Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#TNTBECAUSE: Meet Sarah Chua

Meet Sarah Chua, one of the newest members of North Texas Mega Team Team Ecks Factor. As a team, they have already raised over $80,000 this year. Sarah runs in honor of her mom and many other family members affected by blood cancers. Sarah is currently training for her 3rd TNT event, the New York City Marathon. Read on to hear more of our interview with Sarah.

1. What made you decide to participate in the New York City Marathon?

I decided to participate in the New York City Marathon because I thought training, fundraising and running through NYC would be a fantastic way to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday and celebrate my TNT Honored Heroes.  Since joining in 2016, the New York City Marathon will be my 3rd TNT event and second full marathon.

2. What got you involved with Team In Training?

I first found out about Team in Training from my cousin, Tracy. She started fundraising with Team in Training in Minneapolis after recovering from her stem cell transplant and treatment for Hogkins Lymphoma.

In 2013, my mother was diagnosed with a type of non-Hogkins Lymphoma. This diagnosis was received after 10 years of remission from a previous breast cancer diagnosis.  My mom underwent many rounds of chemotherapy that fall and on December 20th had an autologus stem cell transplant.    

I have many friends and family members affected by blood cancers. My mom, two cousins and friends have received stem cell transplants and are currently in good health. I have two close family friends living with blood cancer. My husband's grandfather was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma in 1979. The list goes on...

I have been a runner for most of my life and love the challenge of long distance running. My life has been touched by cancer and I felt called to join TNT and use my passion to make a difference for others. I enjoy running for the personal challenges and the adventures it provides. But, on those days I'd rather binge Netflix, I lace up my shoes to run or I work hard to fundraise because someone's life depends on it. I do it because running through my pain or ignoring my uneasiness asking people to part with a portion of their hard earned wage is inconsequential compared to the struggle of someone coping with the side effects of chemotherapy or someone regaining their strength after a stem cell transplant takes them to the edge and beyond.

3. Finish this sentence, I do “TNTBecause…”

I do TNTBecause the list of people I know affected by cancer is too long.

4. Tell us why you joined Team Ecks Factor.

Mascot Dave's story and attitude is so inspirational to me and I joined Team Ecks Factor to support Mascot Dave, his friends and family. I was a member of Team Five Alive last year and also love the additional camaraderie formed by TNT members joining fundraising forces to dedicate money towards a specific research grant or study.

5. What’s your favorite TNT memory so far?

My favorite TNT memory so far was the weekend of the 2016 Dallas Marathon since it was a weekend honoring blood cancer warriors. That Saturday, my family and I attended a luncheon celebrating a friend's 10 years after her stem cell transplant. My family also attended the Honored Hero dinner that evening.  After hearing me talk about it so much, I loved sharing the full TNT experience and mission moments with my parents and husband.

Race-day on Sunday was a flood of emotion as I checked an item off my bucket list and completed my first full marathon. With over 150 runners at the event, we raised over $160K for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  A few days later, we commemorated 3 years since my mom's stem cell transplant. It was a crazy few days, but so worth the blood, sweat and tears of the previous 6 months of training and fundraising to share those meaningful days with my friends and family.   

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You can read more of Mascot Dave's story on his personal blog here

We know that Mascot Dave has touched so many people over the years. Anyone can join Team Ecks Factor and help them reach their goal of $250,000!  

Register for an event today.

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