Thursday, December 9, 2010

How it Started

“In Hodgkin's lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin's lymphoma progresses, it compromises your body's ability to fight infection.” This is one of the first things I read about Hodgkin’s this summer from The Mayo Clinic website.

After finding out about Brendan’s diagnosis I began to research.  What could I do?  I entered the bone marrow registry, with Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry. Who knows who I could be a match for?  Max, a boy in the same sailing program as me, found a donor.  Turns out they shared a great-, great-, great-, great- grandfather. Read Max’s story. My registry packet came in the mail, cheek swabs and back in the mail, how easy!

During my research, my friend Jason was also diagnosed with Hodgkin’s.  Jason had not been feeling well on and off for months.  He always attributed it to a medication he was on, and his doctors made adjustments. But the changes never seemed to make him feel better. After his diagnosis, he took medical leave and began treatment. Due to an existing medical condition the treatments made him very weak. This weakness, on August 31, ended his battle. 

When I get up early on weekend mornings, freeze during team rides (its getting cold in Orlando), or hurt after workouts, I laugh when I think out Jason.  I am absolutely positive he is looking down, shaking his head and laughing at me.  He thinks I am crazy. He never could understand my time at the gym. I love the laughs but I would much prefer a hug.

I was part of Team In Training before, but the fight had just become more personal. A few months earlier I didn’t know much about Hodgkin’s, it has now taken a close friend and another is fighting for his life.

So there it is, and here I am, again.  Still “Taking It To The Max” and fighting for Brendan and Jason. Help me fight.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"You're doing a what?"

"People are always surprised I would want to do a triathlon. I mean, really, I would never be accused of being a jock or even look “sporty”. I don’t think people know exactly what I am doing and, more importantly, why – so here is "what"....

I joined Team In Training. TNT is a hands-on endurance training program for the Average Joe at any fitness level. Coaches, in your area, work with participants for months to get them ready for ½ and full marathons, Olympic triathlons, century bike rides, and hiking events. Events include the Disney ½ and full marathons, Nike Women’s Marathon, Nations Triathlon, St. Anthony’s Triathlon, the Rock and Roll Marathon series and the Boston Marathon. Training for these events is usually 4-5 months long. Coaches work with participants on all aspects of the event they will be finishing from training basics, nutrition, clothing, gear and recovery. 

I am training for St. Anthony’s Triathlon. This Olympic triathlon is scheduled for the first weekend in May in St. Petersburg, FL. An Olympic length triathlon begins with a 0.9 mile swim, followed by a 24 mile bike and finishes with a 6.2 mile run. Sounds like a blast, right?! As many of you know, this is my second Tri with TNT. A few years ago I trained for the Nations Triathlon in DC. I am so excited to have my mile swim in Tampa Bay and not the cold Potomac!  We have very strong coaches and mentors this year and I can't wait for St. Pete!

I train most days of the week. We have a team swim on Mondays at a local pool with our coaches. Swims, runs and rides are on our own for the rest of the week. On the weekends we have rides and bricks, again with our coaches. The distances and speeds pick up as the weeks go by.

And for all this great training and a fun event, members of the Team raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s and myeloma. Funds got towards research and programs to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Over 75% of each dollar raised by LLS and Team In Training goes directly to research and patients.

So there, in a nutshell, is the "what", they why is coming up....

Help me get to my goal via my TNT website.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Post 1!

Dear Friends and Family,

I am excited to announce that I’m on The Team! I'm training for St. Anthony’s Triathlon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. Laugh as you may, (I am! I have Borden genes, not swim almost a mile, bike 24 miles then run 6 miles genes! ) but you’ll see my goal goes beyond overcoming my genes, and you’ll want to join me on my journey….

Meet my reason to TRI: Brendan!

Our families have been friends for years. Brendan’s grandparents and my parents are good friends and his mom, J.J., babysat for me and my sister. Maggie and I absolutely adored our time with J.J. As we all grew up, JJ moved out of Marion and was later married and had a BABY! That was when I came to meet Brendan. He was the cutest kid on the planet! J.J. and Kevin even let me babysit (brave parents…). As time passed we all continued to go our separate ways, being kept up-to-date through our parents, not to mention the joys of Facebook!

This summer, 14 year old Brendan looked forward to starting high school. He began not feeling well, lost his appetite and was very tired; his mom thought he might have mono. This progressed to a trip to the ER when the lymph node on his neck swelled. After many tests, the results were in; Brendan was diagnosed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Brendan is currently in treatment and showing Hodgkin’s who’s boss. But his treatments are tough, they come with nasty side effects and leave him tired and open to other infections. As if freshman year of high school isn’t hard enough?

I can’t take away Brendan’s cancer, go through treatment for him or even take on the side effects, but I can help to find a cure. So I am training for St. Anthony’s in honor of Brendan and all individuals who are battling blood cancers. Brendan is the hero on my team, and I am looking for your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!

My goal my look vast but I am determined to reach beyond it with your help.

Thanks for check out my Blog! At my TNT website you can make donations, learn more about Brendan and how I am fighting the Borden genes. You won’t want to miss “The Top 10 Reasons I TRI”. And don’t worry; I will not be posting any pictures of swim practice...  (If you're lucky!)

Thank you in advance for your donations and support.