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The LLS Blog

Read about survivors, research, fundraising and advocacy.

Motivated By Loss to Do Great Things

By Staff blogger |

Six years ago, Chris Sena never would have imagined he could have taken part in 100-mile bike rides or triathlons. But losing a great friend has motivated him to do incredible things.

The Rocklin, California man now has ten Team In Training events under his belt and has set a goal to raise $1 million to help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

When he first started his journey in 2010, he didn’t have any connection with leukemia or lymphoma. He signed up for his first Team In Training event when a good friend and fellow dive instructor, Steve, was diagnosed with throat cancer and he decided to ride in his honor. In the early 1990s, they had developed a strong bond while stationed at Navy Dive School in Pearl Harbor working on ships and submarines. Along with a mutual friend Ron, they had many fond memories of their years together and Sena could go on for hours with all the sea stories.

Sena had no idea that Ron had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2009, and four days after signing up for that first event, he heard that Ron had passed away. Determined to use his passing to make a difference, he took to social media and raised $2,800 in four days.

Motivated to beat the disease that took his friend, Sena has been riding, running and swimming in his memory ever since. He’s completed America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride six times (also a mentor and captain), done the Vegas Bike team twice (also a coach), and finished the Pacific Grove and Wildflower triathlons. He wears a picture of Ron on his back for every event.