In the summer of 2006 I received a letter in the mail much like what you get around the holidays telling of the adventures over the past year. My friend had recently moved to Tucson with her family. She shared pictures of their kids and told about the transition from the Seattle area to Tucson.
The next day I received an email letting me know that their world had just been turned upside down. Their son Cooper hadn’t been feeling well and he just couldn’t shake it. They thought it had been going on for too long and decided to take him for a checkup. Cooper had leukemia.
Then my best friend Liz reached out and told me her niece Sarah had leukemia and wasn’t responding well to treatment. Sarah succumbed on Christmas day 2008.
In February of 2009, I saw an ad for the inaugural Rock & Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon. The date was June 27, 2009, which happened to be my best friend’s birthday. She quickly agreed we had to do something and we hatched a plan.
We set off on our journey and about an hour or so in we realized that this was the best way for us to spend time together. With Liz in Wenatchee and me in Lynnwood, there are about 150 miles between us. Usually when we got together, we were kept busy with our children or spouses. Knowing we could get hours of uninterrupted time together, we began talking about our next event. Liz was adamant that it be with a charity directly connected to leukemia.
With this thought in the back of my mind and all the purple jerseys on the course I couldn’t help but ask a runner what this Team in Training was all about. She talked about how it changed her life and Liz and I were sold.
In January 2010 I completed my first event – Rock & Roll Arizona with my honored hero Cooper at the finish line and Angel Sarah smiling from above. I earned my purple jersey and shared my passion with everyone and anyone I came in contact with.
Since then I have completed 17 events with Team In Training. I am honored to represent such an incredible organization as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and thrilled to share all the wonderful advances in treatment and patient services.
While it wasn’t my driving force for joining Team In Training, in the back of my mind a little known fact that my favorite uncle has leukemia is truly what keeps me going. While time is of the essence in finding a cure, time is on our side in his case and I hope we create that cure before he needs it.