My Fundraising Page

My Fundraising Page
Jan 31, 2018

I would like to tell you why I am committed to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's mission. I don't often tell this story -- it is still hard after nearly 16 years -- but I want to tell my donors why I have become so dedicated to this cause. Just like LLS, I am relentless for a cure in my dad's memory. I want to find a cure for cancer and I will keep raising money until they do. Here's my story. 

Growing up, I was always following my dad around. I loved to learn from him. He was very handy and as I got older, we learned that I was very much like him. I often helped him fix the air conditioner or sprinkler system. Or lay tile and hang new cabinets. Whatever his weekend project was, I was usually around helping out. I am definitely my dad's girl. I cannot tell you how many projects we worked on together as I grew up, but suffice it to say, I could probably still install a full sprinkler system or remodel your bathroom in a weekend with limited directions (who needs those, anyway, right dad?).

One day, sophomore year of high school, my parents picked my sister and me up from school. On the way home, my dad said something like, "I think I caught strep throat or something, I should probably go see the doctor." The next day, he had a lump the size of a softball on his neck. Within a few days, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and we were all devastated.

My dad, along with being a jack of all trades handyman, was also really strong. He rarely got sick and even when he did, always bounced back quickly. During his treatment, I tagged along a few times so he wasn't sitting alone. It was a really tough thing to do, especially as a teenager, not knowing if the treatment was helping or if he would make it through. My dad even stayed working his full time job (!!) during chemo. After one treatment, and I will never forget this day, a car broke down in the middle of the road. It had been maybe an hour since my dad finished his chemo, but he got out of our car and pushed the broken down car into a gas station about a quarter mile away. He was always the strongest man I ever knew, and cancer barely made a dent in that.

He went into remission really fast, about three or four months. Even though he responded so well to treatment, the doctors knew that the chance for relapse was high, because lymphoma is so aggressive. They wanted to give him a stem cell transplant. My parents said yes, absolutely...but the insurance said no, absolutely not. It didn't seem to matter so much, though, since he was in remission and stronger and healthier than ever.

Cut to my first year in college... my dad started to feel sick again. He went straight to the doctor and was in relapse. This time, it was more aggressive, and he now also had leukemia. He would not be able to work through treatment this time. He wouldn't be saving stranded drivers. In fact, he was going to be admitted for treatment. This was really, really hard on my family. At the time I was 18, but I had two younger sisters, 16 and 9. My older sister was a full time probation officer and my dad was being admitted to a hospital 60 miles away from our home, City of Hope. He went through treatment again. This time was harder but he still recooperated well enough to be put through a bone marrow transplant. None of his family matched, but we got lucky and a non-relative match came up. I know I have said this was hard on my family, but I will say it again. We spent the holidays at City of Hope. My mom drove there every day. I was a freshman in college and stepped up, helping my older sister and my mom make sure that my two younger sisters got to school and we all pitched in on the day to day stuff.

After a bone marrow transplant, the first big milestone is 100 days. If your tests are clean at 100 days, your survival rate goes up, exponentially. On the 100th day, we were all feeling really hopeful. My dad had even been back at home for a few weeks. On the 100th day, we got terrible news. The bone marrow transplant failed, his cancer was back, and he would be readmitted. City of Hope was putting him back on treatment and hopefully getting him on the stem cell transplant list.


I don't remember how long he was back in the hospital, but I remember the day that the hospital called and told my mom they moved my dad into ICU because his blood pressure dropped. They said not to worry, it was probably a side effect of the treatment, and they needed to just watch him more closely. A few hours later, my mom, sobbing, called a family friend and asked her to bring us to the hospital to say goodbye to my dad.

This is not a story I tell often. It is hard for me to talk about and I don't like to cry. I even left out a lot of the really sad stuff, because that's still not something I share often. Next year, just two weeks after the 16th anniversary of my dad's death, I will race in Canada again in my dad's honor. I will go another 70.3 miles propelled by his memory and my desire to cure this horrible disease. 

I hope you read this and understand my commitment. I am raising money for LLS to help ensure that people like my dad, their families and friends, can live to see another day. So that while they are patients they have hope. And so that when they get better, they get better for good. My dad touched a lot of people's lives with his strength, his generosity, his love of life, and his love of his family and friends. I am hoping to honor his memory by being strong, being generous, loving life, family and friends, and by raising money for LLS to cure the cancer that took him from us too soon.


Thanks for reading. If you have a few bucks, throw it my way.


Supporter Comments

    "Proud of you!"

    Rosie Kovacic

    Tue Nov 28 08:50:24 EST 2017

    "In honor of you and your Dad"

    Julia Furer

    Mon Dec 11 06:54:40 EST 2017

    "I remember those days in high school and college. I am so proud of you and how determined you have been after all these years. 💗"

    Mandy Oakes

    Mon Dec 25 01:20:56 EST 2017

    "�Como se Llamas? Literally Llamas."


    Mon Jan 22 11:59:25 EST 2018

    "Yo go, Noler!"

    Samantha Delagardelle

    Tue Jan 23 07:36:11 EST 2018

    "Very inspiring!! Good luck Brianna and we will be anxious to hear all about the race!! -Taylor, Adrien & John"

    Taylor, Adrien and John

    Wed Jan 24 04:38:19 EST 2018

    "Because you're the best! "

    Sarah Tulley

    Wed Jan 31 03:25:23 EST 2018

    "SOOOOO Brian Noler, Brianna Noler's dad, was my husband. He was only 36, and the embodiment of health mind you, when he was diagnosed. Needless to say our family's life was never the same. Brianna and her sisters were so strong and unbelieveably supportive while their dad went through all that he went through. Of course we all were shocked and had our hearts ripped out when he succumbed to this disease.The thing is, they had the ability at that time to save him but because it was relatively new the insurance said no. So he died. He was only 40 years old. He should have been around for years explaining that his farts were just an ops check of his air to shit separator valve. This is why my beautiful, strong daughter, my Brian Jr., puts herself through all this. Because what happened to her dad was not right. And my girl just doesn't want it to happen to anyone else. So come on let's help her end this devastating disease. It's all about the research baby! "

    Mary Ann Noler

    Thu Feb 01 10:07:26 EST 2018

    "Thank you so much for all of your incredible support through my IM journey and sharing you story! We got this!!"

    roubina surenian

    Sun Feb 11 05:39:53 EST 2018

    "Thanks for being a badass, cancer fighting rockstar!!!"

    Hannah Conway

    Wed Feb 14 03:58:03 EST 2018


    Nicholas Warino

    Sat Feb 17 11:24:57 EST 2018

    "Keep kicking ass!"

    Colin Hale

    Mon Feb 19 04:54:54 EST 2018

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $1,195.30 | Goal: $2,000.00
60 %

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.

My Thanks To

Colin Hale $50.00
Nicholas Warino $50.00
RSB $50.00
Mary Ann Noler $50.00
Sarah Tulley $50.00
Taylor, Adrien and John $50.00
Rommel Calderon $50.00
Rosie Kovacic $50.00
Anonymous $25.00
Chelsea Noler $25.00
Julia Furer $25.00
roubina surenian $10.00
Michelle Gaston $10.00
Matt Duffy $10.00
Marissa Novak $10.00
Nikki Guadarrama $10.00
Keira Cheung  
Hannah Conway  
Samantha Delagardelle  
Mitsue Yokota  
Eryn Doherty  
Mandy Oakes