Today I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Silent Mile – a special event that brought together the Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Richmond teams – to commemorate the many honored heroes that are the reason we train, fundraise and do what we can to fight blood cancers. The event was held right outside of Richmond and we met when it was still dark – I had to leave Charlottesville around 5:30 AM – but it was definitely more than worth the trip over.
Each of us have our stories (my personal honored hero is Austin Hunter Monk) and today, we were given the chance to share these. It was extremely emotional to learn of the tragically close connection to leukemia and lymphoma that so many live with – which included fellow teammates themselves, as well as spouses and close family members.
I really should have brought tissues.
This teammate* above shared her personal experience with blood cancer – she was diagnosed at 7 months pregnant. She is now celebrating the fact that she and her child (that just celebrated their 18th birthday!) made it, are still healthy!
Another story that really stood out to me was one shared by a fellow Shamrock Marathon participant* – she was diagnosed at a very young age and had the very chilling experience of having to write her will at age 13…but she’s here today! And she is fighting to ensure that nobody else has to go through what she did.
These are but two of the stories that fueled me through the one mile we ran immediately following the opening session. After that, depending on distance, we grouped up for an hour run – returning just in time for a breakfast potluck.
Today reminded me once again why I am doing this and I am proud to be a part of this team! Thank you, TNT Virginia, for giving me this opportunity – it’s not only changed my life; it hopefully can save some, too.
(*Names have been omited for privacy purposes)