I do not like asking people for money and unlike some of my fellow Team in Training (TNT) team members I do not have a family member who is or has been affected by blood cancers, so why do I run for charity? And of all the charities out there, why do I keep returning to TNT?
Last week as fundraising started and I began calling my mentees to welcome them to the team, I asked myself those exact questions. On Saturday at Kickoff I was reminded of exactly why I am back with TNT for a 3rd time.
Hearing survivor Geoff say, “The fact that there were people out there on a Saturday morning training for me, meant so much. The treatment that saved my life was directly funded by money raised by people like you. I literally owe my life to you.”
That is definitely a reason I do this!
So that people like Geoff can run, walk, live and enjoy another day. I also do it for their families, one of whom today told us “there is nothing like sitting and watching your loved one get ready for chemo.”
Imagine if that loved one is only 5-years-old. Your 5-year-old.
It breaks my heart every time I think about it. But it is a scenario that is too often the truth when it comes to Leukemia. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children under the age of 20. THAT is the biggest reason I keep returning to Team in Training and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society;
No one should have to go through what cancer patients go through, but children, in particular, should not have to spend their days in hospitals, undergoing painful treatments instead of going to school, hanging out with friends and playing outside.
I run and fundraise with Team in Training, because every day we are getting closer to allowing these children to recover quicker and get back to just being kids. 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.
The things the research funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is achieving is pretty amazing. If you have the time, here’s a short video about one new treatment:
I am excited to be part of Team in Training and hopeful that the money I am raising will help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the researchers it supports, find treatments and cures for blood and other cancers. Running for charity is not for everyone, but it truly adds something special to my training and racing.