I am back!
It’s been a great trip to California with lots of mixed emotions. And I can’t do all my emotions and adventures justice in one post, so I am going to post about all my adventures in chunks over the next few days.
Let me start today with why I went to San Diego.
I have been running with Team in Training for over 4 years and participated in 5 seasons as a fundraiser. This year I raised over $2,500. The reason why I come back year after year – even now that my team is in Texas and I am in London – is the people who are Team in Training and the cause.
When I started my first season with Team in Training in 2009, I didn’t know anybody who was affected by leukemia or lymphoma. But I was captivated by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society whose mission is to cure cancer and improve the lives of patients and their families. 75% of their funds go to patient care and research. That’s a lot more than many charities do.
Over the past few years, I have gotten to know that many of my friends were affected directly and indirectly by leukemia and lymphoma and other cancers. So, there is no reason to stop fundraising now.
My jersey on San Diego showed 13 names.
Ruben – we were Team Ruben. Ruben passed away last fall. He was a dear friend of my Team in Training coach, Stephanie. Stephanie created Team Ruben to honor her friend and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in his name. Our team raised close to $200,000 and LLS is naming a grant in honor of Ruben.
Jay – a friend and fellow Team in Training buddy, who was just diagnosed with lung cancer.
Rachel – a fellow Team in Training buddy, who was a member of our 2010 San Diego team and who has just learned about the relapse of her leukemia.
Peggy – a friend and Team in Training buddy, who is a breast cancer survivor.
Lisa – a friend, who is a breast cancer survivor.
Derek – a friend and Team in Training buddy, who is a lymphoma survivor.
Denis – my friend Chantal’s dad, who is fighting cancer.
Pierre – my friend Annabelle’s dad, who passed away this March fighting leukemia.
Antoine – a 7-year old boy, friends with Annabelle’s family, who passed away earlier this year fighting blood cancer.
Normand – my friend Alexandra’s dad, who passed away 3 years ago.
Darron – a friend, who passed away last summer fighting a brain tumor.
Andrea – my high school friend, a cancer survivor.
Julie – Sandi’s (flamidwyfe) friend, who passed away 7 years ago fighting CML.
I missed a few names on my jersey, but I will tell you about these awesome people as well.
Rose – fellow blogger happyhippierose, who is a lymphoma survivor.
Jackie – Peggy’s sister, who is a fighter. She was diagnosed with CML 7 years ago and with breast cancer 4 years ago. She keeps fighting and is an inspiration to all of us.
Cariann – a fellow Team in Training member. Cariann was part of our 2010 San Diego season. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of last year. The cancer was diagnosed late and the aggressive treatment was affecting her. Peggy and my friend Rob kept in touch with her when she moved back to San Diego to be with her family during her treatment. They invited Cariann to our Team in Training inspiration dinner in San Diego this past weekend. Cariann joined us and was thrilled to be there and share the evening with us. Very sad news reached me though on Friday as Cariann lost her fight against cancer and passed away.
There are many other people who deserve to be mentioned and I am sorry that I am missing some. Cancer is a horrible disease and we need to keep searching for a cure!
I will be back fundraising next year to honor survivors and to run in memory of those who lost the fight. We need to find a cure for cancer.
One mile at a time.