Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Swim-Bike-Run for Blood Cancer

For several years now my wife has, through an organization called Team in Training (TNT), been doing endurance sports to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (That's a picture of her in Lake Erie, by the way). With TNT she has run two marathons (the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco) and the CapTex Triathlon in Austin (which I reflect on here)...and along the way has personally raised more than $8,000 to help fight blood cancers. This September she will be part of the longest event TNT sponsors--the 70.3 mile Redman triathlon in Oklahoma City--with the aim of bringing her fundraising total over $10,000.

All Team in Training athletes have "honored heroes" --people they race for who are fighting or have fought blood cancer. Some of my wife's honored heroes have triumphed in their battle. Others have died. This year her honored hero is a friend and member of our church who was diagnosed with Leukemia this past year. At the moment she is, thankfully, in remission.

We're all with her in our thoughts and prayers. But my wife has chosen to be with her and all those who are fighting these diseases in a more vivid way: through a kind of solidarity of physical struggle. She is testing the limits of her endurance (and the limits of her heat tolerance), fighting step by step towards an elusive finish line as her honored heroes and all those struggling with blood cancer fight step by step for their lives.

In the process, she hopes to help raise the money that is urgently needed to combat this disease, as well as to provide a range of services for those who are sick and their families. If you would like to help, please visit her fundraising page. If you or someone you love has been affected by blood cancer and you would like her to keep them in her thoughts as she swims, bikes, and runs her way to the finish line, please let me know and I will pass their names on to her.

(By the way, just to prove that she's as crazy as all of us suspect she is, my wife has recently signed up to do a full 140.6 mile "Ironman" triathlon next July. Since Team in Training doesn't sponsor full Ironmans, she is considering doing the race in support of other causes, possibly through Team World Vision).

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