?

It has been seven years that my mom has been gone. In just seven years someones diagnosis with myeloma is extremely different. Dr’s would not dream of giving someone a 1 year diagnosis. While there is still not a cure, think about what just a few more years means to someone. If things were different and my mother had been able to live 3 years, she would have been able to answer my phone call to hear me say "I got into grad school!". If she had been given 4 years to live, she would have seen her son get married and hold her first grandchild. If she had lived 5 more years she would have been there to meet Brian and I after we got engaged. If she had lived a little more than that she could have been the one holding her fathers hand as he passed away and then share that news with her mother. It’s probably a good thing she wasn't around to hear "we are getting married in Mexico" or, "we are moving to California" because she probably would have killed us. All of that in just six years

While its life’s big moments that people let define us and that are extremely difficult to face without my mother, it is really the little things I miss the most. I still can't smell parmesan cheese and not think of my mothers hands after she had grated the cheese for our pasta dinners. All the times that she would reprimand me and then I would hear her on the phone with her friends laughing saying "the apple doesn't fall far." The times I would walk into the house after being out with friends and hearing "you smell like a goddamn brewery" (after 21 of course). I can't help but laugh when I hear daughters and their mothers bickering and fighting. I want to say so badly "do you have any idea how badly I wish I could fight with my mother right now?"

TNT has been such a big part of my life since my mothers passing and has made life just a bit easier to navigate through. Not only for the camaraderie of it all, but for the feeling that I can actually do something so that someday, someone might be able to have a few more holiday parties to throw, a few more fights with their kids, a few more laughs with their husbands about how much their kids drive them crazy, and a few more days to see their kids grow into adults they would be proud of.

My journey began 7 years ago. In those 7 years I have watched multiple loved ones batte this disease. I have seen a 7 month old diagnosed and receive chemo before she could even walk. I have seen others receive heart surgeries because the chemo from when they were young that cured them of cancer destroyed their heart. I had to say goodbye to my good friend Connie whom was such an inspiration to me who lived with myeloma for 7 years! Week one of training our friend Keri was diagnosed with Lymphoma proving you just have no idea who this disease is going to affect next.

I have been to more funerals and wakes than your average 80 year old and quite frankly I am SICK OF IT. Please do all you can to support this and all the causes that touch you and your loved ones. Its making a difference TODAY and is allowing people countless little moments with their loved ones. Afterall it is those moments that we will miss the most.

Thanks for your continued support and generosity.

Hele Hui (go team in Hawaiian!)

Visit my blog for a good laugh:

Expect MANY pics of BRI in spandex, oh yeah its gonna be good!


Supporter Comments

    "Good luck to the best team we know! "

    Erin Burgoyne & Ben Donovan

    Mon Feb 15 03:17:34 EST 2010

    "Thank you for doing this Jody!!"

    Meg Sliney

    Mon Nov 23 09:37:55 EST 2009

    "Well done guys! We are impressed with your dedication. Keep us updated and please under no circumstances send us pictures of Bri in spandex"

    Andrea and Stephen Allard

    Fri Nov 13 08:20:56 EST 2009

    "Way to go Jody! You are such an inspiration to me. Keep up the hard work - I love reading your blog, so keep it coming! "

    Sara Brown

    Thu Nov 12 12:20:14 EST 2009

    "Way to go Jody!"

    Peter Diaferia

    Wed Nov 11 11:09:41 EST 2009

    "Good luck &good health to you both !"

    Rick & Nancy Cardillo

    Wed Nov 11 03:19:04 EST 2009

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $1,830.24 | Goal: $10,000.00
18 %

Make a Donation

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

My Thanks To

albert buonomo $500.00
lisa girolamo $250.00
Andrea and Stephen Allard $200.00
Peggy Protasowicki $100.00
Erin Burgoyne & Ben Donov... $100.00
Erica Quigley $100.00
Scott and Erika $100.00
Stephen O'Donnell $100.00
Hiroka Yukawa $100.00
paula and phil Demeo $100.00
Ulana Harasymowycz $100.00
Deborah Ferrante $100.00
Kathleen Doherty $100.00
Donna Masulla $100.00
Daniel Tortola $50.00
Sara Brown $50.00
Rick & Nancy Cardillo $50.00
John Amara $25.00
Ursula Merkt $25.00
Meg Sliney $25.00
Alison Tosches $25.00
Peter Diaferia $25.00