Celebrate Life!

Thank you!
Oct 13, 2011 by Gatewood Campbell

My Dear Friends,

I do not even know where to begin! I am overwhelmed beyond words by the outpouring of support for me at the Chicago Marathon! So many people and so much money! You are what Team in Training is all about. This is an avenue for all of you to give hope to those fighting cancer. As individuals, we can touch a few. As a TEAM, we touch thousands! This passion of mine is only possible because of generous donors who help make my dreams a reality. I can only stand back and shake my head in amazement at what we have accomplished together.

Drum roll please.....$4,627! That is HUGE!!!

Over 70 different families from all over the country, and even overseas have made this happen! You reached deep to support me, to honor my Mom and to honor your own loved ones. Your sacrifices will indeed change the lives of those affected by these vicious blood cancers. I am blessed with amazingly generous friends and I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel. I want I could reach out and hug each one of you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you!

Many people have asked where I find the determination to take on marathons. Partially it's because I am truly my Mother's child and I'm half crazy. The rest of it is because it's personal, but without the help of all of you, none of this would even be possible. You have played a vital role in the success of my quest for a cure. I want to share with you the success that I have seen first hand and you will understand why your role is vital.

Mom's leukemia diagnosis came in 1996. Fortunately the disease progressed slowly and it wasn't until 2002 when she needed her first round of chemo. The chemo was successful in treating her cancer but the side effects were horrible. Several months into her treatment I went with her to the doctor. My memory of that day is still vivid. The doctor offered Mom a deal she couldn't refuse. She could stop treatment immediately and avoid the torturous side effects of another month of chemo. The doctor described it as gambling. He said she could walk away with the progress she had made and bet that research over the next few years would result in a new drug that she could better tolerate. She took the bet and ran.

I'm not much for gambling. I prefer the sure thing. I decided I would do whatever I could to ensure the right drug was ready when Mom needed it. A couple years later I discovered the partnership between Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I realized this would be the avenue by which I could directly impact cancer research and drug development. I ran the Country Music Half Marathon with TNT in 2006 and the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon with TNT in 2008.

Early last year it became clear that Mom would need chemo again. There was one lingering question that we needed answered. What would be the drug of choice this time? Would her only option be the same drug from 2002 that she could not tolerate, or would her bet pay off? You can guess how this story ends. Indeed there are new drugs in use now and she received some of them during her chemo last year. When the doctor told us that he would be using a new drug, miles and miles of pavement flashed before my eyes. The aches, pains, tears and agony of Nashville and San Diego were all worth it for that one moment when the bet paid off! This is why I run and this is why you give, for that one moment when a doctor can give a patient good news. Medicine is not an exact science and no two people are exactly the same. What works for one does not necessarily work for another. Research and drug development must continue. Your generosity ensures that research goes on. You are paying it forward and I'm forever grateful.

The Chicago Marathon is all about celebrating life in our family. A marathon is a shining example of my Mother, her perseverance, her dedication, her adventure and quite frankly her "get over yourself and just do it" attitude.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for trusting me to run the race until the finish. Many, many thanks for CELEBRATING LIFE with me!

I love you all!


You Gave, I Trained. Chicago awaits!
Sep 23, 2011 by Gatewood Campbell

Two weeks! Months of training will be put to the test in just two weeks!

YOU GAVE, and you gave, and you gave some more! I am humbled by the overwhelming response I have received from our friends and family who have donated over $4,400 to LLS! I have been amazed by the generosity of people. As I read the 60+ names of people who have made this journey possible, my heart swells with love and gratitude. You have reached deep to support me, to honor my Mom and to honor your own loved ones. Your sacrifices will indeed change the lives of those affected by these vicious blood cancers.

This race began as a small seed planted in my mind last year. Mom was in the midst of a long round of chemotherapy and I needed something to divert my attention from the current situation. So I focused my attention on running the Chicago Marathon with Team in Training and run in honor of my Mom. I ran the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego CA in June 2010 and with 3 marathons under my belt I was ready for another challenge. We marathoners are something of overachievers and somehow it seemed that I needed to add something to the 26.2 mile adventure. I decided I was going to push my body through training during a sweltering North Carolina summer. Now I can say with confidence that my body has been pushed beyond limits that only existed in my mind.

I TRAINED! This past Saturday I completed my longest training run - 20 miles! The weather was unseasonably cool, a pleasant 60 degrees and overcast. We could not have ordered anything better for our final long haul. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, 20 miles is a very long run and building up to it wasn't always pleasant or painless but I'm not prone to giving up in the face of adversity. On days that I wanted to sleep past my 5:15 AM alarm and avoid the 90+ degree weather I thought of my Mom. I remembered how hard it was each month as she anticipated chemo. Having been through it before almost made it harder for because she knew what was in store. She knew what the toxins would feel like flowing through her veins. She knew the nausea that awaited. She knew the itching that would cover her body. She knew her blood pressure would spike and dip along with her body temperature. But, she didn't have a choice about chemo. She had to do it. So I had to do it too. It simply wasn't an option for me to quit when she didn't quit either.

CHICAGO AWAITS! Mom is traveling with me to Chicago and will make her way through the city as a spectator while I cover 26.2 miles with her name on my back. I have an amazing group of supporters who have donated an overwhelming amount of money to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Mom, in honor of their loved ones and in memory of loved ones. I will carry those names and families in my heart as I focus my mind and feet on the finish line.

Many, many thanks for CELEBRATING LIFE with me!


In Honor of Mothers
Jun 13, 2011 by Gatewood Campbell

This was a special Mother's Day for our family. I celebrated yesterday with my Mom and my Grandmother....three generations that add up to 200 years! Now that's a lot of life! Last year was hard on the women in my family. 2010 gave each of us our own challenges and as mothers and daughters do, we shared each other's burdens and struggles. My Mom's cancer reared it's head in January and she was in various chemotherapy treatments through August. We were overjoyed when the doctor ended her treatment ahead of schedule given the successful results of the chemo. Just as we were ready to breathe a sigh of relief and greet the end of chemo, my Grandmother's health began to decline. As she became weaker we realized it was time to make the tough decision for her to move out of her independent living apartment which had been her home for 23 years. We began the physically challenging and emotionally grueling task of emptying out her apartment and settling her into a small room in the health care wing of her retirement community. Last year I began to experience some new side effects from my brain injury as well as my epilepsy. I had to adjust my medication to find the perfect concoction that is just enough to stop seizures while limiting the annoying side effects of the medication. Extensive testing determined the permanent extent of my brain injury and I had to accept the harsh reality of change. That was hard...that was very, very hard.

Life is unpredictable. I don't know when my Mom's cancer may come back. I don't know how much longer I have with my Grandmother. I don't know when I will have another seizure. This Mother's Day we had a table for three. Will our table next year be different? Thoughts of the unknown can permeate my mind...if I allow it. I choose not to allow it. I choose to focus my attention on what I can do and what I can change.

Last year was hard. This is a new year. I'm going to make every day count. I'm going to run. I'm going to celebrate. I'm going to run one step at a time towards a cure for cancer....because I can.

Celebrating the Marathon of Life!
Mar 29, 2011

Yes, I said I would never do this again, and YES, I am doing it again! It’s time to CELEBRATE LIFE! In many ways the last seven years of my life have mimicked a marathon course. There have been clear starting lines, some right turns, some left turns, some U-turns and some wrong turns, and I kept running. There have been sunny days where light reflected brightly off the smile on my face and the dimples in my cheeks and I laughed with complete happiness and delight, and I kept running. There have been cloudy days where the weight of circumstances lay heavy on my back and tears fell like rain on my face, and I kept running. There have been days when others thought that I shouldn’t, I couldn’t or I wouldn’t, and I kept running. There have been days when I was sure the finish line was right around the corner, but it wasn’t, and I kept running. There have been hills so steep I was certain no one could climb them, and I kept running. There have been glorious downward slopes so perfect that I wanted to stretch out and roll downhill like a 5 year old in paradise, and I kept running. Running connects me to my innermost spirit and soul and so I keep running. Running has taught me that the pain makes me stronger, and the victory even sweeter, and so I keep running. Running connects a start to a finish and a trial to a triumph. Running takes me to that magical place where my body and my mind are completely void and then I see the finish line. In that millisecond where time simultaneously stands still and races at warp speed, I remember why the marathon of life is worth facing with everything we are, everything we have and everything we offer, and so I run. My spirit takes over and my heart overflows, and I keep running because I know I should, I can and I will finish the race I set out to complete. I can not choose the terrain I must travel in my marathon of life, but I can choose to lace up my running shoes at the start of each day and simply run the course.

I run to CELEBRATE LIFE! I know this is what I am supposed to do and I am passionate about the cause. LLS is important to me because my mother has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and she is a Survivor! I am running the Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2011 to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I invite you to become a "Warrior for Wookie" and CELEBRATE LIFE with me! You can be part of this journey and help stop Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Myeloma from taking precious lives. Please join me by donating to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission. Together we will finish the race we have set out to complete because we should, we can and we will!

Thanks for your love and support!



Supporter Comments

    "I was so moved by your message on your fund-raising page. I am glad to participate in this challenge you have undertaken. Should every daughter be so brave and caring and persevering."

    Jean Poston

    Thu May 26 12:22:25 EDT 2011

    "Gatewood your dedication is such a inspiration, go get'em girl!"

    Wendy K

    Fri Apr 08 08:24:47 EDT 2011

    "Gatewood - We are so proud of you!"

    Chris & Diane

    Mon Apr 11 12:24:10 EDT 2011

    "How amazing you are. What a loving gift. Is it appropriate for me to donate also in memory of a friend, Dale McDermott, from Memphis, as well as your mom, of course. "

    Anne and Bill Straughan

    Fri Apr 22 10:33:23 EDT 2011

    "GC - I'm so proud of you!! You have faced many challanges and have overcome them by continuing to "run for a living!" I love you and wish I could be in Chicago to cheer on all my TNT pals! All the best to your Mom!! :) YOU GO GIRL!"

    Hayley & Mark Seibert

    Tue May 10 04:08:39 EDT 2011

    "We love you Gatewood, and are very proud of the strong young woman you are. Very best wishes for a wonderful run."

    Sue Kadwell

    Tue Sep 20 08:44:03 EDT 2011

    "So proud of you and your mother. Congratulations! Thank you for letting me be a part of this. Much love, Martha."

    Martha Dunlap Neblett

    Tue Apr 12 02:23:48 EDT 2011

    "Good luck! Your Mom's an amazing lady!"

    Mark Khan

    Wed Apr 06 12:51:57 EDT 2011

    "So proud to be a part of 2 such wonderful ladies. They both inspire me."


    Wed Apr 06 10:52:08 EDT 2011

    "Mary Gatewood! So proud of you...."

    Julia Vertreese

    Tue Mar 29 04:35:57 EDT 2011

    "You go girl!!! Someday I would love to do the half-marathon in the Windy City! Prayers for your Mom's healthy future. You are an inspiration...."

    Theresa Peterson

    Sun Apr 10 02:13:20 EDT 2011

    "We are very proud of you and your Mom!"

    Robert and Jane Davidson

    Tue Aug 02 05:15:46 EDT 2011

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $4,702.00 | Goal: $3,500.00
134 %

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

In Honor of

My Mom, Wookie Payne

My Thanks To

Hallie Shinn  
ruth deaton  
Tom & Joanne Payne  
Hunter Campbell  
Justin Campbell  
Steve Clark  
Sue Kadwell  
Michele Brotherton  
Bank of America  
Martine Kusiak  
Stacia Breit  
James Galloway, Jr  
Judith Rozelle  
Sharon Marlowe  
Robert and Jane Davidson  
Robert Avinger  
Edith Cashion  
Susan Baughman  
Pamela Stephenson  
Phil Gandy  
John Kuykendall  
Janet Adair  
William Homesley  
Peggy Simmons  
Sara Enders  
Albert Warren Burris  
Dr William Terry  
Lawrence Kimbrough  
Will Payne  
Mildred Workman Payne  
Barbara Johnston  
Jean Poston  
Marsha Ranieri  
Jodi B Allen  
Ellen Robinson  
James May  
J Russell Frank  
Frederick Fields  
James Smith  
Hayley & Mark Seibert  
Anne and Bill Straughan  
Margaret Mortimer  
Martha Dunlap Neblett  
Ann & Jerone Herring  
Katherine Condon  
Chris & Diane  
Theresa Peterson  
Wendy K  
Margaret Jones  
Glenda Jones  
Mark Khan  
Virginia Groves  
Leland Park  
Antonio Gonzalez  
Your Proud Mom  
Elizabeth White  
Catherine Kuhnle Fowlkes  
Cristal Howie  
Angela Broome  
William Workman  
Holley Monk  
Meg Bair  
Sue F. Ross  
Joy Boovy  
Julia Vertreese