Thursday, January 15, 2009

My feeble attempt at making a difference

May be I got carried away by all the messages of 'Hope', 'Change' and 'Yes we can'; may be I got so tired of the mundane routines in my life; may be I was trying to fill the time I used to spend at MBA; or may be I was actually trying to do something meaningful. I don't know which one it is. But the reality is that I found myself sitting at one of the information sessions hosted by Team in Training (TNT).

When I went in, my goal was purely a self-centered one - to run a marathon and checklist one of the items in my 'Bucket list'. I tried once on my own but given my proclivity towards procrastination and given the demands at work and at personal life (ahem!, here comes the excuse), I did not have any motivation to stick to the rigors of training. So, following the advice from one of my colleagues, I decided to go through a systematic training program and get this checklist done with. I did not know what TNT was. I got that info and much more in the information session.

The TNT program is the world's largest and most comprehensive endurance training program. More than 5% of all people who run a marathon do it through TNT. One of their goals is to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles. But I came to know in the information session that it was only one of their goals and that their mission was larger than such mundane things as helping people to cross the finish line (which indeed is still a big deal for me!).

In 1988 Bruce Cleland's 2-year old daughter, Georgia, had leukemia. He organized a team that raised $320, 000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), while training to run the NYC Marathon and TNT was born. Today, Georgia is a healthy and happy young woman and TNT prepares people all across the country (even complete novices such as yours truly) to run or walk marathons, cycle 100-mile bike rides and compete in triathlons. I chose to do the Seattle full marathon in June 2009.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The society is one of the leading voluntary healthcare agencies, with ~75% of expenditures going to support the mission. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. An LLS-funded researcher developed Gleevec, a pill for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Now, 95 percent of newly diagnosed, chronic-phase CML patients survive more than five years with a good quality oif life. LLS also offers support groups, financial aid, co-pay assistance, information and advocacy programs for patients and their families.

After hearing from one of the honorees (a survivor of leukemia), I decided to make myself part of this program and raise $4,000 for the cause. I wanted to do one 'meaningful' deed before Shivani gets to 1. And here's my feeble attempt at it. I trust the coaches in TNT know what they are talking about. I trust their experience in crossing the marathon line. More importantly, I trust my friends to help me cross the fundraising goal for LLS.

Peace out,

No comments:

Post a Comment