I wanted to post Lisa Petrides story and could not say it any better than she did in a recent email, so I am just going to publish it as is! I am proud to be a friend to this dynamic Coastsider woman!
As you may have heard, I have recently made a commitment to complete a triathlon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s efforts to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their support networks of family, friends, and caregivers.
I am joining the tens of thousands of people who participate each year in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), which provides phenomenal professional coaching and training for this and other endurance events. In return for this training, I am committed to raising $10,000. With your help I know I can easily reach this goal.
Back in January, when I was seriously contemplating whether or not I could find the time, energy, and inner drive to just jump in and go for it, I wrote in my Facebook account (yes, you can all find me there!): “Lisa is wondering if she really is crazy enough to sign up for a triathlon.” Within the hour, I had received numerous postings of support and encouragement, one my favorite postings being from one of my staff members at ISKME who said: “Keri knows her boss is crazy. Go for it!”
That unconditional support as well as my own deeply personal experience with the diseases that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society seeks to cure compelled me to act. I’m participating in this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers; however, my own personal story involves three amazing women. One of my best friends, Lisa Hixson, succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over five years ago. Her company, Adventurous Spirit, among other things, used to take groups to Hawaii to swim with the wild dolphins in Kealakekua Bay. At the time of her death, she was trying to start a program to take school-age gang members to swim with the dolphins as a way to provide a transformative experience for them. Another dear friend and mentor, Linda Powell, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma shortly after we both left Columbia University. Among many lessons she taught me, her message of not giving up on living the life you dream for is still a beacon for me today. Happily, after participating in two stem cell transplant clinical trials, she is cancer free. Lastly, my mother was recently diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a pre-leukemic blood disease for which the Society is also fighting for a cure. It doesn’t get any more personal than this.
As you might have figured out by now, I felt like I simply didn’t have a choice but to participate! This is why I am here now asking for your support. Please join me in supporting this important cause. You can make an online donation easily and securely at: http://www.active.com/donate/tntsvmb/tntsvmbLPetrid. You will receive email confirmation of your donation (which is tax-deductible) and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. Alternatively, you can send a check or money order made out to the “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” to: Lisa Petrides, 323 Harvard Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA, 94019.
And for those of you who are able to make the trip, please consider coming out to California to cheer me on at the Wildflower Triathlon in Monterey County on May 4, 2008 where I will complete the Olympic distance event (roughly, a 1-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.5-mile run, in very hilly terrain!)
I thank you in advance for your support and generosity.