I am riding for all of those that can't. I am riding for everyone who might need the help of a great organization like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I don't have any personal stories to share, but training with a team motivates me in ways I never thought possible. As my teammates share their personal stories, what I am raising money for becomes that much more real. The last hill of the ride seems that much less painful when I compare it to the pain of cancer and chemotherapy and losing your family member, friend, or loved one. As you read this story from one of my teammates telling all of us why she rides, I hope you will take the time to donate here and make riding for a cure no longer necessary.
Rachel's Story --
I started this adventure with TNT for no other reason then to be able to say, "I ran a marathon". Now I fundraise and train in hopes that the money I raise funds finding a better treatment and eventually a cure for Blood Caner so my friends loved ones can live.
Here is my story.
I started with Team in Training in 2002 as a Marathoner. I had always wanted to run a marathon and a close friend of mine called me up one day to tell me he had just run his first Marathon. I quickly decided if he could do it, I could do it and the next day a post card for TNT showed up in my mail box. The post card obviously talked about the endurance training they offer you as a participant and in return you raise money for finding a cure. I thought, "perfect". This will keep me motivated to complete the training and actually finish the Marathon. Little did I know that this one event was going to change my life.
I asked one of my girl friends to join me and she immediately jumped on board as her 5 year old cousin was currently in the hospital fighting for his life. He had Leukemia. As we trained and fundraised I found out a co-worker and good friend of mine's Brother was a Blood Cancer survivor. Izzy made a donation to my fundraising saying he'd been looking for an organization he could donate too. I now had a personal connection. I wrote Ralph's name on my arm and ran 26.2 miles in his Honor.
Two years Later I decided I was ready for another challenge as I got a phone call from my Dad telling me my childhood role model had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I signed up immediately for a century ride and started raising money for TNT. I obviously was doing this Ride for Clayton (our hometown TV Meteorologist) in hopes that he would win his fight against Blood Cancer. I called Clayton and asked if I he would mind if I put his name on my arm and ride in his Honor. He said yes. While I was fundraising again I found out another co-work/friend of mine's step father was fighting Blood Cancer. Leslie made a donation to my fundraising and I asked if I could put Charlie's name on my leg and ride in honor of him and in hopes that he would win his fight. She said yes so I did my first century ride in honor of 3 people...Ralph and Clayton on my arms and Charlie on my leg, they gave me the strength to finish the hardest 100+ miles I'd ever ridden. I felt like I was helping to save these guys lives.... unfortunately Charlie lost his fight and died a few months after I finished my first Century ride.
Two years later when I got a phone call from one of my best friends that her 15 month old nephew had just been diagnosed with AML (Acute Myelogeneous Leukemia) a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. I knew what I needed to do. I signed up for my 2nd century with TNT in honor of 15 month old Mason and started raising money. I wore a picture of Mason on the back of my Jersey and I climbed the mountains around Lake Tahoe. Mason is now in remission and has been cancer free for 8 months. I hope with all my heart he stays that way.
So as I am training with you I ride and fundraise for 4 very special people. In Honor of my personal Champions...Ralph, Clayton and Mason and in Memory of Charlie.