Kick-Off to Team In Training

Lindsey Rabinowitz of LLS leads the participants, coaches, captains, mentors, honored teammates - in a "Go Team!!" cheer

Today was the “Team in Training Los Angeles – Summer 2011 Season Kickoff” event held at the Culver City Veterans Memorial Center.

This being my very first time doing Team In Training everything is new and I have no idea what to expect. At the event are representatives from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, people who manage the Team In Training program and the volunteer Coaches, Captains, Mentors and others who all support the hundreds of people (me included) who have committed to months of training and fundraising for numerous different endurance events.

The LA fundraising goal is $1.5M – and at the event kickoff the total raised so far was announced at over $50,000.   Thanks to all my friends and family for your support we contributed $875 to that total.

As the ultimate purpose of this whole endeavor is about saving lives the most precious part of the event for me happened when a local “honored teammate”, Phyllis Bubar, shared her personal story of treatment for Lymphoma. Just days before she received her diagnosis for Lymphoma (in 2004) a close friend had taken on walking a half marathon – and she shared how all the amazing “purple people” she had met during the race had supported her and helped her finish. It turns out the “purple people” are the hundreds of participants in the race from the Team In Training program. Since that time Phyllis has been receiving treatment for her cancer and is doing very well as a result.

Phyllis then said something that really put into perspective what it is like for her to look out and see the participants of Team In Training in the audience.

“I did not have a choice with my cancer… when I was diagnosed that was my new ‘norm’… however you all made a choice to do the training and do the fundraising to make a difference in my treatment.. in my life”

(I am paraphrasing… this isn’t exactly what Phyllis said… but you get the idea)

I was very moved to receive the unexpected acknowledgement from Phyllis.   Thank you Phyllis!!

Of course the other aspect of the event was meeting my fellow participants in the San Gabriel Valley Team In Training group.   I can wait to get to know everyone – as I know we will – over the coming months.

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