I came across the Hirshberg Foundation’s LA Cancer Challenge in 2010 and knew right away that I had to get involved. It was the first time I found an organization that was dedicated solely to pancreatic cancer. I ran my first 5k that year, the longest distance I’d run in my life. It was an emotional experience for me as I thought about why I was running and raising money for the foundation. My first wife Eugenie lost her brave battle in 2003 after fighting the disease for 5 years. She was a wonderful pianist, my best friend and my musical partner. It felt really good to finally be able to do something to help in the fight against cancer. Little did I know that running that 5k back in 2010 would lead me to do something I vowed I would never do: run a marathon.
I began training for the 2012 event and after our first training run I realized I had a lot of work to do! I also realized I was getting involved with a really great group of people. We had great support and encouragement from everyone at Hirshberg and from our coaches.
The outpouring of support from the volunteers who lined the streets really helped keep my spirits up. Approaching the Foundation’s Purple Cheer Station at Mile 21 with dozens of cheering supporters in purple clothes was an extraordinary experience that brought tears to my eyes. That moment was a reminder of my loss, but also a beacon of hope for the future of those that are fighting cancer. Running the marathon for pancreatic cancer gives the experience real purpose for me.
I know that while I am sore and tired, it is a small sacrifice if I can help make a difference for someone in the future. I am very proud to be a member of the Hirshberg Training Team and run the LA Marathon in memory of Eugenie, and in support of pancreatic cancer research.
Founded in 1997, The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research, and providing information, resources, and support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families.
ThinkCure!, the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers, funds cancer research that enables researchers at City of Hope and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to cooperate on the most promising research efforts to fight cancer. Without public support, however, they can’t work together on research that will change lives and eliminate cancer.
Today, nearly one hundred families in Los Angeles will learn that a loved one has cancer. We want one hundred marathon and half-marathon participants to help us show those families that we all care about them and to raise funds for collaborative cancer research done right here in Los Angeles. Or, join one of our forty teams to walk or run in the Big 5K to honor the nearly forty people every day in Los Angeles who die from cancer.
ThinkCure! is working together for cancer-free family reunions now with City of Hope and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
According to Drs. Stuart Siegel and Stephen J, Forman, respectively from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and City of Hope, “The National Cancer Institute now funds less than 10% of worthy cancer research grants. Our institutions are eager to work together to eliminate cancer among adults and children, but we rely on support from ThinkCure! to help make this research happen”.
Please help us help scientists at these great local institutions undertake cooperative research which will otherwise go undone. Imagine a family reunion where cancer isn’t invited. As the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers, ThinkCure! believes that, just as Dodger baseball unites families and our community, so, too, can our fight against cancer right here in Los Angeles.October 22, 2013
In 1988, Bruce Cleland had no idea the kind of impact he was about to have on the lives of people with blood cancer.
Cleland formed a team to train for and complete the New York City Marathon while raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in honor of his daughter, Georgia, who had been diagnosed at the age of two with acute myeloid leukemia (ALL), the most common form of cancer to afflict children.
“I was trying to get past the helplessness and fear I felt as a result of my daughter’s deadly diagnosis. When Georgia was diagnosed, the five-year survival rate was only a shocking 60 percent. A desire to help her, and others like her was my fuel,” said Cleland. “Day after day it literally got me up on my feet, out on the road and eventually over the finish line along with my wonderful TNT teammates.”
Cleland and his team raised a remarkable $322,000 for LLS. 25 years, over $1.3 billion raised and more than half of a million participants later, Team In Training (TNT) athletes continue Cleland’s desire to help others like Georgia by funding life-saving cancer research and patient services.
Georgia’s story is the embodiment of LLS’s mission. Now 29 and cancer-free, Georgia completed three TNT half-marathons in 2012 and just recently completed her fourth with her three siblings, who like their father and so many others are committed to raising funds and striving to change the landscape of blood cancer.
Fundraise with the TEAM: Energized by LLS, TNT has one goal: a world without blood cancers. Fundraising mentors and staff will be with you all the way to guide you through the fundraising experience.
Train with the TEAM: Be a part of the powerful force of athletes that are bringing us closer than ever to cures for many kinds of blood cancers. Nutrition, hydration and injury prevention clinics are all a part of the program and certified coaches will get you to the finish line.
Cures Today. Not Someday. That’s the goal. Visit www.teamintraining.org or call 800.482.TEAM to register today.
LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to curing 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 exist to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. www.lls.org.