Monday, January 26, 2009

having only just dipped my toe in to test the waters...

... it turns out that even us newbies can feel the impact of what we do.

I have been involved with Team in Training for about a month and a half. During the early weeks, when the staff were trying to get us really motivated and inspired, people whose lives had been personally affected by Leukemia/Lymphoma/Myeloma came in to speak to us about the impact that the LLS had on their experiences with blood cancer.

In spite of my enthusiasm for the running aspect, I have been struggling with the fundraising (as you may have noted from earlier blogs)... I find it hard to ask people for money. However, as Jenny reminded me a week or so ago... it isn't as though I am asking for money for me. I am asking for money on behalf of people who are fighting to stay alive.

And so I have turned a corner in my fundraising efforts. I'm working harder. I'm pushing myself beyond feeling shy and awkward, and asking people for their support. And it is working. That's been a hard lesson for me.

But that is not what I wanted to write about...

I spent four hours standing in front of a grocery store yesterday, asking people for money. I had my signs out, my donation jar, my plates of cupcakes and Team in Training waterbottles and such... Lots of people walked by with their heads down, avoiding eye contact. But lots of people stopped to talk, to tell me they thought what I was doing was a good thing, to put money in my donations jar... But the best part, for me, was when a couple of times people stopped to say thank you.

A young man with broken english stopped to say that his father had been diagnosed with leukemia a year ago, that he was undergoing chemotherapy, and that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had been a great support to his family. Then he made a donation.

And a father with his 12 year old (or there abouts) daughter stopped on their way out of the store. She said something along the lines of "cool! cupcakes... can i have one?" And he said "thank you" as he dropped some money into my jar. She asked if she could have another, and he told me that she had been diagnosed with leukemia 2 years before, and that they wouldn't have made it through without the support of the LLS.

Her response... "Dad! Does the whole world have to know that I had leukemia?! Why did you tell her that? I'm telling Mom on you!"

And that made four hours of standing out in the cold, feeling like a dork, totally worth while.


  1. Yes, the whole world needs to know because he's sooo damned proud of her.

    And the whole world needs to know what you're doing as well because we're sooo damned proud of YOU :o)