Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have spent the last year trying not to think much about my cancer journey. I just wanted it to be something that happened to me in the past, a little blip on the radar of my life, which has enough big blips without any help from cancer, thank you very much. While I have spoken at a few Team in Training events as a survivor, I have done no active fundraising for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in part because I just didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to be a cancer patient. I didn’t even want to think of myself as a survivor. I just wanted it to be in the past.

But then I got the results of my first post-treatment PET scan. One year after finishing my treatment, the PET scan showed that I am still cancer-free. Four more years of scans like that, and I will be considered cured.

And here’s the thing. There’s a reason that I can practically treat my cancer like I had a long, bad case of the flu. There’s a reason why my treatment was so straightforward and cut-and-dry. There’s a reason why Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the truly curable cancers. There’s a reason why I now get to look forward to a long and lovely life with my husband and kids, both living and gone.

The reason is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and in particular, Team in Training, whose participants alone have raised over $1.4 billion for blood cancer research and patient support in the past 25 years.

So in honor of my one-year no-cancerversary, I’m embarking on a new adventure with Team in Training. I’m going to train for my first half-marathon, the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh race, on April 13, 2014. And I’ve pledged to TNT that I will raise $15,000 for LLS, either on my own or through a team. And while I am pretty sure I could probably raise $15K on my own, experience tells me that it will be a whole lot more fun and much more special if I do it with a team.

So here I am again. Asking you to train with me. Join TEAM STRONGER. Maybe you have always wanted to train for a marathon or a half-marathon. Or maybe you are already a runner, and this is a great opportunity for you to put your habit to excellent use. Or maybe you have no intention of ever running 13.1 or 26.2 miles, but you think you could probably walk that far to raise money for blood cancer research and patient support.

Whatever your reason, I hope you’ll join me. You can join me if you live nearby, and you can join me if you live far away. If you live in a place where there is a Team in Training chapter, you can train with that chapter but still race with me here in Raleigh. Or if you live in a place where there is no Team in Training chapter, you can take advantage of the “flex” option, where you get all the training schedules, etc., but train on your own and race with me. As a friends and family team, we will also have access to some cool perks, like our own jerseys for race day and special coaching sessions geared towards topics that we are particularly interested in.

All TNT will ask you to do is raise $1200 and cross the finish line, and TNT and I promise you that we will do everything we can to help you do both.

If you are game, then you can register here right now. Just click the link, then choose “Join a Corporate or Friends an Family Team.” On the next page, choose to search by “Team Name” and then enter “TEAM STRONGER.” And then you’ll be on your way. Use the code GOTEAMNC to register for only $25 (which will be applied to your fundraising minimum).

Please let me know if you decide to join the team (so we can make sure you are added to the team page).  And if you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at mhitchcock at alumni dot unc dot edu.

And if you just cannot fathom doing something crazy like this, you can always give your money!  You can donate to our team here.

Let’s all be EVEN STRONGER.

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