Dear Family and Friends,
As most of you know, I turned 30 about 18 months ago (deep sigh!) When I turned the Big 3-0, I wrote my “Life List” The #1 item on that list is to “Run a Marathon.” While this is something that I want to do, I find the idea of a marathon very intimidating! In the past 18 months, I have also been introduced to the world of Childhood Cancer. I have learned so much from the kids I have come to know. Persistence, Strength and a Renewed sense of Faith are a few of the things these beautiful children have taught me! It has become so important to me to help find a cure for these diseases that cannot be explained.
Through different friends and acquaintances, I have been introduced to Team In Training. Team in Training is an organization dedicated to raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) was rated one of the top ten charities for highest percentage of funds raised to directly benefit research and patient support. 75% of funds raised by LLS supporters! What do they do with all that money? Did you know:
- An estimated 825,000 Americans have blood cancers, including the estimated 219,000 Americans living with or in remission from Leukemia.
- Every five minutes someone else is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
- Every ten minutes some dies from a blood cancer.
- Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children!
- Thanks to organizations like LLS, the five-year survivor rate has more than tripled in the past 45 years for patients with Leukemia and the five-year survival rate for Hodgkin Lymphomas has more than doubled from 40% in 1960 to 86% in 2002!
Although these horrible blood diseases have not directly affected me, I have lost family and friends to cancer. In 2001, I lost my Grandma Lega to lung cancer. My Aunt Martha lost her battle with cervical cancer in 2006. I never even met my Grandpa Lega. He lost his life to throat cancer in 1976. I also lost a sweet friend and a beautiful child, Coleman Larson, on January 5. Coleman was only 5 years and 27 days old.
I met Coleman, his twin brother, Caden and his parents through the blog world. Coleman’s mom, Peggy writes about their family’s struggles through CarePages. Coleman fought the cancer beast, Medulloblastoma, since he was 2 ½ years old. Sadly, he became an angel in January. So you see cancer research is so very important, as we have probably all been touched by cancer in some way. LLS not only supports patients suffering from blood diseases, but they are a major source of funding for research into cures of ALL cancers!
With all these loved ones in mind and a self-imposed challenge to run a marathon, I have decided to join Team In Training! I will participate in the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego on May 31, 2009. A marathon is a 26.2 mile endurance competition. I am very excited, as this is my first endurance-type event! However, excitement won’t get me to San Diego! That’s why I need your help. My personal goal is to cross the finish line having raised $4000. 75% of that will go directly to benefit the patients and research of LLS. The other 25% will get me to San Diego and home again! I know this is possible with the support of family and friends like you! Please consider donating at least one dollar per mile. You can make a donation by visiting my Team in Training website at http://pages.teamintraining.org/ky/rnr09/jdistler. Please make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (All donations are tax deductible.) Thank you in advance for all your support…financial and mental!
If you are able to make a donation, please contact me and we can work out the details. Thank you!
Suggested Donation Amounts:
_____ $26.20 ($1/mile)
_____ $52.40 ($2/mile)
_____ $131.00 ($5/mile)
_____ Any other donation
_____ $500 or more (Corporate sponsor level—your company name or an individual you are honoring will appear on all KY team member jerseys on race days!)
If you wish to donate by credit card, you may do so online at
So, I added up all the miles I will run while training over the next four months. Guess what? It's 512 miles! I created this ticker to let you keep track of my progress!
Start date = 1/31/09
Start date = 1/31/09