Fifteen years ago my grandfather passed away of leukemia. One year ago one of my dearest friends and favorite people on earth called me and told me she had been diagnosed with lymphoma. I have spoken many times about how breast and ovarian cancer has affected me, but I haven’t really shared about how close to home leukemia and lymphoma have hit.
So when The Motherhood asked me if I would partner with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to spread the word about how to get involved with their amazing work, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Because it is very personal to me that we bring an end to blood cancers.
You see this isn’t my first time hearing of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Five years ago my mom, at age 60 (!!!) decided to run her first marathon in honor of her dad and trained with Team in Training.
blurry pic of my mom crossing the finish line with Lily who ran out to “help her”
I watched her training process from the sidelines (I am allergic to running) and was amazed by this organization. They were part of her training every step of the way, providing tips, training schedules and even a local group to run with. Then on the day of the race they were everywhere. Seriously, throughout the race you could see people in their trademark purple all throughout the course. And when my mom struggled towards the end of the race there was a guy who joined her and ran/ walked with her talking her through almost every step. It was amazing.
I can’t imagine how hard it is to run a marathon. I am pretty much tapped out after a 5K. But I know why my mom did it. She did it to honor her dad who had fought so hard against leukemia. We were all so hopeful when he went into remission but it came back and ultimately won. There were others she ran for and there were many who donated in honor of someone they loved. I know that was part of what pushed her to the finish line when she wanted to give up.
Team In Training is the flagship fundraising campaign of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and the world’s largest and most successful charity sports endurance training program. This year is the 25th Anniversary and amazingly, they have trained more than 570,000 people and helped invest more than $875 million in research which is saving lives today.
If you have any ambition to run a marathon I would really encourage you to check out Team in Training. They have over 200 accredited national and local events in the United States and abroad. Seriously. Like Disney and Ireland and Hawaii. I mean if you are going to run a marathon, you might as well run it somewhere awesome.
The deal with Team in Training is that you raise funds. In exchange, they provide four to five months of personalized training by TNT-certified professional coaches. And like I said above, their coaches are amazing.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been around since 1954 and in that time has doubled, tripled or even quadrupled survival rates for various blood cancers. But despite this, about half of blood cancer patients do not survive, so more funding is needed to advance research and ensure access to treatments. Check out Team in Training to find out all the ways you can help be part of abolishing blood cancers.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma society is offering one of my readers a great Team in Training gift bag. It includes a shirt, pens, mug, sunscreen and other goodies. To enter, leave a comment letting me know if you have been affected by someone with blood cancer. If you haven’t, any comment will do.
Contest will be open to US residents only and ends July 16th. Good luck!