Last night was the kickoff of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Spring 2013 Season. I got a spiffy new running shirt, met my teammates, and listened to some really sweet/tragic/hopeful testimonies from the people that this charity helps every day with the money raised from events like the one I’m participating in this April.

I’m very lucky in the sense that the only member of my family to have cancer was my great-grandfather, who died of Leukemia. He passed away long before I was born and this disease hasn’t really affected me personally, but I know exactly what it’s like to love someone who is very ill, and to be so grateful for the help of others. When my mom was in the hospital a couple of years ago I was overwhelmed by the help and generosity of people, and promised myself I would make a practice of giving back and helping others. I give to charity regularly and volunteer monthly at a local women’s shelter, but this is the biggest event I’ve done in quite a while. I’m looking forward to the physical challenge, but also to knowing that the money I raise will go toward finding a cure for blood cancers, and in the meantime easing the financial burden for patients and their families, and providing funds for research.

If you’d be interested in donating to this great cause (and winning my undying love and appreciation) check out my fundraising page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nikewhlf13/kimberlyraemiller

The speakers were truly the most amazing part of the evening. All of the folks on stage are survivors of a blood cancer, most of them relapsed more than once. They’re also all competitors in the events hosted. The guy in the middle ran his first marathon while undergoing chemotherapy. If I didn’t feel like a big wuss before, his pep talk sure did the trick. The woman in gray is a triathloner—these people are amazing!

I don’t watch ‘Survivor’ but those of you who do may recognize this guy: Ethan Zohn, winner of the third season, was there. He’s a two time Lymphoma survivor.

Consider me inspired.

My first group training session is this Saturday (my other group runs were pre-season runs). Since I’m not in great running shape these days I’m a little nervous, but if people undergoing treatment for cancer don’t make excuses, neither will I. Come April 28th I’ll be an uber-duber running machine.

Here’s the food:

Breakfast


Flatbread with avocado and tabouli salad
Coffee/love of my life

Lunch


Tofurky, flatbread, mustard
White bean hummus, baby carrots

Dinner


After the kickoff we went to our favorite Ayurvedic Indian restaurant. There’s no menu, they just bring you whatever they have. So good.