My Redemption as a Survivor
Nov 14, 2012
Welcome/Bienvenidos to my Team In Training home page!
This is my first year as a participant in the Team in Training (TNT) Program and I’m so excited to be dedicating it to the light of my life, my daughter Anna Isabelle!
I had always been interested in TNT but it wasn’t after my life was forever changed by cancer that I was inspired to participate. Today I’m a 2-time survivor of Hodgkin Lymphoma and believe me, this program is a big milestone in my journey through cancer and survivorship.
I participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night Walk in 2011 and 2012 as a top fundraiser and an Honored Hero. I was inspired by my experience and the many cancer patients that I’ve met and learned to love throughout this process.
On February 10, 2012 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma again. I was on remission for 9 months and during my regular checkup my doctor saw something that needed to be clarified. The second worst day of my life was hearing "It came back". In 2010, when I was diagnosed for the first time, I was 5 months pregnant so to me that was definitely worst. It wasn't just me suffering but my baby was in danger too. My baby is now 22 months old and she's doing wonderful. She continues to be the source of my motivation and drive. I thank God every day for letting me be her mommy and I pray for many years of life to continue being her mommy. There is nothing else I ask for, just time to see her grow up and be there for her.
I began a second round of chemotherapy treatments, and ultimately had an autologous stem cell transplant at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. The transplant has been the most difficult, painful and scariest time of my life. The road ahead is not easy, as I regain my strength and health to get back to my life; I go through the difficulties of a new and fragile immune system. I’m also participating in a clinical trial which requires chemotherapy infusions every three weeks. Someday this clinical trial will be the new maintenance drug for Hodgkin/Transplant survivors and we will have better and more efficient treatments. It'll be a long journey but I'm focusing on a long and happy life with my baby and my husband.
I have always believed that God doesn't give us anything we cannot handle and I'm determined to live and honor my experience and of all those that are going through cancer and those that have lost the battle. I also want to honor my caregivers, my mom Eileen and my husband Airangel. Mom has always said that we all had cancer when I had cancer, it affected all of us.
Before cancer I was an active, fit individual with great nutritional habits. After cancer, I can hardly run a mile but that is about to change as I prepare for this TNT half-marathon in my beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Just as my hair is growing back my spirits are growing back!
Please make a donation to support my participation in this amazing event and help save lives. Feel free to share it too! http://pages.teamintraining.org/sfl/prtorico13/EileenVelez
I also continue to update my Caring Bridge website so please visit when you can. Feel free to share my story; you never know who might need the inspiration!
Thank you and many blessings for a healthy life without cancer!
Eileen M Velez-Vega
LLS Team in Training
I have a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.
Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.
For more information you can visit the following websites: