My Fundraising Page

A Year Of Milestones
Oct 30, 2017

What follows is my own story of the past decade, and a cancer-fighting story spanning three decades. It is the reason why I am here today, doing what I am doing.
 

Ten years ago en route to a New Year's Eve party, my fiancee and I stopped at a convenience store so I could pick up some ibuprofen to help my pesky stiff neck. I thought I had probably slept on it wrong. 

 

Four nights later, as I prepared to go to sleep, I found out this was no typical stiff neck. As I was about to turn out the light, a rattling sensation shook me. It began on the stiff right side of my neck, then continued rattling straight up the back of my neck and over the top of my head. My entire head shook and I heard a rumbling sound within me. It felt as if a tiny freight train had run through my skull and shaken it. When I woke up the following morning, I awoke with my mind scrambled. I could not remember what day it was, or even whether it was a work day. 

 

In the ensuing weeks, still not knowing what was the matter, I gradually grew sicker. Something was clearly very wrong. It felt as if I had an odd flu bug which refused to go away, yet I was running no fever. I lost 25 pounds within two months, seemingly all of it muscle. Each night as I tried to sleep, I woke up precisely every two hours, my shirt soaked in sweat. I cycled through three or four T-shirts in a typical night. My mind felt constantly under a cloud, my speech was slowed. I drove to see my fiancee for a dinner date, and as I was about to get off the Interstate exit ramp the freight train rattled my skull once more and I could remember nothing of my drive. I was weak. Merely walking through the aisles of the grocery store left me huffing and puffing, winded and feeling dazed. 

 

This went on for weeks, and it began to become my new normal. It seemed so unfair. I was 30 years old and had always been healthy. I was supposed to be married in June and we thought we had a great future ahead of us. I prayed at night to one day feel truly normal and healthy again. It was all I wanted in the world. 

 

In mid-February, 2008, I finally learned the identity of my enemy. It was Hodgkin's Disease. I had cancer. Angry that the disease was threatening my future and desperately wishing to feel normal again, the day following my diagnosis I made two promises to friends and family. The first promise was that I was going to beat the cancer, and we were going to keep our wedding date. The second promise: Even though I had never previously run more than a couple of miles at a time in my life, I would beat the cancer so badly that the following year, I would run a marathon.

 

Thanks to modern treatments, both promises came true. I finished my final ABVD chemotherapy treatment on June 10. Eleven days later, my wife Krissie and I got married on schedule. The following year, I ran and finished the Chicago Marathon. Today, a decade later, I have completed a dozen marathons, the cancer has never come back, and Krissie and I are the proud parents of two daughters, Caroline and Georgia.


 

This June, I will celebrate 10 years cancer-free.

 

There's another Georgia in this story, Georgia Cleland. In 1986, a two-year-old girl named Georgia was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. At the time, the survival rate for that form of leukemia was in the single digits. Georgia's fight inspired her father, Bruce Cleland, to start a movement. In 1988, Bruce Cleland led a team of charity runners in the New York City Marathon, raising more than $300,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Georgia was in remission, and Team In Training was born. 

 

Today, Georgia Cleland is a healthy adult following in the footsteps of her father, running marathons for Team In Training. And, so am I. 
 

In 2018, I will celebrate both milestones, Team In Training's 30th anniversary and my own 10th cureversary, by running the Chicago Marathon to support the team. It will be the seventh marathon I have run to support the fight against cancer, and my sixth for TNT. Race day in October will be a day to celebrate indeed.

 

Your donation will help fund treatments that save lives every day; like immnuotherapies 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.

 

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.

 

Thanks.

-Matt Brown

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Supporter Comments

  •  
    "Matt, way to go! "
     

    Drenda Vijuk

    Sat Oct 06 06:08:18 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Thank you, Matt!"
     

    Mary Jacobs

    Wed Oct 03 05:02:21 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Rock & roll"
     

    Lauralyn & HankTheodore

    Wed Oct 03 10:38:38 EDT 2018

  •  
    " Keep telling your story and running those marathons! You are an inspiration!"
     

    Deborah Hunter

    Sat Sep 29 04:26:29 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Matt, I�m proud to know you!"
     

    Drenda Vijuk

    Sun Jul 08 06:04:44 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Go Matt! Go Team!"
     

    Clint Moyers

    Wed Nov 29 12:08:16 EST 2017

  •  
    "Go, Matt!!!"
     

    Marie Jarrell

    Tue Nov 28 04:50:54 EST 2017

  •  
    "Happy birthday Matt! Can�t wait to see you out there again!"
     

    Gaby DuFour

    Sat Jan 20 06:59:34 EST 2018

  •  
    "Run well, Matt! Happy 10th Anniversary!"
     

    Martha Morelock

    Sat Sep 29 05:06:08 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good luck Matt!"
     

    Molly Nordan

    Wed Oct 03 03:36:37 EDT 2018

  •  
    "You inspire! Wishing you a strong Chicago my friend! "
     

    Lori Mackey

    Sat Oct 06 11:46:32 EDT 2018

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $1,119.53 | Goal: $1,000.00
 
112 %

My Team

 
Team Total: $212,658.96 | Goal: $112,000.00

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My Thanks To

Lori Mackey  
Justin Mantei  
Drenda Vijuk  
Andrew Papadolias  
Mary Jacobs  
Molly Nordan  
Lauralyn & HankTheodore  
Rachel Schmidt  
Martha Morelock  
Deborah Hunter  
Mark A Schwarz  
E. Tim Doris  
Drenda Vijuk  
Gaby DuFour  
Clint Moyers  
Kristen Dean  
Marie Jarrell  
Mary Solka