My Fundraising Page

Raising the Bar
Apr 06, 2013 by Lauren Downey

Thanks to your generosity and support, I have three very exciting accomplishments to share.

First, I ran 10.5 miles last week, exceeding the minimum distance that I want to run in training to feel prepared for the 13.1 miles on April 28th. I will have another long run this weekend and I might push the distance farther, but then I will be done with distance-building until the day of the race!

Second, I met my fundraising minimum for the Nike Women's Half Marathon last week. The minimum amount I need to raise to participate is $1600. About $400 of that goes to administrative fees, race fees, etc. at Team in Training, and every additional dollar that we raise beyond $400 goes directly to program services, including research, patient services, and public health and professional education.

Third, I met my personal fundraising goal of $2000 this morning. The fundraising numbers that will be reported on race weekend are due in one week, and this page will remain open for about six weeks. As is in my nature, since you and I have met my initial goal, I have decided to set the bar a little higher at $2500. I think we can do it!

I have nearly doubled my fundraising dollars over the last week due to the enthusiasm and generosity of several dear friends, who have gone above and beyond to share the mission with others. Special thanks for Joan Love, who has executed her own email campaign to her friends and colleagues to get the word out. My sincere gratitude goes out to Jeff Carter, Steve Parker, Andrea Nattrass, Jessica Weiss, and the entire Dominion supply chain team at 8th & Main, who have made my mission their own. Steve Parker has agreed to shave his iconic beard if his team is able to meet the fundraising goal that he has set for them. So far, they have raised double the goal amount. Way to go, team!

The next goal is ambitious - $400 in one week. Last month, I pledged on my website Veganville Run to run the Monument Ave 10K, dressed as a block of tofu, if I raise a total of $2500 by April 12th. It has been a long run so far, and I will need your help to get to the next milestone this week. I appreciate each one of you who has made a donation and offered encouraging messages of support. Now I am asking you to share the mission and the work we have done so far. Please send out to your contact list, write about it on your blog, and share on facebook and twitter on my behalf.

Here are some exciting things that you could share. Please contact me if you would like more info at vegologyblog[at]gmail[dot]com.


Legend Brewing Happy Hour - April 18th, Richmond, VA

Legend Brewing Co. will donate $1 for every beer sold in the beer garden on April 18th between 4:30 and 7:00 PM to Lauren Downey's fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. Come join us!

Simply head out to Legend, join us on the deck, and order a beer. Legend will donate $1 of every beer purchase to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.

We will also raffle off some great local RVA prizes and tickets will be available in exchange for a donation to LLS! JOIN the event to see the raffle prizes as they are announced.

Facebook Event Page:


Help Us Dance our Way to a Cure! - April 13th, Columbia, MD

Please join Team McDowney on Saturday, April 13th at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Columbia for an evening of ballroom dancing to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. All levels of experience are welcome, from the brand new "what's a foxtrot?" beginner to the seasoned "my waltz will bring you to tears" professional are welcome!

Professional ballroom dance instructors will teach you the basics of 3 different dances, and then you can dance the night away! Your $15 ticket includes instruction, refreshments, a live performance by professional dancers, and raffle tickets for some great prizes from local businesses. 100% of the ticket sales will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Facebook Event Page:


Veganville Run!

Lauren Downey has pledged to run the Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, Virginia on April 13th, dressed as a block of tofu, if she meets her fundraising goal of $2,500 to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Lauren is raising money to fund life-saving blood cancer research with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. She will complete four months of training and fundraising on April 28, 2013, when she will run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, D.C.

Please help her reach her goal by making a donation, then stay tuned for photos and video of Lauren sporting an attractive tofu costume at the Monument Avenue 10K, two weeks before the big race.

If Lauren raises. . .

$2,500 – she will wear the block of tofu costume on April 13th at the Monument Avenue 10K

$3,500 – she will perform one of JT’s songs from the SNL sketch at the finish line of the Monument Avenue 10K

$5,000 – she will officially “bring it on down to Veganville” and go vegan for 28 days

The deadline for donations is April 12, 2013. Donate today!


Created 24 years ago, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training

(TNT), has grown to be the world’s largest and most successful endurance sports charity

training program. Since its inception in 1988, when a team of 38 runners trained together

for the New York City Marathon and raised $320,000, TNT has prepared more than

570,000 people to achieve their dream of completing a marathon, half marathon,

triathlon, 100-mile (century) bicycle ride or hike adventure. Those participants have

raised a remarkable $1.3 billion to support blood cancer research and patient services.

The money raised by TNT participants has enabled LLS to fund millions of dollars of

research to help advance new treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and

myeloma, and provide critical education and support to cancer patients and their


Nearly 50% of all cancer drugs approved by the FDA during the past decade were for

blood cancers. And they are helping other patients as well. Five of those drugs have

been approved for patients with solid tumors and others are being tested for other


Survival rates for children with leukemia have improved from 3% 40 years ago to 90%

today; Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have more than doubled to 88% since

the 1960s. And the survival rate for myeloma patients tripled in past decade.


THANK YOU for your support!


One Month to Go!
Mar 28, 2013 by Lauren Downey

We are just one month away from the Nike Women's Half Marathon! It is hard to believe that I have been training for over three months! I have had my personal victories as well as setbacks during the training and fundraising season and I am very proud of how far Team McDowney has come.

Since my last update, I have been working on regaining the fitness I lost from taking a 3-week break from running due to a back injury. Last weekend I ran the farthest I have ever run before - 9.16 miles! My friend (and serious runner) Adrienne Jensen ran with me at much slower than her usual pace to keep me company and keep me motivated. We did an 8 mile loop and then tacked on another mile because I felt like I could do it. During our cool down walk, Adrienne checked her Garmin, looked at me, and said,

"Can you believe it? You ran for almost two hours!"

to which I replied,

"Under two hours?! That's great! This isn't the first time I've run for two hours. . . but it's the first time I've come anywhere close to 9 miles in that amount of time!"

This week I learned that PDR means "personal distance record." I'm not speedy, so I get more excited about distance than I do time. I also learned about compression calf sleeves, Adrienne's recommendations for race day fuel, and the merits of foam rolling vs. ice baths. Brave New World! I can't thank Adrienne enough for her support through my training and fundraising. She is the best!

Since restarting my training, I have felt the beginning of shin splints and some more soreness than usual, which my coach explains could be the result of too much, too soon. The prescription is to rest more and rebuild distance gradually. That's a hard pill to swallow when you're 4 weeks away from race day and behind schedule!

The good news is that I have noticed that when I take a break to walk, it's not because the cardio is too hard or I am having trouble breathing; it's because my muscles get sore and I feel like I need to stretch them out. I'm not a professional runner or coach, so who knows if this is actually good news. However as a life-long sufferer of exercise-induced asthma, I'm thrilled that two puffs of my inhaler before my workout along with three months of cardio training and conditioning are all it takes to breathe easy for the duration of a 2-hour run. Major progress!

I have met up with the Richmond TNT team once for a Saturday run and they were so friendly and supportive. I hope I get the chance to meet up with them again. Sundays are better for me for long runs, so it has been difficult to get out there to meet them on Saturday mornings, but I hope to see them again very soon. This weekend I will be traveling to Maryland and planning a distance run there.

On the fundraising front, I have some pretty exciting things going on. . .

The first is that I have pledged to run the Monument Avenue 10K on April 13th dressed as a block of tofu IF I raise $2500 by April 12th. If I raise $3500 by April 12th, I will go one step further and do a "Bring it on down to Veganville" song and dance, a la Justin Timberlake on SNL, in the tofu costume, at the finish line festival of the 10K. This is a race with over 40,000 participants. And this is a runner with no shame. Richmond, get ready for Veganville! Check out my pledge here: Veganville Run

Second, Team McDowney is having a fundraiser at La Tolteca in Churchville, MD on Wednesday, April 3rd from 5:00 to 10:00 PM. If you are in the Baltimore metro area, all you need to do is visit La Tolteca for dinner on the 3rd and the restaurant will donate a portion of the evening's sales to LLS. There will be two raffles, at 7:00 and 9:00 PM, on the evening of the event.

RSVP and invite your friends here: La Tolteca Fundraising Night

Finally, we are having a fundraiser at Legend Brewing Co. in Richmond, VA on Thursday, April 18th from 4:30 to 7:00 PM. If you are in the Richmond metro area, all you need to do is stop by Legend for happy hour on the 18th, and Legend will donate $1 for every beer purchased in the beer garden (outside deck) during the fundraiser. We will also have a raffle with some great prizes from local businesses. Raffle tickets will be available in exchange for a donation to LLS.

RSVP and invite your friends here: Legend Brewing Happy Hour

I'll be back with another update for the final countdown! Wish me luck that I PDR again before then!


Mid-Season Update
Mar 06, 2013 by Lauren Downey

I am pleased to report that I am about halfway through the training season for the Nike Women's Half Marathon, and despite a few setbacks I am confident that I will complete the 13.1 miles on April 28th. I can run more than half the race distance and I have raised half of my fundraising minimum, but I have only completed 40% of my personal fundraising goal. It's time to kick it up a notch! Thank you to everyone who has supported my efforts so far. Your generous donations and kind words of support are helping me reach my goals and helping LLS reach its goals for funding life saving blood cancer research.

Unfortunately, my most recent run was 3 miles in New York City 10 days ago. I had a beautiful but very chilly run across the Brooklyn Bridge, through the financial district and Chinatown, and into SoHo. The distance goal for that day was 8 miles but I had to stop at 3 due to back pain. The day before that run, I slipped on the stairs, went flying through the air, and landed directly on my back on the hardwood floor. I iced it, took ibuprofen, and tried to ignore the pain, determined to make my 8 mile run, but that did not turn out to be the best idea for my health. I have been following the doctor's orders and resting ever since. As long as everything heals properly, I hope to get a long walk in this weekend, and a run the following week.

I am taking advantage of the break from training to focus on fundraising. While doing some light stretching in place of running, I plan to dig deep and come up with some ideas to get the word out about Team McDowney and the run. Maybe I will have an event to announce soon! LLS is the reason we are participating and we want to make a big fundraising impact for the organization, especially since none of us will be breaking any speed records on the big day!

If you do choose to donate, please let me know if your company matches your donation. Please also tell your family, friends and coworkers about our cause.

With everyone's support, I expect to have some real positive news about training and fundraising in the next update!

Lauren Downey's Fundraising Page
Mar 06, 2013

Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.

Welcome to my Team In Training home page.

I learned how to incorporate physical fitness into my adult life by setting goals for myself and working to beat my own personal records for physical achievement. I first got bitten by the fitness bug while hiking to the tops of mountains with Kyle. The incredible feeling of reaching a summit kept me coming back for more. After hiking for a couple of years, I started logging miles on my bicycle, then maneuvering around obstacles on trail runs. That cool down feeling of accomplishment after a tough workout makes the physical exertion worth it.

I recently found a cause that has helped me see the value of months of training and fundraising, and inspired me to take on my next physical challenge. My next summit will be the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, D.C. on April 28, 2013. I will be running on Team McDowney with my mom, sister, and hundreds of other strong women. I am sure that my cool down after crossing the finish line on April 28th will result in a greater feeling of accomplishment than I have ever felt before.

I have a new mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in my first half marathon 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.

I will carry a list of names of people I am running in memory of on race day. If you have a loved one that you would like me to add to that list, please send me an email at vegologyblog[at]gmail[dot]com after making your donation.


Supporter Comments

    "Lauren, Thanks for working and training for this meaningful cause. I had an uncle (Jerry Guidas) that died as a teenager from Leukemia in the 1950's. At the time my dad and Grandfather travelled from western PA to NYC for his radiation / chemotherapy treatments each month. This was a 700 mile roundtrip on mostly two lane roads for each treatment. Treatment has come a long way since then, but with efforts such as yours more effective treatments will continue to advance and cures can become a reality for more individuals. Good luck with your training and thanks for raising $ for such as great cause! Greg"

    Greg Conte

    Wed Jan 30 10:27:12 EST 2013

    "Lauren- thanks for raising money for such a great cause! "

    Andrea Nattrass

    Tue Mar 26 03:52:47 EDT 2013

    "No question in my mind that you will dominate this race!!"

    Shannon & Evan Greenwood

    Wed Mar 27 11:29:56 EDT 2013

    "Donated in memory of Barbara Downey."

    Helen Lysy

    Sat Apr 06 08:26:53 EDT 2013

    "Good Luck Lauren!"

    Campbell and Associates

    Fri Apr 05 08:16:41 EDT 2013

    "Go Lauren!!"

    Jess Weiss

    Thu Apr 04 10:39:51 EDT 2013

    "We're proud of you, Lauren!"

    Joan Love

    Wed Apr 03 08:35:30 EDT 2013

    "Good luck Laurie and thank you for taking the time to make a difference "

    Victoria McCormick

    Mon Mar 25 11:33:24 EDT 2013

    "Lauren, I recently watched the movie "The Express" and learned about one of the greatest running backs that's ever lived, Ernie Davis. He played college football in Syracuse from 1959-1961. He literally fought through racism in the 1960 cotton bowl, but persevered and Syracuse won their first national title, and Ernie was named MVP. In 1961 he was the Heisman trophy recipient. He was drafted to the Redskins, and traded to Cleveland in 1962, but never got to play pro football because he was diagnosed with Leukemia. He died in 1963 at age 23. I am making this donation in memory of Ernie Davis because he was more than just a great player and the first black Heisman recipient. He was dedicated, strong-willed, and focused on being the best. All of these attributes you can carry with you to beat those 13 miles :) good luck! "

    Ashley Saunders

    Fri Feb 01 10:46:00 EST 2013

    "I donated for my father who died of leukemia in 1970. At that time, medical treatment was really horrible and painful. I am grateful for the improved medical practices since that time. I look forward to the continued improvements that will be made as a result of this life-saving blood cancer research. "

    Jacqueline Carn

    Thu Apr 18 02:00:53 EDT 2013

    "Run, Lauren, run! Have a great time out there and give your hubby an hug for me :) Remember me? I worked with Barb. My dad died of cancer, too, so this is in his memory also. xoxoxo! Kim"

    Kim G

    Thu Apr 11 08:08:29 EDT 2013

    "A great cause Lauren! Best of Luck to you,I know you'll bring it home! "

    Clayton Gertz

    Sat Apr 13 10:12:33 EDT 2013

    "Good luck Lauren!"

    Robert Shanahan

    Mon Apr 08 10:42:52 EDT 2013

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,540.65 | Goal: $2,500.00
142 %

My Team

Team Total: $8,128.14 | Goal: $6,000.00

Make a Donation

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

My Thanks To

Display Products Inc $500.00
Unspecified Donor $222.00
Anonymous $110.00
Utility Lines, Inc $100.00
Clayton Gertz $100.00
Lynn Sarvis $100.00
Victoria McCormick $100.00
Joan & Ken Love $100.00
Michael Beiter $75.00
Anonymous $75.00
Anonymous $70.00
David Marston $50.00
Phyllis Cappa $50.00
Jess Weiss $50.00
Patsy Astarita $50.00
Madelyn Danner $50.00
Angela Merola $50.00
Jacqueline Carn $25.00
Joan Love $25.00
Mary Ardell $25.00
Martha Maczko $20.00
Kim G  
Robert Shanahan  
Helen Lysy  
Campbell and Associates  
Matt Fraser  
Joe DOrazio  
Laurie Falk  
Jeff Carter  
Kathy Chenault  
Shannon & Evan Greenwood  
Andrea Nattrass  
Pam & Troy Ross  
Adrienne Jensen  
Ashley Saunders  
Greg Conte