Crossing the finish line of Ironman Coeur d’Alene will mark four years and 11 months since my final chemotherapy treatment in July of 2008. Four years and 11 months since I sat in the chair below, surrounded by the doctor and nurses who had saved my life. Don’t let the eyebrows fool you, I had been penciling them on for months by this point.
That finish line will mean, Anabel 1 Cancer 0. And I can’t think of a better place, or a better way, to celebrate.
Although most of my training this year has been solo, I am grateful to be a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Team in Training, better know as Ironteam. A group of people who inspire me on a daily basis to continue pushing even when I think I have reached my limits. They come from all walks of life and some are brand new to the sport of triathlon. Some have never ridden a bike, or swam a lap in the pool. But all the same, they have committed themselves to crossing that finish line. And and more importantly they have committed themselves to raising funds in the quest to find a cure for blood cancers. Just like the doctors and nurses in the photo, they have saved my life.
Team in Training is celebrating 25 years of supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has helped to raise more than $875 million for research. I have to believe, that with every dollar raised and with every study funded that we are getting ever closer. Closer to a day when no one has to sit in that chair or hear the words, “You have cancer.” I have to believe, and I have to continue fighting, because the alternative is not one I can face.
So please consider making a donation to this amazing organization and to being there in spirit as I, and all my teammates, hear the words from Mike Reilly, “You are an Ironman.” http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/cdairon13/anabel