Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Starting My 2011 Honoree List

It will be a while yet before I sign up for Team in Training. I am thinking that in 2011, I will do the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco this coming October - although that may change. Running, walking, and crawling 26.2 miles may sound tough, and it is. But it pales in comparison to what cancer patients go through every single day. If you want a couple of my takes on comparing a marathon with chemotherapy, you can read here, or here. But trust me – cancer is tougher. Much tougher. Even though I am not formally signed up with the Team, emotionally, I am there, because I can’t help but think of all the people I know personally struggling with cancer as I write these words. I was up half of last night thinking about my sister, for example. So as 2011 gets underway, I wanted to start an honoree list with the names of several people who have died recently of cancer, and of 11 people I know who are fighting cancer right now. Every one of these people, and so many others I hear of, is a vivid reminder to me of how lucky I am to not just be a survivor but healthy again as well, and how we must be relentless in our attack on cancers. As time goes on, I will add many names to my list and, ultimately, to my race shirt for my next TNT event. But for now, here is the start of my list. Tragically, since I first wrote this post on 1/4/2011, one of my special honorees, Judy, passed away, and is much grieved by family and friends. And one more of these, Lanie Evans, passed away just three weeks after Judy did. In Memory of: Jennifer Willey – died in November at age 31 from Hodgkin lymphoma Judy Zettel – our dear friend, who died 1/9/11 from multiple myeloma, just four weeks after diagnosis Lanie Evans – died January 26 from Glioblastoma multiforma (very agressive brain cancer) at just age 40 Maurice “BJ” Beck – died in 2009 at age 16 from acute myelogenous leukemia Stephen Hauck – died in September from acute myelogenous leukemia In Honor of: Ann Ritter - my beloved sister, battling advanced metastatic breast cancer after four years Danny McGowan - my brother-in-laws brother, fighting cancer of the throat. Dayton Richmond – battling multiple myeloma, diagnosed around August Denver Bridwell – age 24, recovering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia after four years, including two hip replacements Ed Stone – 21 years after surviving leukemia, currently undergoing treatment for the fourth time for melanoma Elayne Minich – battling metastatic breast cancer after 12 years Gary Adams - terminal leukemia and colon cancer John Hunnicutt – recovering from surgery for recent prostate cancer Laura Kitchens - friend of a friend, breast cancer survivor, currently fighting leukemia with a bone marrow transplant scheduled for January 25 Paul Zamecnik – battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia that became active in October after years of inactivity Robin Yoder – 30 years after surviving osteosarcoma, battling bone cancer following mid-thigh amputation of right leg this past August

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