That’s the word on the front of my latest Team in Training jersey. I’m back on the trail for my fifth season as a participant and second season as a mentor of the SF Bay Area Leukemia and Lymphoma Society‘s hike team. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the word “relentless” lingers in the back of my mind as I think about my life and what I’m thankful for.
Some might say that I’m relentless in my efforts to help the cause as I return year after year, raising money toward the fight against blood cancers.
But the reality is, I would never associate that word with me. I’m involved in the cause because cancer is awful. The treatments are devastating. The financial costs are unbelievable. The physical and emotional tolls are incomprehensible. And despite it all, the outcomes aren’t assured.
As a member of Team in Training, I’m a part of the relentless efforts underway to find better, safer, more targeted treatments. I’m part of a financial and emotional support network of individuals, some of whom are themselves relentless like my former mentor Lois Markovich who just celebrated 20+ years since her diagnosis with chronic lymphoid leukemia by completing her 20th Team in Training event while raising more than $20,000. Many of whom, like me, just want to do some small part.
I joined Team in Training the first time in 2006 in honor of my college roommate Noah who was diagnosed shortly have college with Hodgkin’s Disease. He is thankfully doing well and cancer-free today, but others haven’t been so lucky. In 2011, one of my fellow hikers, Christina Parks, a survivor who had been cancer free for over a year, fell ill during our season and died shortly after. She was only 26.
So with Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m thankful for my family, friends and our collective health. I’m thankful for all the people who are doing their part to make the world a better place, whether it’s fighting for human rights half way around the world or volunteering with a non-profit closer to home.
Most of all, I’m thankful to be able to wear the RELENTLESS jersey in honor of and in memory of so many, raising money toward better outcomes for future generations of cancer patients.
Want to help?
Join the team
Donate to the cause
My goal: To raise $5,000 in honor of my fifth season on Team in Training’s hike team. You can help me reach that goal by making a tax deductible donation online here.