I first became involved in Team In Training (TNT) and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in March of 2020 because I was very interested in running the New York City Marathon. I knew that I wanted to run for a charity that meant something to me, so I knew I had to be a part of this team.
On February 24, 2020, I lost my big brother, Jonathan. He was battling leukemia for the second time at just 26 years old. When he was 13, he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). He received a bone marrow transplant which put him into remission. We thought that once he reached the 10-year mark we were in the clear. We were wrong. In November of 2019, he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) after being in remission for almost 13 years.
He was supposed to marry his beautiful fiancé, Alyssa, in May of 2020. When he was diagnosed, all he wanted to do was marry the love of his life, so that's what he got. On November 30, 2019, Jonathan and Alyssa got married in a conference room at Connecticut Children's Medical Center where he was receiving treatment at the time. The hospital put together the most beautiful wedding in just two short weeks. After only three months of being married, my wonderful big brother passed away. I joined TNT to turn those 13 years cancer-free into a lifetime for people like Jonathan. Running the New York City Marathon for LLS was one of the most impactful moments of my life. I know that Jonathan was there with me that day, and I know he would be proud knowing that I’m helping other families affected by blood cancer.