After being diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma in 2003, and while in treatment, I made a deal with God. If my life was spared, I would personally raise $100,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Indeed I have kept my word. I have raised significantly more than that to help find a cure by participating in triathlons, marathons, 5ks and hikes. Some of my favorite events for TNT have been Boston (2x), San Diego, Philadelphia and Dublin, Ireland (2x) Marathons, Wildflower and Greater Cleveland Tri’s and a Team hike at Yosemite. A couple fundraising highlights for me are my 2012 TNT Team (140 strong) where we raised over $1 million at the Boston Marathon. We are on track to do the same in 2016 with just 80 runners this past week in Boston.
In recognition of my fundraising efforts, the Massachusetts Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society awarded me the 2012 John Engdahl Award for the Boston Marathon for fundraising excellence. My support of the organization is more than monetary: I give back also by meeting with patients going through their diagnosis and by serving as a Board trustee and in the past on various executive committees for LLS.
Many times we forget that our own personal pain and suffering (joys and success too) can indeed serve as a driving force to help others who are facing similar challenges as us. Recently a friend called me to let me know of his brother’s leukemia diagnosis and he and his family looked to me for help and direction. This incredible extension of vulnerability touched my heart. I answered the call and I will walk the journey with them. When we overcome anything, we are empowered to serve in a very particular way… That service gives our lives a deeper meaning… And so we say “Yes!” to an “ask” or a request to Love and Serve as we have much to give…
For LLS and TNT both, I look to serve as a true utility player, helping wherever I can to boost activity, connections and funds. I am fond of saying, “I don’t just dream about finding a cure for cancer, improving the quality of life for cancer patients or granting mercies … I am relentless in my fight for the same … I want these things to be truths, not a fleeting illusion”.
Just this past week as a member of the LLS TNT Boston 2016 Marathon Team, I was honored to be the Mission Moment speaker at our Inspiration Luncheon. Together we, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training remain RELENTLESS for a cure. Our Boston Team has well exceeded our initial 600K goal and are moving past 900K and working towards $1 million. This Team, like yours, are all warriors and more powerful than they (we) know. They (we) have been empowered to serve in a very particular way because of our collective journeys.
We all share a blood cancer connection and as a result we are empowered to love and serve in a very particular way. We wish to be stakeholders together in a cure. We believe in the resiliency of the human spirit and the amazing capacity to begin again each day no matter what. Our work brings hope and tangible cures in the past and in that spirit we move onward towards providing additional hope and a cure…
At the end of a tough day on the Boston Marathon course this past Monday, where I for the first time had an opportunity to connect with and run with almost all of the coaches and teammates at some point on the course, my heart was smiling because I had made more friends and we had brought the world closer to a blood cancer cure…
My mantra on the course that day that I kept repeating was around the “ Four Fs “-
“Follow the Master; Face the devil; Fight to the end and Finish the Game”. -Sai Baba
So, if we follow the Master, the rest invariably occurs… That being said, I had my slowest Marathon ever, yet I had the best experience with my Teammates! I most enjoyed connecting with my fellow Leukemia & Lymphoma Society TNT Teammates!
What a great day and peak experience with amazing teammates. Thank you to my home LLS Board The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Northern Ohio Chapter. May we continue to Love and Serve and I thank you, each and every one of you for all you do.
#GoTeam See you along the trails as we joyfully trudge the road! As I recover from the Boston Marathon I’ll be carrying your loved ones in my heart and prayers each day on the yoga mat or in the woods running!
I (we) remain RELENTLESS for a cure!
Love and Prayers,