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Please follow my blog to track my progress as I train with Team in Training to run in the San Antonio Rock and Roll half marathon while fundraising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! My goal is to raise $3000 by October 29, 2010.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remembering Why...

For the past several weeks, I have been blogging about my fundraisers, my challenges and my successes. This week, I would like to take a moment to talk about why I am doing this. Of course, there is the reason why I got into running a marathon - to get into shape and to accomplish a goal...but there is another purpose, a purpose much more substantial that just trying to get into shape - beating cancer!

You know, as I have started to talk more and more about my Wine Tasting, people are opening up to me about their loved ones who have either passed away from cancer or survived cancer. People, such as myself, who have never experienced cancer or a family member who had cancer, cannot really understand the suffering. Even as I try to explain it, I know that I cannot comprehend the full extent of what the patients and their families endure.

The other day, during one of our "Mission Moments" a man came to talk to us about bone marrow biopsies. As he said those three words, several of my teammates, who are cancer survivors, grimaced. As he began to explain the procedure, I quickly learned why.

A bone marrow biopsy involves a doctor taking a needle about the size of a meat thermometer and essentially driving it into your hip bone. This man demonstrated with a material which mimicked bone. He had to put all of his body weight into the 'procedure' and then he twisted the needle until it had sufficiently worked it into the bone. I just could not image that being done to a real person - it looked like torture!

All of the cancer survivors agreed that bone marrow biopsies are one of the most unpleasant parts of cancer treatment. This man then showed us a new technique developed by a company caled VidaCare which uses an electric drill. This drill changes the procedure to make it much easier, quicker and less painful for the patient. The biggest plus, however, is that it allows the doctor to obtain a much larger sample of bone marrow!

But could you imagine? Whether with a drill or by hand, having something the size of a meat thermometer piercing your skin and chiseling into your bone? Could you imagine the constant pain cancer patients endure? The radiation therapy, chemotherapy and all the terrible side effects - not to mention the cancer itself?!

I woke up for my run on Saturday and I just did not feel like running. For one brief second, I thought, "maybe I can just go back to bed...missing one week won't hurt..." Then I thought, "if you had cancer, you couldn't just say, 'I don't feel like having cancer today, maybe I'll go back to bed.'" I mean, these people suffer everyday. The suffering I go through during my long runs is truly nothing in comparison.

The one thing about it that strikes me the most is that leukemia and lymphoma are the number one cancer killer of children. I just can't image a child going through the radiation therapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow biopsy. And I mean little children - I have heard of leukemia patients as young as 2 years old (and I am sure some are even younger)!

But Team in Training is working to fight Cancer. To save lives and to beat cancer. I have learned that money Team in Training raised has been used to fund new drugs that have saved lives. In fact, I have heard first hand accounts of how the new drug, Gleevec, changed a terminally ill patient into a survivor! Research for Gleevec was 100% funded by money raised by Team in Training!

Speaking of money raised, I was informed today that Team in Training's South Central Texas Chapter has collectively raised $104,031 since we started fundraising in June! Personally, I have raised a little over $1,200. My personal goal is to raise $3,000 and hopefully my Wine Tasting will get me there! I am really just so proud and honored to be able to be a part of something that is really touching so many lives. If the money I raise saves one life, then it was definitely worth it!

Team In Training Cheer:

Raising Cash

For Every Mile

Beating Cancer

Team in Training Style!

Till Next Time,


To those who commented on my blog last week:

-Tammy: Congratulations on turning your life around! It can be a hard thing to redefine your self but definitely very rewarding! I love Painting with a Twist - I can't wait to go again!

-Grace: Yes, it is hard to believe that I was once a sad person. I am also happy my life has changed for the better! Thanks for being such an awesome inspiration for me!

-Jasmine: Thanks, I like the background too! Would have been nice for a cold beverage! But last week was our last week at la cantera :-(. Now we are running at the HEB at Basse.

Training Log for Week Twelve:

  • Wed, August 25: Ran 4.57 miles at Brackenridge Park in 1 Hour and 6 minutes (14 min/mile).
  • Sat: August 28: Ran 10.6 miles though La Cantera. Finished in 2 Hours and 37 minutes (14 min/mile). I actually was supposed to run 12 miles, but I hurt my foot and walked the last 2 miles.


  1. Thank you for bringing attention to Vidacare's OnControl System and the advantages it brings to patients having to have bone marrow biopsies and aspirations. If anyone is interested in finding out more, we have a Facebook page (OnControl Bone Marrow System) that has more info, or you can visit www.vidacare.com/oncontrol. By the way, Vidacare is based in San Antonio. DISCLOSURE: I am a PR consultant for Vidacare.

  2. what a great post! i cringed when the rep was explaining all the procedures, but i am glad he brought awareness to our group!

    i love what you said about waking up in the morning and not being able to say i don't like having cancer today, let me go back to bed.

    you are so motivating and i'm glad you're taking away positive things from this whole experience!

    p.s i just purchased my ticket!

  3. Julia this is Bob Titkemeyer Vidacare Corporation’s Director of Quality Systems and Product Engineering and also the “man” that presented the demonstration of Vidacare's OnControl biopsy product to the Team In Training on Saturday August 28.

    I was just amazed to find so many individuals giving up their Saturday morning to run 14 miles! It was such an honor to come out and provide information on the uncomfortable aspects of bone marrow biopsy and Vidacare’s solution. All of you are my hero.

    As you know from my presentation my mother is a 10 year survivor of Leukemia thanks to Gleevec and my brother in law is currently battling stage 4 lymphoma successfully. Both of them are utilizing technology, pharmaceuticals and procedures that were developed as a result of financial support from Team in Training and LLS. So Julia please rest assured that your effort is going to save lives many lives! My mother is living proof that research dollars raised by individuals like you and Team In Training can have life saving benefits!

    I just wanted to say thanks again for what you all are doing. Good luck to you and your effort and thanks for the inspiring words. BOB