Not everyone who joins Team In Training (TNT) or raises money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) has a direct connection to blood cancers. Many may not have a direct connection to any cancer and join for the health benefits and good cause. Funds raised for LLS research have gone on to help with treatments and progress towards cures for a countless number of other diseases from breast cancer to Alzheimer's.
Alumnus and Team Captain Kathleen Robinson shares these thoughts on being part of Team In Training:
What TNT means to me? Focused Purpose.
I am here to help find a cure for blood-related cancers and give my time and resources to help others. I really got involved with TNT partly for selfish reasons and partly to give back. My niece, Sarah, was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer in the muscles. When her parents took her to the doctor, they were told she simply had a cyst just beneath the skin, and that they would remove and she would be good to go. However, when doctors cut the skin, they found something very different. It was a year of not knowing if Sarah would make it or not. When she felt well enough, she participated in several fund raising events with Wipe Out Kids Cancer and Make A Wish Foundation.
I looked into getting involved, but those organizations just were not a good fit for me. So, one morning while at a boot camp, our instructor made the comment about a group called Team In Training that was training to hike the Grand Canyon. It peaked my interest, so I went home and looked up the group online. I signed up that day! I am in marketing and felt that, if every person I knew would give $5, I would easily exceed my fund raising goal and be helping the cause, plus get to do something that I would never do on my own. Fundraising did not happen quite the way I thought it would, but I did reach my goal. Thankfully, my niece just celebrated her 22nd birthday and was told she is at no greater risk than anyone else to have cancer. What a blessing! I want the same for every other family. I cannot imagine having to bury one of my nieces or nephews let alone a child of my own. This is what keeps me coming back a couple seasons each year to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through TNT. There are a two things that motivate me to continue fundraising and training with TNT -- the hope of a cure and a great exercise program for myself. Yes, TNT gives me "focused purpose."