Marathons, Walks and Bike Rides – Oh my!!

I have been so fortunate to have the support of family, friends and co-workers throughout my diagnosis and treatment, and I plan to write more about that in the coming weeks as it’s been a huge part of my success in beating cancer so far.

I’m sure we all receive requests occasionally from folks we know who are participating in a walk, run or bike ride to raise money for charity. I’ll be honest and say that I used to get overwhelmed by these requests to the point where I would just overlook them. Now these requests have taken on a whole new meaning for me, especially when the charities involved relate to cancer research. I’m so appreciative of these events now, especially those that are in someway involved with raising awareness and funds for blood cancer research.

In the past few months, I’ve had a few friends and family who have let me know about walks, runs, or bike rides that they are participating in and I’d like to share their donation links with everyone who reads my blog in the hopes that some of you might consider donating to their causes. I have a connection in some way or another with all of these rides/walks/runs as you’ll see below. Right now, considering a donation to one of these causes is probably the best way you can help me out, because my biggest hope for the future is that researchers/doctors can find, at least, better treatments for blood cancers, if not a cure.

First, many of you know that I have been volunteering at the Seal Rescue Clinic at Mystic Aquarium for a little under a year. Unfortunately, I’ve had to hold off on volunteering this winter as I am immuno-compromised and diseases between seals and humans (believe it or not) are communicable. Although we wear protective gear in the clinic, my oncologist didn’t like the idea of me coming into contact with wild animals that can carry things like seal pox (kind of like small pox) and I didn’t want to risk transferring anything I might be carrying to the seals. Nevermind the fact that I don’t think I could endure the physical part of the job right now.

The director of stranding and rehabilitation at the aquarium, Janelle Schuh, is participating in Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is training now for the America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe, CA, a 100 mile bike ride, for her Uncle Dan. She’s kept me in the loop about her training and I’ve been sending her updates about my treatments, etc. Here’s the link to her donation page:

Shortly after starting the blog, a friend of mine from high school, Kelly Rieder, commented on this blog several times. She reached out to me through Facebook and explained that she is also participating in Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running in the Nike 1/2 marathon. She asked if she could run in my honor, and flattered, I said of course!! She is a rockstar fundraiser and has already exceeded her goal, but please consider contributing to her fund at:

Finally, shortly after I was diagnosed, a friend of mine, Katelyn Germano, posted on Facebook that her 12 year old niece, Alexah, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well. This disease is tough enough for me – no child should have to endure it, but Alexah is putting up an awesome fight. Katelyn is walking in the 2013 Relay for Life of Bridgewater State University for the American Cancer Society on April 5th and she’s walking for Alexah and me. Here’s the link to her donation page:

I don’t usually like soliciting people for funds, but these are all great charities that support cancer research and are associated with people from all different parts of my life. I hope you consider donating to one of these events or perhaps either the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the American Cancer Society in the future. A day when blood cancers are preventable or are all curable for people of all ages will be a great day and both of these organizations support research efforts that I believe will make that a reality.