While I was off playing Ironman for the better part of the past year…. Teens Living With Cancer has kept on keeping on. The Duel in the Pool bonanza has passed. The media has retreated. Our teens are still living with cancer every single day. Some of the kids have lost their battle. Some have been granted remission, hopefully forever but always…. always will look over their shoulders.
A chapter of Teens Living With Cancer has opened in Buffalo, teens there are getting the support they are needing. They ran a TLC Fit program as did we this past year. Researcher Katie got her grant to continue to study the effects of fitness programming on post chemotherapy teenagers. It is NOT the same as adults. It’s a whole heck of a loot trickier than that.
Last week the teens went on a retreat to the Adirondacks where they climbed a mountain. Some of those teens still have chemo treatments left, and they climbed a mountain. What did you do last week?
We do have something exciting on the horizon as well. The first annual Bandana Bolt TLC 5K race will be held on Sunday October 13th, right here in Seneca Park! You can register by clicking here. The course will loop through Zoo road twice and then loop Trout Lake to the finish! There is also a 1 mile Fitness walk and Family Fun Run.
Instead of a T shirt you will get an original bandana designed by Mark Sengbusch, a NYC artist. And the brother of Melissa. You haven’t forgotten about Melissa have you? She is how Melissa’s Living Legacy / Teens Living With Cancer came to be. Her passing gave birth to all of this. That my friends….. IS a legacy.
Of course there are post race refreshments, awards to the top three in each 5 year age group. There are prizes for those who choose to donate and make the highest donation. Raffle prizes. Etc.
The entry fee is easy: $15 for students, $20 for the rest of us if you register by Oct 1st, and $25 after Oct 1st. Heck, raise $100 and we will toss in your race entry for free. Click here to register online. You can also swing by Medved and pick up a registration form there!
Donate, raise money or just pay the entry fee to come and race. You will be making a GIANT difference in the lives of our teens.
You can also become a sponsor of our race with one of the following options:
- An in-kind donation of the value of your choice.
- Mile marker sponsor $150: gets you a free race entry and signage with your name and logo, and your name goes on the website.
- Victory mile sponsor: $250: gets you 2 free entries, signage with name and logo and your name goes on the website.
- Finish line sponsor: $500: gets you four entries, all of the above and you can advertise in our swag bag!
- Starting line sponsor: $1,000. Six entries, all of the above, name on our t shirt, and a banner at the starting line!
- Champion sponsor: $3,500: eight entries, all of the above, bandana, t-shirt, banner at the starting line, and more!
If you are interested in any of the above please contact Lauren at 585.563.6221!
To me, this is an easy one. We are athletes. All we have to do is another 5K. $20 and run 3.1 miles. How easy is that?
While I have been out playing Ironman I have thought about these Teens a lot. Some of the teens from the Duel in the Pool have left for college. Some for their second year. Some have passed away. The journey their lives have taken them on is far more difficult than the luxury of completing 140.6 miles. Eight times over like I have. It’s no secret that I struggle with the selfishness of Ironman in my life. It’s not the distance or the event…… it’s where it can possibly lead us.
It is really easy to get so wrapped up in the lifestyle of it that we forget the real world. These teens are my real world. When I even consider to say I am tired I think about what they have endured in their young lives. Battles far more fatiguing and horrifying than I could ever possibly imagine. Much worse than a measly 6 hour ride.
Through the years I have had the incredible fortune of having a platform to stand on through this sport. It’s given me so so much. There are things that we as human beings ….. things that I feel we owe the world and the life that has treated us so well. It’s up to us to give back. It’s up to us to give to the world. It’s up to us, especially as healthy athletes…. to reach out our hands and help those who don’t have everything that we do.
These teens go to their proms with wigs and prosthetic limbs, if they get to go to their prom at all. While we are out debating Ironman entry fees and wheel sets, their families are wondering how they can afford the co pay to the most recent MRI. Parents try to work to retain benefits while their teens sit in hospital rooms getting doses of chemo that would kill you or I.
They do it with hope and fight in their hearts.
And I got athletes telling me how difficult their lives are. I don’t care what any of us are “going through”. I really don’t care.
WE. DON’T. KNOW. HARD. We do NOT know hard.
All we gotta do is run my friends. That’s all. And that’s easy for us. So please join me on Sunday October 13th for a 5K in Seneca Park. Meet the teens who make my world turn and feel good about the fact that just by being an athlete…. you can make a difference.