Tuesday, January 13, 2015

26 Reasons to Run - Reason #14

Every season, each Team has special "honoured" teammate... an individual who is in treatment, or has completed treatment for a blood cancer. They help participants who don't have personal connection to the LLS mission to feel that there is a specific someone that they are training for. This is our current team honoured teammate, Kristen...

And this is her story:

My name is Kristen B, I am a 9th grade biology teacher and cross country coach in Fairfax County. In early December of 2013 I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) after less than a week of showing symptoms, including bruising and fatigue. I started on an oral chemotherapy the day after diagnosis and two more intravenous chemos the day after that. I was in the ICU for the first week because I needed blood transfusions almost 24/7 and was at risk for spontaneous bleeding in my brain. My blood was so out of whack that my doctors didn’t think I would make it through that week. Later they told me the only reason I survived was because of my positive attitude and because I was in great shape before this happened.

 I ended up spending a month in the hospital, including Christmas and New Year’s, and then found out in January that I was in remission. To “consolidate” our results from the first round of chemo we did two more rounds which put me in the hospital for 2 weeks and 4 weeks, respectively. I had plenty of complications along the way but was released from the hospital for the last time in late April. I am now on maintenance chemo to help me stay in remission and I am back to teaching and coaching! I still try to stay positive in the face of challenges and hope to pass that lesson on to my students and runners.

Thank you all for taking on the challenge of simultaneously training, fundraising, and raising awareness to put an end to blood cancers.  I am excited to be your “Honored Teammate” this season, and I wish you all luck on your TNT journey. 

Go Team!

Mile #14, I will be running in support of Kristin.

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