In October, I will be running in the Royal Victoria Marathon with Team In Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I need your help. I’m raising $5000 to help support research and try to find a cure for cancer. I’d really appreciate if you could take a moment and donate what you can to help this cause.
When I started running a few years back, I did it because I felt out of shape and unmotivated. Since then, I’ve run a half marathon and three full marathons. This one will be my fourth. At the time, I was very lucky that I didn’t have a connection to cancer, but over the years, I’ve gotten to know many brave survivors and they are who I’m running for. I wanted to introduce you to three of them that I’m running in honor of this year.
Carlos Hernandez was an 8th grader when he was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. He was a little guy who loved playing tennis. His chemo treatments put a screeching halt to that. He lost his hair. He lost weight. But he fought. I got to know Carlos while I was training for my first marathon. Along the way, his family took a trip to Europe to try to see a World Cup game, but they didn’t have tickets. Through the generosity of our Team and World Cup sponsor Yahoo, we were able to hook him up with tickets to see Germany play while they were there. He brought me back a hat, said thank you, and gave me a hug. Carlos is going to be a senior in high school now and I’m pleased to report that he’s cancer free.
Ellen Cirigliano was running with our Team in 2006 while I was a team captain. On a 20 mile run in Monterey, my job was to run last and help anyone out who was having a hard time finishing. I caught up with Ellen at around mile 16 while she was puking in some iceplant. Puking on a long run isn’t all that uncommon, but she went to the doctor the following week anyways. She was diagnosed that week with a brain tumor. Since then, Ellen has been a volunteer with Livestrong, a Team In Training Honoree, and has run several marathons herself including last years NYC marathon. Her cancer is in remission.
Drew Olanoff is a guy I know from the Silicon Valley tech scene. He’s active in social media and startups and we’d only met once at a conference, but we hit it off. The week I started training this year, Drew posted on his blog that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Since then, Drew has teamed up with Livestrong and started blamedrewscancer.com to raise money and awareness. Drew has 12 chemo treatments scheduled for this summer which he has approached with courage and an attitude that is inspiring. He’s not out of the woods, but we’re hoping they’re able to get rid of it.
On Sunday, October 11, I’m running 26.2 miles to help find a cure. I’ll be running in honor of Drew, Ellen, Carlos, and the other friends I’ve made who’ve fought or are fighting cancer. Your help really means a lot to me.
You can donate online here. Every little bit helps. Thanks in advance for supporting my marathon and our fight against cancer.