Please join me in this mission of hope!
An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then you get to run a marathon (26.2 miles) and yes all in one day; in under 17 hours
Quite possibly yes.
What you can see -
For the last 14 years, I have had the great privilege of volunteering with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a volunteer, mentor, coach and in volunteer leadership for their Team in Training Program (TNT). When I first started I really just wanted to get in shape and their Team in Training Program said, 'hey if you fundraise for us, we will train you to do a triathlon' I was flabby and out of shape and in need of reconnecting with the community so it seemed like a win-win.
The organization raises money to support cutting-edge research and for patient care. What does this mean, LLS has given over a billion (with a b) dollars to help researchers develop new drugs and treatments and it also helps people in very simple ways. There have been some amazing successes along the way, developing drugs that have helped not only blood cancers but also other cancers as well.
On the flip side of they offer support for patients currently going through treatment. As a visible member of the community, with our team gear training every weekend, countless times at practice we have has complete strangers come of thanking us as the drug that they are currently on was developed out of research that LLS has funded and they are alive due to it, we have also had people that were low income and LLS helped them pay for parking when they had to take their child for their daily treatments.
I can appreciate that sometimes giving to a big organization can seem intangible and while we will never get to see most of the people we help, even if we look at one of the drugs that we helped create, , hundreds of thousands of people are alive today because of it.
What you cannot see -
What I get to see a lot of and most people do not is the hidden value of what we do. The existence of LLS and specifically team in training is like a factory for hope. For people that are in treatment or have gone through treatment or for the family members of people that lost their battle, they see what we do as hope. For those in treatment, they see that over 600,000 people have chosen to help a bunch of people that they will never meet and that with their efforts, a cure or a better treatment may be around the corner.
For those in remission, they see what we do as a hope that if their cancer does come back that maybe there will be better treatment options in the future.
For our families that have lost loved ones, they get a sense of comfort knowing that, while their loved one has passed, that there are a bunch of strangers that are volunteering their time to do what they can to make sure that doesn't happen to someone else.
So, in short, we give people hope, and when you have hope, you have everything.
TNT for the win -
as a coach, some of my most valuable experiences have been working with survivors; helping them go from patient to survivor to badass athlete. We have had people in treatment or recently in remission complete an event with us and it simply redefines what they think they are capable of.
I recall one woman that after three attempts completed a triathlon with us; The chemo destroyed her lung capacity so physical exertion was very difficult, she stuck with her training started and stopped 2 seasons and then I was lucky enough to get to coach her on her third season and then when she crossed that finish line she fell to her knees in tears. (my eyes a bit sweaty too) She then looked up at me and said "I am now well, a new chapter of my life has started" and it did, she moved on and started living her life, not as a sick person but just a person out in the world happy to be alive.
What we do, we save lives in obvious and not so obvious ways.
If you have any questions at all about the organization, what we do, where the money goes or who we help, please let me know..
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible