Today after our ride, several of my teammates and I headed over to a local restaurant for some food and beer. As we straggled in, a woman asked us if we had been cycling - it was that obvious. Awhile later, she returned and said, "Are you all part of Team in Training? I want to thank you. My daughter is a survivor of ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia). They tell me that the reason the survival rate has increased from 40% to 90% is because of all the treatment that has been funded. Dessert is on the house." We learned that her daughter was diagnosed at 5 and is now 14 years old and doing amazing.
The girl to my left was nearly in tears. The girl to my right noted that she didn't actually know anyone with blood cancer, and that this really brought home the importance of what she and her husband were doing as part of the team. I did not know anyone with blood cancer when I first joined the team either, but unfortunately now I know several. We all have so much fun on the team, most of us would do it even without these reminders. I generally feel as though I don't deserve to be thanked for spending my time having fun.
But I do want to thank all of you who have generously donated to my campaigns over the last several years. Even if you do not know anyone with blood cancer, there are real people whose lives are being saved by the money LLS raises and you never know who they might be. In fact, in the last decade, half of all new cancer therapies were first approved for blood cancers! Thank you!