Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues,|
This past Saturday I got up at 6:00 am and headed to Jacksonville to meet four other ladies and ran six miles. Last Saturday, we ran 5 milesóand it was 9 degrees outside. This week my sister and running partner, Robin and I will be running 26 miles total. Propped up on the couch last night with frozen baby carrots on both knees and copious amounts of ibuprofen close by, I thought, ďWhat a difference a couple of weeks make.Ē See, Iím not a runner, Iím a late sleeper! Well, I wasnít a runner. Until now. Now, in twenty weeks Iím going to run a full marathon. Thatís right. 26.2 miles. All at once. Thatís a lot of baby carrots and ibuprofen. Let me tell you why Iím doing this.
When we were growing up, Robin and I had a cousin and childhood playmate, Bill, who was our sun, moon and stars. We called him ďRink,Ē short for ďRinky Dink,Ē a nickname given to him by my dad for his small stature. The world stood still when Rink came to visit. We lived for those times. Well, two years ago, Rink was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer at age 33. He is not a smoker. Rinkís cancer was classified as Stage IV, metastasized to his lymph system and bones. With a wife and two small children under 3, he began a clinical trial chemotherapy treatment and radiation. Living with a disease that shows no mercy, heís a bit of a medical miracle. But heís not cured. His cancer remains aggressive and has spread to his brain. Rink is currently undergoing full brain radiation, yet remains amazingly upbeat and strong. His ability to find humor and faith in the face of such adversity reminds me again of why we have always adored him.
One year ago, my sister-in-law Tammy was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 40. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a colostomy. Today she is cancer-free, but lives with the side effects of her treatment.
To me, it seems like cancer is everywhere. I think we are all touched by it some way. Iím betting you have your own cancer story. And tragically, so far thereís no cure, only treatment of varying effectiveness. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is working to correct that for sufferers of this deadly disease. Each year, the Society sponsors Team in Training (TNT), a fund raising event in which participants train and compete in a marathon, triathlon or cycling event in honor of those who have been touched by the disease. Research supported by the society and made possible through funds raised by TNT has produced tremendous breakthroughs for many patients with leukemia and related cancers.
As many of you know, Iíve been working hard the last few years to complete a Masterís program in Training and Development. This semester marks the end of that journey. Itís been a luxury to focus on doing something for myself for so long. Iíve enjoyed it, but itís time to move that focus outward. Thatís why Team in Training is so important to me. On behalf of those I love whose lives have been forever altered by cancer, Iíve committed to train for and run a marathon at the end of June. My goal is to raise $5000 for the Society in the names of everyone I know who has suffered or been lost to this insidious disease.
This is a chance for you to participate in this program, too, without losing your big toenail. Please join me in raising money for this wonderful and worthy cause. I ask you to contribute whatever you can. No amount is too small or too large. Iíve enclosed a reply form and stamped, addressed envelope to make it even easier. Frozen foods and pain killers are also accepted. :-) In return, I offer this: if you know someone with this disease or anyone with cancer and youíd like me to run for them, I invite you to tell me who they are and a little bit of their story. Iíll add their names to my TNT wrist band. I want you to know that the dollars we are raising are assisting not only those that are infected with blood-borne cancers, but those that are affected by the disease. My motivation is simple Ė if we can find a cure for one, we grow ever closer to curing them all.
Iíll keep you posted on my progress. Check out my running journal at http://www.reocities.com/llamonica/TNT.html for a laugh. Thank you so much for your supportóitís greatly appreciated.
Running for Rink,
ďWe make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.Ē -Sir Winston Churchill
Last Updated February 5, 2003