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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Team 5 Alive: The Decision to Fight

David Nesbit during treatment.
Team 5 Alive is on its way to raising $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through a full year of fundraising with Team In Training (TNT).  David Nesbit, the team's honored hero and inspiration, thinks back to his days in treatment and how it motivates him now.

"Six years ago, August 2010; I was enjoying the summer like everyone else.  I wasn't thinking much about my leukemia because the wait-and-watch period which I was in simply was not that bad.  My body was doing a good job of keeping my levels in check naturally.  Every month since I was diagnosed in 2009 became a little easier mentally.  Maybe, I get to do that wait and watch thing for years, I would tell myself.  I started to talk about it more freely, my confidence was building, and I didn't feel like a sick person.  That summer, I was training with TNT for my second event, had gotten healthier, shed some pounds...life was OK.  Then, in August, my cancer turned aggressive. 

In a matter of days I was having excruciating neck pains, little bumps were popping up under my skin, extreme fatigue, and night sweats.  I got scared, again.  That same pitted deep in the gut feeling of mortality was poking its ugly head up again in my mind.  Now it seemed real.  

People die from leukemia, what if it takes me?  
What if chemo ravages my body and I can't be present for my family or I can't work? 
What if I lose my hair?" (I was really worried about that!). 

After a couple of days of processing these kinds of questions, I remember asking myself, 'David, what are YOU going to do about it?' And just like that, I decided to fight.

It was very much like a boxing match.  Chemo was coming.  And every round of chemo was a round in the ring.  I could go on the defensive and take the blows and just try to get through. Or, I could fight back.  I chose to fight back.  Everything that chemo and leukemia would want to do with my body, I would do the opposite.  If I felt nauseous, I would still go to work. If I felt tired, I would spend more time with my girlfriend (who is now my wife, Kelly Nesbit!) and family, and push through.  Many times immediately after chemo treatment, I would go running.   I was going to show leukemia and chemo who was boss of this body.  Me.   

That part of my journey reminds me constantly of our amazing Team 5 Alive.  They push through, they don't stop.  Summer is a tough time to train and fundraise.  The heat and humidity right now is simply awful to run in.  There are vacations, kids off school, etc.  There are so many things that can distract.  But somehow, every week we see the Team fundraising total going up.  And every Saturday morning I see Facebook and Instagram flooded with selfies and team pictures of our Team out training in the heat.  They don't stop.  They don't give up.  Team 5 Alive is relentless.  I have a TNT shirt that has the word 'relentless' in big red letters on the front. It reminds me of our Team. That is my favorite word to describe our Team 5 Alive: Relentless.

Oh, and I never lost my hair.  Go Team!" 

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Kelly and David Nesbit are the co-team captain of Team Five Alive.  The Nesbits and their teammates will be posting monly as they work to raise $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of  David's fight.  

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