I am humbled and honored to be nominated as a candidate for the Leukemia & Lyphoma Society's 2013 Man of the Year campaign. But really, the campaign is not about me at all. It IS about raising financial support for more than one million patients who currently suffer with blood cancer, here in Atlanta and nationwide. In Atlanta, our team has a goal of $650,000 before June 8. My personal goal is to raise $50,000. Each dollar donated counts as one vote!
Many of you know about my passion for triathlon. What you probably don’t know is that a big part of that inspiration came from Andrew ‘Drew’ Johnston, who I am now honored to call ‘friend.’
My buddy Andrew has twice qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. For that race, less than 2,000 of the world’s most elite triathletes qualify. And Drew finished in the top 300. But here's the incredible back-story: He did this all while under treatment for Leukemia and taking Gleevec – a drug that was funded and founded by LLS.
Recently, Drew became the first Leukemia survivor to not only win his age group, but be the overall champion in an Iron-distance triathlon, the Great Floridian Triathlon. He will also be competing at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in in Las Vegas, Nevada, later this year. He embodies the heart, soul and spirit of a champion, in the truest sense of the word.
In hearing Drew's story, I learned that through research funded by LLS, cancer patients not only can survive, but also thrive. Thanks to the past support from people like you, Leukemia patients are overcoming and becoming champions, in their own right.
Without lifesaving research and findings by the researchers at LLS, my friend Drew might not be with us today and would most certainly not be competing and racing at the level that he does!
LLS's continued advancements over the years are responsible for the blood cancer survival rate doubling and tripling; in some cases, the survival rate has even quadrupled. In fact, many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients but are now used to treat patients with rare forms of stomach and skin cancers, too.
We really are changing the face of blood cancer!
So, please join me in this campaign, so that together we can give people like Drew Johnston a fighting chance at survival. Together, we can fund therapies and treatments and help save lives today.
In honor of Drew and thousands of patients with blood cancer, I will be racing in the 11Global Olympic distance triathlon on May 11, at Lake Oconee, Georgia, with LLS / Team in Training. In the weeks leading up to that event, I will also shave my head, as a tribute, and to symbolically stand side-by-side with these warriors against Leukemia and Lymphoma.
UPDATE!!! Please register for the RUNNING COLORS 5K, the first "Paint / Splash . Color Run" in the North Atlanta Metro! The familiy-friendly fun run will be held on May 25 at Chattahoochee Pointe Park in Cumming. All proceeds will benefit LLS and my campaign for Man of the Year. To register, visit www.TotallyRunning.com.
All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible (and please donate before the campaign ends on June 8, 2013). Your donation will not only support LLS research but patient services, advocacy, public and professional education, and community services, as well.
Please visit my website often and bring friends who would also like to donate! For more information about LLS, please visit www.lls.org
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.