Doing the Things That Scare Me

Cruel Irony
Jun 07, 2018

Two days ago, my father, Gary, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, seven years to the day of my first marathon finish with Team in Training. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this disease would hit so close to home. 

I am writing this from my dad’s hospital room in MD Anderson, as we await chemo to begin. Sometime in the next 48 hours he will be moved to an isolation room for 28 days where they will effectively kill his entire immune system with the hopes of knocking this shit into remission. 

I am so grateful for the advances in the treatment of this disease due to some incredible research either partially or full funded by LLS. I have always said that I do these crazy events and fundraise so that not one more parent, child, sibling, cousin, friend, coworker, whoever, ever has to go through this. But now, I’m taking this personally. This is MY father that you’re messing with, and we Gastons don’t back down easily. We are going to fight this with everything we’ve got.

In 16 days, I will race my first half-Ironman with Team in Training on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and in honor of my father, Gary. Please join me and donate today. 

Those of you who have reached out, we thank you so much for your support. 



Doing the things that scare me
Dec 10, 2017

In the past 7 years I have fundraised again and again for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because of the most excellent work that they do in funding research and supporting patients and their families. This year, some incredible therapies discuvered through research funded by LLS have been approved by the FDA ( And so I will continue to help in this fight. I have run 3 marathons and a handful of half marathons and have raised over $15,000 to fight cancer, so now it's on to something new. 

Following the advice of some coaches I know, who have always said, "Do what scares you," on June 24, I will be racing the BEASTMAN triathlon, consisting of a:

  • 1.2 mile swim
  • 58 mile bike ride
  • 13.1 mile run (half marathon) 

All in one day. 

And just so you know, up to a few weeks ago I only owned a beach cruiser (with back-pedal brakes), and the only laps I have ever swum were during a swim clinic 2 years ago. And even then I could only swim about 100 yds without stopping. So, this is a whole new ball game, a really scary ball game, but I'm super excited to try new things and to kick cancer in the nuts at the same time.

A few weeks ago, I completed my dissertation, the hardest thing I have ever done. However, writing that paper is nothing compared to the difficulty that families dealing with cancer have to face. My own family has been touched by this devastating disease, and those close to me have suffered loss, fought like hell, and thankfully, some have won. I do this for all of them, for all of you, and for those we have lost. Until we find a cure, I will continue to do the crazy things that I do. 

Thank you for your donation! You rock!



My Fundraising Page
Sep 29, 2017



It takes more than one person to make up a team and that’s why I’m asking you to donate to my TNT fundraising page for TNT!


By participating as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) TNT, I am raising funds to help find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.


Your donation will help fund treatments that save lives every day; like immunotherapies that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. You may not know it, but every single donation helps save a life with breakthrough therapies such as these.


Patients need these cures and they need your support.


Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help get us all closer to a world without blood cancers.


Thank you!


Supporter Comments

    "You are brilliant AND brave! You?ll do awesome "

    Charlene Levy

    Tue Dec 12 10:57:55 EST 2017

    "Go Michelle Go!"

    Izumi Levy

    Thu Feb 08 03:05:23 EST 2018

    "For all those fighting cancer and those who lost the battle to cancer. Prayers and best wishes to my family and friends."

    marie toma

    Fri Feb 09 06:56:59 EST 2018

    "Go get 'em!"

    Jody, Martin and Joy Thomas

    Fri Feb 09 11:42:45 EST 2018

    "Go Michelle!!!"

    Petty Goodman

    Sat Feb 10 01:22:08 EST 2018

    "Go Michelle, Go! You're awesome and an inspiration! Love, Monica, Lane and Brooke"

    Monica, Lane and Brooke Hayes

    Sun Feb 11 03:45:15 EST 2018

    "So proud of you, roommie! Excited for you to be an official triathlete by the end of the weekend!!! "

    Sarah Lillo

    Fri Mar 02 07:21:15 EST 2018

    "Go get em Michelle! -Jake!"

    Jake Rice

    Sun Mar 04 10:43:08 EST 2018

    "GO DR. MICHI GO!"


    Mon Mar 05 06:34:11 EST 2018

    " I'm so proud of you for taking on this challenge for a great cause. Plus Michelles are awesome "

    Michell Cao

    Fri Mar 09 12:12:28 EST 2018

    "You are amazing, invincible, and a force not to be reckoned with. Delighted to help this cause I wish didn?t need funding."

    Vicki Karlan

    Sun Mar 11 12:13:10 EST 2018

    "Swim, Bike & Run Michelle. You Got This!!! <3 <3 <3"

    Victoria Gore

    Tue Apr 10 06:45:04 EDT 2018

    "You�ve got this!"

    Debbie Gaston

    Tue Apr 10 09:42:14 EDT 2018

    "Ride on, sister!"

    Dre Birskovich

    Sat Apr 14 05:08:44 EDT 2018

    "You are amazing!!! <3 "

    Ryan Donaghy

    Sun Apr 15 04:12:49 EDT 2018

    "Go Michelle!"

    Jason Simus

    Tue Apr 17 12:29:40 EDT 2018

    "Get it Michelle! <3"

    Princess of Disneyland

    Wed May 30 10:06:49 EDT 2018

    "You are a rock star!! "

    Stacy Calvin

    Wed Jun 06 09:08:18 EDT 2018

    "UGH F*CK THIS STUPID DISEASE. sending you and your family lots of love and strength."

    Sara Fay

    Thu Jun 07 10:45:13 EDT 2018

    "&#128591;. Keep fighting Michelle! "


    Thu Jun 07 11:17:11 EDT 2018

    "When the unthinkable happens, the TNT family rises to the occasion.... Prayers for your Dad and your entire family"

    Beth Tarbuck

    Fri Jun 08 11:57:54 EDT 2018

    "You go Michelle!!"

    Sandy Camp

    Fri Jun 08 07:10:43 EDT 2018

    "Thinking of you and your family. "

    Jessica Russell

    Fri Jun 08 07:18:03 EDT 2018

    "Thank you for continuing to fight cancer! Go Team!"

    Karlyn Nelson

    Sat Jun 09 07:48:41 EDT 2018

    "Thoughts and prayers are with you. "

    Lori Coomer

    Sat Jun 09 08:17:46 EDT 2018

    "From one daughter to another, you got this! My Dad has had two stem cel transplants and is again in remission from multiple myeloma. From the resources and support, to the research to find a cure, LLS is so very near and dear to my heart. Now go kick some ass while your Dad does the same!"

    Kayla Hughes

    Thu Jun 14 12:45:43 EDT 2018

    "Michi, keep up the great work, and best thoughts for your dad's recovery!"

    Dave Morales

    Fri Jun 22 01:03:37 EDT 2018

    "Love you and your family... long time friend! Thanks for being there for me and please know we are here for you! "

    Jenifer Luce

    Thu Jun 14 09:36:53 EDT 2018

    "So sorry to see that your tri has taken on new meaning, but wishing your father the best as he begins treatment, and you the best as you tackle your swim, bike and run! Go Team!"

    Jennifer Raymond

    Mon Jun 11 11:12:25 EDT 2018

    "I am so proud of you! Sending love from Wisconsin!"

    Dawn Sostrin

    Mon May 28 07:03:51 EDT 2018

    "You have done so much for LLS, and now challenged yourself to something even bigger with a Half Ironman in the name of cancer. Proud of all you do! "

    Erin Bice

    Mon Apr 16 07:24:49 EDT 2018

    "Rock on Dr Gaston! That is fun to say. Keep up the great work!"

    Andrew Koeppe

    Thu Apr 12 09:18:08 EDT 2018

    "Go Chelle"

    Gary Gaston

    Tue Apr 10 07:54:47 EDT 2018

    "Hamburger Marys! "

    Allison Ewart

    Mon Mar 12 02:28:56 EDT 2018

    "Go Michelle! You never cease to amaze me! Keep kicking cancer�s ugly little butt!"

    Diane Lynch

    Sat Mar 10 09:55:57 EST 2018

    "You go girl! I won't clip in but I will do downhill MTB."

    Danielle Martell

    Wed Jan 31 10:36:12 EST 2018

    "Its about time! ;-P"

    Scott Clausen

    Sat Jan 06 02:59:50 EST 2018

    "Go get 'em. "

    Susan & Steven Bates

    Tue Jun 12 11:20:43 EDT 2018

    "Way to go Michelle! Go team!!"

    Abby Goldberg

    Tue Jun 12 01:32:02 EDT 2018

    "Hi Michelle, I am hoping for the best and sending you my best wishes. Hang in there! I can tell the Gastons are fighters if they share your perseverance. "


    Mon Jun 11 09:34:18 EDT 2018

    "Because cancer has a way to strike where nobody expect it and help also often comes out of unexpected places. Go Michelle!"

    Marie-Anne Dessaignes

    Wed Apr 18 10:14:39 EDT 2018

    "Rock on!"

    Charlene Levy

    Wed Apr 11 10:43:49 EDT 2018

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $5,350.00 | Goal: $5,000.00
107 %

My Team

Team Total: $362,091.76 | Goal: $350,000.00

Make a Donation

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

In Honor of

Gary Gaston

My Thanks To

Netflix $735.00
Allison Ewart $735.00
Beth Tarbuck $250.00
Anonymous $250.00
Jenifer Luce $200.00
Sandra Bradley $100.00
Kayla Hughes $100.00
Lori Coomer $100.00
Princess of Disneyland $100.00
Jason Simus $100.00
Lisa Schwab $100.00
Diane Lynch $100.00
Susan & Steven Bates $50.00
Sandy Camp $50.00
Stacy Calvin $50.00
Jose Ramirez $50.00
Zachary Florida $50.00
Jake Rice $50.00
Karen Garcia $50.00
Monica, Lane and Brooke H... $50.00
Sarah Lillo $50.00
Jody, Martin and Joy Thom... $50.00
Izumi Levy $50.00
Vicki Karlan $50.00
Scott Clausen $50.00
Ryan Donaghy $35.00
Lisa $25.00
Cheyenne $25.00
Karlyn Nelson $25.00
Jessica Russell $25.00
DEBRA LEE $25.00
Erin Bates $25.00
Ronda Hare $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
Marcy Collins $25.00
Eurie Chung $25.00
Andrew Koeppe $25.00
Emma Thrift $25.00
Debbie Gaston $25.00
Gary Gaston $25.00
Danielle Martell $25.00
catherineknight $25.00
Nikki Guadarrama $20.00
Dre Birskovich $5.00
Jack Archey  
Dave Morales  
Lindsay Klein  
Jon Austin  
Abby Goldberg  
Jennifer Raymond  
Karen Garcia  
Sara Fay  
Dawn Sostrin  
Leda Gonzalez  
Betsy Rubie  
Marie-Anne Dessaignes  
Erin Bice  
Charlene Levy  
Victoria Gore  
Advanced Core Workouts  
Laynette Cole  
Petty Goodman  
Michell Cao  
Charlene Levy  
marie toma  
Rachele Maurer  
Karen Mccloskey