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Running For TNT

Posted Jun 27 2011 2:02pm
There are times in life where a 32-year-old man can be reduced to feeling as helpless and vulnerable as a little boy.
One of those moments happened to me when my mother told me she has leukemia.
The words hit like a bombshell, and like a bomb, once they hit their mark an explosion went off that completely changed my outlook.  A million questions sprung up in my mind in the wake of my mother’s revelation, the first and foremost being, “What can be done?”
As it turns out, there is very little that can be done directly by anyone other than the doctors and my mother.  My mother's form of leukemia is known as LGL leukemia; in simple terms, it is a chronic form of leukemia that results in anemia and lowered levels of infection-fighting material in the blood.  Many patients with LGL leukemia are asymptomatic when they learn of the disease, but as this is a slightly more rare form of leukemia, less is known about it and “standard” treatments have not been developed.With this diagnosis, the doctors have little they can do except monitor my mother's condition, prescribe medications and follow up with her regularly for blood tests, each time hoping nothing arises that would require a stronger form of treatment.  My mother has undergone the pain of bone marrow biopsies and the uncertainty of dealing with a disease that little is known about.As for me, I've dealt with the frustration of knowing that my mom is hurting and there is nothing I can do about it.  I’ve always been a mama’s boy, I have no shame in admitting it; I would stand up in a heartbeat to anyone who would dare to hurt her, yet here I was in a position where something has the audacity to attack my mom and I can’t do anything except watch like a bystander.Except there is something I can do.  I can run.I'm not one to lie down and calmly resign myself to futility and impotence.  If I can find a way to help my mom and people like fight her fight their disease then I'm going to do it.  That is why this October I will be competing in the Baltimore Marathon for Team in Training.

 TNT runs marathons and other events to raise cancer awareness and money that is used for research that can fight and end the disease.  The organization has raised more than $1 billion with 75 percent of that going to research and patient services. So, to stand up to my mother's illness, to help end the suffering and uncertainty that is associated with cancer, and to know that I am doing something other than standing passively along the sidelines, I run.  I've run for years now without ever having a set goal before.Now I have two: My first goal is to finish the Baltimore Marathon in honor of my mother's ongoing fight, and to raise as much money as I can between now and October 15 for LLS.My second goal is to put LLS out of business.  I want cancer to be a disease we look back on in the same way we look back at smallpox and polio.To do this I need your help.  I can run miles until I drop, but I only have so much money in my bank account.  I’m asking you for your financial assistance in fighting cancer.Won’t you please show your support and aid LLS’s vital programs of blood research, patient aid, community service and education?  In doing so you will be supporting the LLS mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
And you’ll be helping me personally to stand up and fight for my mom.
To give to LLS, please click the widget on the upper left-hand side of this page or go directly to my TNT fundraising site at http://pages.teamintraining.org/md/balt11/bbernier .
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