2014 is a special year for the North Texas Team In Training (TNT) campaign. It is celebrating 20 years of running, biking, and hiking to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and it's mission to find a cure for blood cancers. Saturday, Feburary 8th TNT will kick off a year of celebrating. To honor the thousands of North Texas TNT alumni and the millions of dollars they raised in that time, we are going to count down each year of the program leading up to the TNT Alumni "Celebrate You" event on Feburary 8th.
Team In Training is more than an extracurricular activity for Yvette Dye. With 40 Team In Training events under her belt, it has become a passion and a way of life for her. Yvette's name is known by the hundreds of TNT participants she trained with over the last several years and her passion is remembered by all.
What is your favorite memory of TNT?
I don't have one favorite memory. My first time to ride a rollercoaster during the Walt Disney World marathon. Memories also include the red carpet on the way to the pasta dinner (now called the Inspiration Dinner), the coaches at the event ready to help as needed, dancing or watching the dancing at the Victory dinners.
I remember Kathryn hearing a dad talk at the inspiration dinner about the battle his daughter had fought and won at Tahoe and Kathryn declared that she WOULD be back and RIDE next year. She returned and rode that next year and did NOT walk up any of those hills.
Most poignant memory was my quilting teacher calling me, in tears, when I was at Santa Cruz for my first half ironman distance triathlon with TNT and telling me to "just keep on running". Her grandson had just been diagnosed with leukemia. He fought his battle, had a bone marrow transplant and he is now a TNT alum!! An ironman triathlon is in his future.
What brought you to TNT originally?
A colleague said that she had just completed Alaska with TNT and that she thought I should join TNT and she KNEW that I could complete a marathon. That is all it took. Fortunately, I had no connection to the cause. Unfortunately, I now have too many connections but lots of success stories with those connections.
What about TNT makes you keep coming back?
My TNT family. The people that I have met, worked with, sweated with and love.
The fact that we ARE seeing progress from the research - that more people are living longer and better. I remember early in my association when Gleevec was discovered and we had a participant (Gale Bacon) that had personally benefitted from that drug. She was able to work about 2-3 hours a day with her chemo regimen and after Gleevec she was able to work 8-10 hour days again.
It presented a healthy lifestyle and motivation to continue fundraising and working out with a focus and purpose.
My daughter was able to participate and received her triple crown before graduating from high school. She had the benefit of training for experiences she would never have had, with people with really big hearts that "adopted" her whether she was a spectator or participant
What do you want to see in the next 20 years for TNT in North Texas?
I'm hoping to see blood cancers eradicated and we don't need to have a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
What was the best part of participating in your events?
I remember special snapshots of my events and there's something special about each one. I remember a fish hook in the tire and all the cycle shops were closed, riding a roller coaster at Disney 3 years in a row, hitting the wall at RNR San Diego (it was a cardboard wall), my first half ironman, triathlons in Hawaii. Lots of very special memories with my TNT family. I've met incredible people and participants that were joined together for a cause. We've had some very successful fundraising adventures and some fundraising ideas that sounded great but were not ones we repeated again.
How many events have you done with TNT?
I have completed 40 fundraising events with TNT with Disney's Dopey being my last one. I have seven triple crowns and am currently working on completing my eighth triple crown and fundraising for my 41st event. I'm still accepting donations for The Wildflower half ironman distance triathlon. :o)