I lost my mom to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2003. Her battle was short, just three months, which left me in shock and feeling very angry. My mom had always instilled in me the value of working hard to accomplish goals and I knew she wouldn’t want me wasting energy being angry. In late 2004, I decided to find a way to channel the anger into something productive, and just weeks later I came across a Team In Training (TNT) brochure. I started running half marathons with TNT and I’ve since completed about a dozen.
In 2009 I was on a hiatus from running to rehab an injury. During this time, I had started a new job and my employer formed a Light The Night (LTN) team so I signed up. Soon after, I joined the LTN executive committee and then the board of trustees. I’ve also chaired the LTN executive committee, co-chaired the walk, and continue to chair the bank’s team, MB Financial. As board chair, I try to attend as many events as possible across all LLS campaigns. I love to share my story in the hopes that one more person will donate or get involved to help us find a cure.
In more than 10 years of being involved with LLS I have met so many inspiring individuals – people who beat the disease, are fighting the disease, and lost loved ones to the disease. I’ve learned that people are generous in giving when asked. LLS has become an important part of my life.