Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PEDIATRIC RESEARCH NEWS: Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act



Earlier this month, the House passed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act which would increase funding for childhood disease research, including childhood cancer. This bill has been renamed after 10-year-old Gabriella Miller, a patient who lost her battle with a brain tumor in October. In her honor, groups from across the country are trying to increase funding for pediatric disease research – and it's working! 
This bill got strong bi-partisan support in the House. As it faces a potential vote in the Senate, we need every advocate to stand together in memory of Gabriella and in support of kids across the country who are fighting cancer and other childhood diseases.
This bill will reassign money from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to expand pediatric disease research. Instead of paying for massive political party conventions, this much-needed funding will be redirected toward a 10-year study at the National Institutes of Health where it will be used to support research and improve treatments for childhood cancer, diabetes, and many other pediatric diseases – all without costing taxpayers a penny more.
Since the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was founded in 1949, survival rates for different blood cancers have doubled… tripled… and in some cases, even quadrupled! This is the result of innovative research – including studies that were funded by supporters like you – and it's proof that these efforts are working.
Imagine what a difference this new research could make for children and their families across the country. And if we can get this bill onto the President's desk, it can become a life-changing reality – but first we need the support of your Senators, now!
Thank you again for speaking up for kids with cancer!
(written by Scott Riccio, Office of Public Policy for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Road to Ironman Cozumel


I have started this blog post at least five times in the past half hour...I have so much I want to say to Will before we head to Ironman Cozumel.  YET nothing comes out right or it doesn't come out at all because I'm afraid I might say the wrong thing.  We leave Friday morning and the event will take place on Sunday, December 1.

I'm almost giddy, like a kid on christmas day, just to simply be at the event but knowing my husband is racing in it...puts a whole different edge on it.  I'm hopeful, excited, confident in his ability and nervous all rolled into one...and those are my emotions...I can only imagine his!!  The only thing he has said this week is, "thinking of this event consumes me...consumes my entire day, every thought, every minute...I can barely think of anything else."

This morning I watched the special of the GoPro Ironman Championship in Kona.  I sat in amazement for 90 minutes...to see pro-athletes pushing their bodies to the brink is absolutely incredible. But then to see everyone else...that really grabs your attention and it is SO inspiring.  What makes someone want to complete a 140.6 mile event?  I think for most people it is a sheer test of will. But in actuality, there's a story behind each one of those Ironman finishers!

What I'm asking today is that our friends & family post a message, prayer or even inspiring quote to Will on this BLOG in the comments section below...he doesn't check it often so I can show it to him Saturday night and let him read all the posts before the event.

  
If you want to track Will on Sunday you can by visiting the Ironman Athlete Tracker. His Bib #141.  I will also do my best to update facebook periodically throughout the day.  

Love & Thanks!



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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bacons for a Cause has HEART & SOLE!


Bacons for a Cause is back FUNDRAISING!!!  But I've got two of my closest friends and we've formed a team called Heart & Sole! Myself, Robin Strong & Jessica Watkins are determined to combine efforts to save lives and run the Nike DC Half Marathon on April 27, 2014!

Due to Robin having her first baby, my disc herniation & neck surgery  and Jessica having a third baby...each of us had to take some time off from training and fundraising but come this Spring season we are back and to help make us stronger we formed Heart & Sole.

What is so cool about this season is that Will (my husband) is coaching! Robin is the Team Captain and Jessica is a mentor (crazy pregnant and due in January)!

The name is simple yet the meaning huge...and nothing sums it up better than this:
"When our legs can't run anymore, we run with our hearts."

Our goal is to raise $8,700, but we need your help! Every single dollar helps...it not only puts a smile on our face because it shows your support but it truly makes a difference in those fighting blood cancer or any cancer for that matter. It's natural for all of us to only pay attention to the cancer that's impacted us or a family member...but we ask, what about a cancer that primarily targets our children? And as mothers we are passionate about that!

We're all after the same thing: a CURE! Since none of us knows where the next breakthrough will come from or what society/organization will find it or how it can affect the cancer we care about...we are putting our funds and OUR HEARTS into the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training and we're asking you to do the same!

>>>See that DONATE BUTTON to the right...click it now and make a donation!

We aren't new at this and honestly we won't stop until there is a CURE!Together we are raising funds to help find cures & more effective treatment for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.

Don't forget to come back and follow our training & progress here on the blog!

From our hearts to the soles of our running shoes....THANK YOU!
Dianna, Robin & Jessica


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

IM Austin 70.3...2 of 3 check!


For those that follow me on FB you probably saw that Will finished his first official Ironman Event...Ironman Austin 70.3 this past weekend.  You might have also saw my Day 8 Thankful post which stated this: "Today I am thankful that God has blessed me with the best teammate and partner for life.  We have built a marriage and family together that allows ALL of us to accomplish not only our goals as a family but as individuals...and today Will accomplished a remarkable goal."

He completed a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run -- YES I mean in the same day without stopping for those that might not be familiar with triathlon events.  As I said this was his first official Ironman event and it was nothing less than exciting.  Our dear friends, Robin & Ken, joined us to help support Will but also be there for since my surgery was just three weeks ago.  Ken, Robin and I were able to watch the pro athletes come into the finish line.  The overall male winner came in at 3:48:49 and that isn't the time of day that means he finished 70.3 miles in 3 hours and 48 minutes and 49 seconds.  It was a pretty cool finish to watch.  You might be wondering why we were at the finish line and not watching Will...but he was zooming along on the bike course which we weren't able to get too.


This is triathlon event 2 of 3 in the grand scheme of training.  The next event for Will is BIG...it is Ironman Cozumel which is a full ironman distance - 2.4 mile swim, 110 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. Will will be racing with a friend, Nate, who also works for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program.  Nate is training and fundraising in memory of his Mom and Aunt Peggy and I encourage you to visit his page to read more about him and his journey.  He has an incredible story that inspires me every time I read it!


Will isn't fundraising for these events like Nate but his inspiration is never far from him...you can see in the photo above on his left wrist are two bracelets - his orange Keeping Georgia on Your Mind bracelet in honor or Georgia and his green GFORCE bracelet in honor of Grayson.  Georgia just celebrated 18.5 months OFF treatment. Grayson is in still in the maintenance phase and his treatment plan will end in February 2015.  

In the end it was a full day filled with so many emotions.  I couldn't have been more proud to see him running into the finishing chute...smiling!  And as much as I love that photo (which I posted on FB) I had to post this one because he's gotta show off that medal - he earned it!  Continue to wish him luck...32 days to Cozumel.




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Monday, October 21, 2013

Kerrville 1 of 3...check!

This post is a little late...who am I kidding...a month late!  But I have a good excuse...my ACDF surgery was done on October 7 and I'm recovering...slowly, but I'm thankful its over and I'm even more thankful for the support of my family and friends!

But more important is congratulating Will and the entire Team in Training FALL Triathlon season as they completed the Kerrville Quarter & Half Distance event on September 29. If you recall I was on this team until I learned about I would require surgery...so I lived in via Will : )

The weekend was quick but fun...as always we had a great time supporting our TNT athletes while also honoring those that have fought blood cancer.  This team had a rather large group of individuals called Bennett's Buddies - who trained in honor of a 3 year old little boy named Bennett. I had met Bennett's parents, Kirsa and Keith last year but was able to meet the rest of their team in Kerrville and we all had a good time. Bennett was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in April of 2011 when he was 13 months old.   He is now two years into a three and a half year chemotherapy treatment that is extremely hard on his little body.  In addition to chemotherapy, he has received 16 blood transfusions, as well as numerous spinal taps and bone marrow tests.  Through it all, he has remained a courageous, strong, and resilient little boy, who has learned to walk and talk, all while fighting cancer.   Bennett's parents, who both completed the Quarter Distance, started participating in TNT events only 4 months after his diagnosis, and plan to continue their dedication to helping find a cure!  Below is a photo of most of the team below...the orange shirts are Bennett's Buddies. Bennett's Buddies raised over $70,000 as a team.

Bennett, Honored Hero

Fall Triathlon Team - Kerrville 2013

Will had a great race...he felt good and finished strong.  This was a training event helping him prepare for Austin Ironman 70.3 this coming weekend and ultimately Ironman Cozumel 140.6 in December.  I can't even begin to tell you the hours he has put in swimming, cycling and running over the past several months.  It is grueling and inspiring all rolled into one! The hours of training has definitely been a challenge for Will as a father and husband.  Balancing his time has been difficult and it doesn't come without some unwanted side effects like missing one of the kid's games or simply feeling like he is missing out on what the three of us are doing on a Sunday morning (even if that's just hanging in our PJs) but this is what we do...we train to keep our bodies and our minds strong...and we fundraise to find a cure for cancer....AND our kids know that!  And along that note... our daughter entered the Believe. Dream. Inspire. Reflections art contest at school...she is pretty artistic.  I knew she would come up with something beautiful. Little did I know it would be so simple yet powerful...this is what she decided to enter.  It isn't fancy and it might not come close to winning...but we are beyond proud (and blessed) that our actions and words are flowing into her heart. 


I've got one specific person to congratulate and that is our dear friend, Robert.  Robert and I actually completed Tahoe Century together in 2000 (that was my first TNT event).  Robert was also on the Captex Triathlon team in May of last year where Robert and I both earned our Triple Crowns.  Kerrville earned Robert his 2nd Triple Crown with Team in Training...that means he has fundraised and completed two full marathons, two century rides and two triathlon events. Way to go Robert!

Will & Robert at the start of the race.
This is my FAVORITE photo of the entire weekend...Will coming into the finish line! I can't wait to snap this same photo in Austin and Cozumel...get ready because here come the Bacons!




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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Bacons Want YOU!


It has been over four months since I've last trained...while at times it has been nice not to wake up at 4:45 am to hit the pavement or spin class...I've also missed my workouts terribly. The bad news is I still have another 2-3 months off...but the good news is when I'm ready to come back Will (my husband) will be the coach of the Spring North Cities Run/Walk Marathon team - so how exciting is that?! 

Speaking of Will...his training has been jammed back...two-a-day workouts consisting of running, cycling, swimming and strength training.  This weekend he will be with the North Texas Triathlon team participating in the Kerrville quarter and half distance triathlons.  Come late October he will be completing his first official Ironman event - the Longhorn Ironman 70.3 in Austin which will lead him right up to Ironman Cozumel 140.6 in December...that's a full IM event (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run).  It's a daunting task to train & complete that type of endurance event working full time and having two young children with endless activities on the weekends...at times it is hard to keep a good work/life balance but Will and I believe that all things fall into place as they should and with my time off this was the perfect time for him to achieve his Ironman goal. 


So back to what the original post was about...WE WANT YOU to join us for the Spring Run/Walk TEAM! Many of you have asked how to get involved with Team in Training or how to start running or train for a half marathon, well NOW IS THE TIME!  Team in Training is celebrating its 25th anniversary and in that 25 years over 570,000 participants have crossed the finish line helping LLS invest more than $875 million in blood cancer research. But the fight isn't over till we have a cure...and I do believe one day we will.

It's natural for all of us to only pay attention to the cancer that's impacted us or a family member and with October days away every store will be covered in pink...but I ask what about a cancer that primarily targets our children?  What about pediatric cancers as a whole who receive so little funding?  The fact is; we're all after the same thing: a CURE! Since none of us knows where the next breakthrough will come from or what society/organization will find it or how it can affect the cancer we care about...I'm putting my funds and my heart into the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I'm asking you to do the same!  The scientists LLS funds are proving that a cure can be found...and you can see that in this video.


THE FACTS:  

  • Collectively, the blood cancers — leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma — account for 9.5 percent of all cancers deaths, making them the second most common cause of cancer death, behind only lung cancer. Collectively, they also account for 9 percent of all new diagnoses in the U.S., making them the fourth most commonly occurring cancers behind lung, prostate and breast cancer.
  • More than a million adults in the U.S. are living with a blood cancer. The incidence of lymphoma has more than doubled since the 1970s. Scientists don't know why.
  • In children, leukemia and lymphoma account for nearly half of all childhood cancers. 

The Spring season is training for 2 HALF MARATHONS (season begins November 16):

1. Dallas Rock and Roll Half Marathon - Sunday, March 23 (fundraising $1700)

2. Nike DC Half Marathon - late April official date not released yet (fundraising $2900)

What does your fundraising cover...first and foremost you will be guided through a comprehensive 4-6 month training program that will help you reach that finish line - walking, running or a combination of both. You will receive a training jersey and a race day jersey as well as your entry into the event.  The DC event also includes your hotel stay while in DC (airfare is not included). Throughout your experience you will gain friendships and confidence and more important you will know that you have a made a difference in the lives of those affected by blood cancers or any cancer for that matter because drugs funded by LLS are now used to treatment many other types of cancer and diseases. 

You are invited to come to an information meeting and/or try out a training.  The info meetings are spread around the metroplex so you can attend one up North or closer to your work or you can simply give us a call or email and we'd be happy to explain more.  

We would be STOKED to have you on the TEAM!  I've said it before...you will not regret the decision to be a part of Team in Training and help support & fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.   





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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One Love for 80

"On planet Earth, we only have one real purpose: To learn how to love. And then one day when our spirit is ready, our future selves are in heaven, and all we do is fly and love. God told me that."
-- Aidan Vance Peterson
(these words were spoken by Aidan to his mother & she shared them with us at his service)

Today I attended the memorial service for Aidan Vance Peterson also known as 80.  A valiant cancer warrior who was granted his angel wings last week on August 11.  Aidan was 6 years old...just 10 days shy of his 7th birthday.  I did not personally know Aidan but he is a local Team in Training honored hero and we have a mutual friend, Andy, who became close with the family.  I've followed Aidan's journey for the past 9 months.  He has a FB page which is called One Love for 80.

A very brief history...Aidan's journey with cancer started at 18 months old when he was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia). He endured 3 years of treatment and was declared in remission; however, in January of this year he developed AML (acute myeloid leukemia). AML is a much more aggressive leukemia and requires a bone marrow transplant.  Aidan with the help of his family became a huge supporter of bone marrow donation while they were trying to find a match for him.  I've posted several times before about the importance of becoming a donor and if you haven't please consider becoming a donor. You can visit Be the Match or Delete Blood Cancer.  Both organizations feed into the same donor database but Delete Blood Cancer was a big supporter of Aidan during his search.

After numerous drives...Aidan's donor was found and he received his transplant on June 13.  The transplant was a success and the engraftment was 100%; however, he developed a bad lung infection.  I must note that because of Aidan, 6 other matches were made, and two of them have gone to collection (actual transplants). That is Aidan helping save other lives while he was fighting for his own...amazing!

I took away so much today from the memorial service.  Aidan's mother spoke about Aidan and shared some heartwarming stories.  One that touched me was that Aidan never considered himself sick - "he was well" - it was his cells that were sick...and in the end it wasn't Aidan that was sick - it was very sick lungs.

I don't know how to put into words why following Aidan's journey has touched my life so much.  I've been a part of Team in Training since 2000 and more heavily involved since 2009 and especially this past year.  I serve as Chair of the Mission Task Force for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so I work directly with trying to connect our honored heroes to our mission and raising awareness anyway we can.  I say that because I hear stories of triumph and defeat by all forms of blood cancer regularly...but Aidan's journey personally touched me. Maybe because he is the exact age of my daughter and I have son just a year younger as well.

Aidan and his mom on Mother's Day 2013
But mostly I think it was because his mother choose to share her only son with us...she shared the good and the bad.  She shared what it was like to be the mother of a child fighting for his life and she did it with faith and grace like no one I've known.  She has put so much into perspective for me in the past couple months and has made me want to be the best mom I can be.  On Mother's Day she posted and at the end she addressed moms of angel children, moms of sick kids and moms of healthy kids...I'm blessed to fall into the last category and I take to heart what advice she gave, "try not to sweat the small stuff. And don't kick yourself too hard when you do. We're all human. We're all moms. Today is a day to celebrate with gratitude the blessings that are our children."   I want to do my best to live that advice EVERY DAY.  Thank you Candice from the bottom of my heart for sharing Aidan and teaching me more about love and faith.


To all my friends that prayed for Aidan and his family and shared his story or released a virtual orange balloon today...it meant so much to his family especially to see complete strangers painting their FB wall with an orange balloon or even going out to purchase one and release themselves.  I also wanted to share the link to CBS News - they were at the service.  And also a story by WFAA.

Balloon Release at 80's memorial service

If for any reason you'd like to make some small donation in Aidan's memory, I'd like to share Andy's Team in Training fundraising page.  He has ran several events in Aidan's memory and will be running the Rock & Roll New Orleans Marathon in his memory this coming February.

Andy & Aidan in February 2013

Last, I pray that God comforts Aidan's family in the days, weeks and months to come.  I pray that his mom receives the signs every so often that she told Aidan to send her from heaven. And I pray that we FIND A CURE so no child or family endures the heartache that cancer brings.



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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Bump in the Road


UPDATE 8/1/13: Surgery was reschedule to the first week of October.  Thank you to those that have emailed and text to see if I was ok...much love!

This post is definitely more personal than most...usually I focus on updates about honored heroes, training or events but this one just needed a little more explanation : )

I started running in July '09 after I received a Team in Training informational flyer in the mail. I was already a TNT alum but it had been several years since my last event or Will's for that matter -- and those were cycling events NOT running.  But I wanted to be a runner and I wanted to lose those dreaded 10lbs after having two babies.

The flyer offered Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay - basically get a team of 5 people together and each one runs a 4-6 mile leg and of course fundraise for LLS/TNT.  Fundraising has always been easy for me...but running not so much.  I had never run 1 mile without walking....but I thought (and hoped) I could surely train & run 5 miles.  Will jumped on board...he is the first to know that anything that gets me active & moving can only be a plus.  We also asked Allie to join the team as the event was 2 days before her 15th year in remission and what better way to celebrate than crossing a finish line together!  Finding two others proved difficult so as the season started in August - it was the 3 of us which meant I wasn't running 4-6 miles I would be running 10 miles.  That season was remarkable...truly the best TNT season I have ever been a part of.  Granted they are all awesome but that Winter '09 season was unforgettable! I met some of my dearest friends that season who remain by my side through all of life's ups and downs.

I'll bear you the details of the entire 4+ months of training or the actual event day...but that season & event is what sparked this blog...AND we haven't stopped training & fundraising since that Winter '09 season.  

Most recently I began training for a  half distance triathlon (70.3 miles of swimming, cycling and running). It is my BIG goal.  But last week there was a bump in the road.

I'm having to stop training and delay this TNT season.  The people who know me best know I've always had migraines since I was a teenager, but they have gotten worse in the past year. To the point that I was beginning to miss work.  Recently I went to get a second opinion from a new neurologist.  He sent me for two MRIs, EEG and a sleep study.  I received results last Tuesday that I have a 6mm disc herniation on C5/C6 and it is compressing my spinal cord and nerve. I was immediately sent to a neuro surgeon two days later for a consultation.



I honestly thought they would say do some PT and you are good to go...but the surgeon explained there are no options to remove it except surgery because of the compression.  PT or injections would only help relieve pain.  I could wait to have surgery until the pain worsens but surgery would be required at some point. Here was the kicker for me...it was recommended that I stop or limit my training.  The concern is that since its already compressing the cord if I was to get into an accident on my bike, fall running etc there could be permanent damage and even paralysis.  This is what I do...I train to help fight cancer...it is part of me and I honestly can't imagine my life without TNT.  

Will and I think the best option is surgery, so it is scheduled for early August after we go on our (already) scheduled family vacation. I definitely want to enjoy part of my summer with my kids and limit how they are going to be affected. 

Recovery is 12 weeks and hopefully after that I will be cleared to train again.  My account isn't a drop...but a transfer.  So as soon as I get clearance the majority of my funds that have been donated thus far will come back...hopefully Spring '13.  

I'll be starting from scratch...which is what makes me recall that Winter '09 season. But I know that my running partners will be there next to me -- I recently shared this below so they know who they are : )




I can't forget to mention that Will is still going to train for the Kerrville half distance.  He is actually the Team Captain and I can assist behind the scene (he loves that...ha!).  Captains and mentors have an option to not fundraise...he took that option as he just finished fundraising for his Wounded Warrior event which is this Sunday.  He has supported me through 5 marathons...always on the course to support me, so it is my time to do the same for him!  I can't wait to see him cross the finish line Sunday to complete his Triple Crown...and better yet in September after 70.3 miles!

GO TEAM!


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Big News, Bigger Event!



I know, I know...Will just finished fundraising for his half marathon and we are asking again for a donation...but here's why...we still don't have a cure! So until we do Will and I are going to keep doing events and keep fundraising! Plus it is the 25th anniversary of TEAM IN TRAINING!


However, this event is BIG...go big or go home, right?  

We are training for a HALF DISTANCE TRIATHLON. Ever heard of an Ironman event? Well this is a half ironman but not an ironman event (by name)...but it is the same distance. We will be swimming 1.2-miles, cycling 56-miles, and finishing it off with a half marathon (13.1-mile run) on September 29 at the Kerrville Triathlon.

Now doesn't that deserve a donation...that's a total of 70.3 miles!

As always we train and fundraise in honor of those who have fought the battle with cancer.

HONORED HERO SURVIVORS:

Allie - Allie is my niece and just turned 19. She is an 'ALL' survivor and will be celebrating 19 years of remission this December. She is in her first year of college and was named the Overall Honored Hero for North Texas.

Georgia - Georgia celebrated her 1-year off treatment this April 29. She is a true warrior who fought against 'ALL' and won. We have been blessed to know her and her family and have followed along on her journey.

Grayson - Grayson is completing kindergarden year this June after it being interrupted with his diagnosis in fall of 2011 with 'ALL'. He is currently in the maintainence phase of treatment and has two more years. His mom (Kalee) and are train together often.

Nory - Nory was diagnosed with 'CML' in February 2012 at the age of 2. I met her mom shortly after. Nory is currently taking medication to help with CML but she will require a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately her brother is a match.

James - "ALL" survivor...finished chemo summer 2011! I met James' parents in winter season '09. They were BOTH training for White Rock. James' story hit home to me on one of the coldest training days of that season. His parents were also on the winter '10 season and occassionally brought James and his twin brothers to train...it was awesome to have them on the course with us...always an inspiration!

Philip - "ALL" survivor...finished chemo summer 2011. I met Suzanne...Philip's mom on the winter '10 team. When I heard Philip's mission moment on September 18, 2010, my heart hurt but he's a one tough and strong boy. I am continuing amazed by him and his family.

Chad H. - Chad is a lymphoma survivor and interestingly enough the only adult on this page. Chad and his wife Christina have become good friends over the past year and half. Both are TNT alums and I ran my last event side-by-side with Chad who PRed that day -- nothing is more motivating then running next to a survivor!

HONORED HERO ANGELS:

In memory of...Griffin, Mavrick and Noah. All three boys who left this world way too young and too early. Each of their families regularly participate in TNT events.

Your donation is vital to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. We are improving the quality of our lives by participating in these events as well as showing our own children what it means to give and help others. But more important with YOUR SUPPORT we can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families! If you want to see what those funds do and how they save lives...watch this 3 minute video....you will be amazed!

Please make a donation by clicking here or the 70.3 image on right-side of page...in support of my efforts with Team In Training...the goal is $2500. Every dollar helps pave the way to a cure!

With love and gratitude for your continued support throughout the years!
-Dianna & Will


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beating Cancer to the Finish Line




Check out this AWESOME article on the website for Dallas Rock & Roll half marathon...then read below to see how we got there...Thanks for all the love & support!

March 24, 2013 marked the 4th annual Dallas Rock & Roll Half Marathon event...it was my 3rd time to run this half in Dallas and it has always been an INCREDIBLE race for me!  It was my PR course for over a year...my Garmin always locks up at the start (did again this year) and it is ALWAYS run with my closest running friends including a large group of TNT supporters. Last year Jessica coached the team and we ran in honor of Grayson and Noah.

This year was no exception...and proved to be even more special.  First I was asked to speak at the Inspiration Dinner on Saturday night for the North Texas TNT marathon teams.  This entails giving the mission moment which means sharing my story about Allie's diagnosis and our journey and involvement with TNT.

Allie & I -- NTX RnR 2013 Inspiration Dinner

Second, Competitor Group who runs & manages the Rock & Roll events is a supporter of Team in Training and asked if they could have a TNT alumni interviewed at the start line -- North Texas chapter asked Allie & I...what an honor! It was a COLD morning but we were surrounded by our TNT family -- thank you first to Will (my husband) for driving us down and dropping us at the start so we didn't have to wait around too long in the cold bitter wind...and then MUCH LOVE to Robin, Ken, Chad, Christina, Jessica, Tony, Coach Stephanie, Coach Joy & Kendall for hanging out at the stage and supporting us! GO TEAM!



This race was the first one back for Robin...who if you recall is my friend who I trained and ran MCM, Dallas and Chicago full marathons with.  She had to step away while she had her first baby (and boy is he a handsome little guy)...it was also her husband, Ken's first half - so we stayed together and Chad - a fellow TNT friend and lymphoma survivor ran with us too.  I have to say it was a great time...in the end Chad got the PR he has been training for and I was so happy & proud of him.  Robin had a PR and of course Ken had a PR : )



I can't forget to mention that Kalee, Grayson's mom, ran the event alongside Jessica & Tayla (two TNT alums) they were a couple minutes ahead of us and Kalee crushed her previous two half marathon times - third times the charm, right?!  For the past 6+ months we've been running or spinning together in the mornings...up at 4:30am three-four times per week and Grayson is still in treatment for leukemia - its maintenance phase so a lot of it is at home but still it is CHEMO  and she has three other kiddos to take care of and works full time.  I don't know how she and Lance do it sometimes or any other parents with children battling cancer.  So I'm officially giving Kalee the SUPERMOM AWARD! Looks alot like the GForce logo : )  Here's to one day Grayson & Kalee being featured in an article crossing a finish line together...like Allie and I!



In the end....I know the reason why I run isn't about time and PR's -- it is always about finding a CURE (by the way a PR is personal record -- best time).  There are races I run specifically for the CAUSE and races that sometimes I run for myself...to see improvement or to challenge myself.  Sometimes I need that...but I can tell you that 99% of the time my best times come on those races where there is a personal connection - a personal drive PUSHING ME TO THAT FINISH LINE!






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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Will's Way to the Triple Crown


Written by Will...

After taking a little time off after the Cap-Tex Triathlon, and after watching Dianna run a few more marathons, I realized that I missed being out on the course ---- so I am back for another new season, with a new team, and for a new event – THE WOUNDED WARRIOR Half-Marathon!

Ever since Dianna got me started with Team in Training, I have enjoyed training with the cycle, run, and triathlon teams….but this season, as a fund-raiser for the run team, I get an even better opportunity to earn the coveted TRIPLE CROWN! What this means is I will have fund-raised for, and completed, a cycle event, a triathlon, and a run event – all with Team in Training!! I have always said that I consider Event-Day to be the “Victory Lap” for all the hard work we put in during the training season. This season’s Victory Lap will be even that much sweeter given that it will be the Triple Crown event!

Additionally, I have the honor of contributing to 2 great causes this time around:

Of course I am training and fundraising in honor of Georgia, our honored hero and friend who lives in Austin. If you recall, Georgia was diagnosed on her 10th birthday in December of 2009. Georgia is now TEN months OFF TREATMENT - what awesome news is that?! She has had some signs of bone loss in her left ankle that they are monitoring closely which required her to wear a boot for some time but it hasn't slowed her down. Dianna was able to see her in February at the Austin marathon and we hope to see her & the Moore family again this summer. Georgia provides the much needed inspiration we need when the miles get long, the water is cold, and the Texas heat is unbearable. When it seems easy to just quit, I always remind myself that if a youngster like Georgia can put up a fight in the face of a life-threatening cancer, I can make it through a few extra miles….the comparison isn’t even fair! :-)


Another reason this event is special is because of the event itself – The Wounded Warrior. The Wounded-Warrior half-marathon honors and gives a portion of its proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project & Fisher House. Some folks know that my Dad (Bill Bacon) is a wounded warrior! It seems strange to say given that this is 2013 and most people’s reference and recollection of war starts with the first Gulf War, then Iraq and Afghanistan. My Dad was an Army officer in the late 60’s and early 70’s after being commissioned after graduating from Texas A&M University. During a tour in Vietnam he was hit by enemy gunfire leaving him with injuries to the shoulder and collarbone area. He was awarded a Purple Heart for sustaining injuries during combat and a short time later was medically, and of course honorably, discharged from the Army. Currently, he is retired and living in Central Texas and spends much of his free time working with the Military Order of the Purple Heart. This event is a great reminder that, while it is important to support our current military heroes, it is also just as important to remember that we have many oft-forgotten heroes living and walking amongst us after having served many years ago in wars that may not have always been very popular. In other words, let us not forget to thank and remember ALL of our military heroes who step up and serve with honor, without question, and without the need for recognition.

Myself, my daughter and my Dad in Austin after Captex Tri in May 2012

My fundraising goal for this event is $1150.  You've supported us through every event and we need your support again to help us reach our goal and help find a cure.  Please don't delay...the new slogan of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is "Someday is Today!" because LLS is committed to CURES TODAY! Every little bit helps so please know that even small donations add up.  You may donate by clicking this link or clicking on my photo to the right under donate. 

Thanks so much for your generosity – and let me know if you ever want to join us out on the course!
-Will


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MILEstones


My last few blog posts have talked about moments but this one is gonna hit on milestones.

Some might ask what is the difference?  To me a moment is a very clear, defined point in time.  When I have a "moment" I feel I can scoop up that exact point in my life..it is perfectly carved out. I remember every detail - positive or negative.  A milestone is an event...something that I've usually worked hard to attain. In most cases it has taken some form of effort or change on my part.  When I have a "milestone" I recall feeling proud because in most cases it wasn't easy to get there. 

Runners talk about miles A LOT...
"How many miles did you run this morning/evening?"
"How many miles are we running this weekend?"
"How many miles did you run this week/month/year?"  

We also get the crazy questions about miles from our non-running friends...
"How many miles is a marathon?"
"You ran HOW many miles this weekend?"  
"Why would you do that...I don't even drive that far?"

And to be honest, three years ago that was me and I absolutely love it when someone asks me those questions because it gives me a chance to tell my story and how I began my journey...it allows me to tell them about my MILEstones...and how running (in a way) changed my life!  While at the same time encouraging them to start a journey of their own!

Dallas - Houston-Austin
Marathons of Texas | 2012-2013
This weekend was a MILEstone for me...it completed the Marathons of Texas races - Dallas, Houston and Austin!  I find it interesting that if you add up the mileage from Dallas to Houston to Austin and back to Dallas it is approximately 598 miles.  I began training for these races in June 2012 and I use a Garmin to track most of my runs. I don't track runs I do on a treadmill and occasionally the Garmin dies during a run or I forget it, but when I ran a report to see my training miles from mid June to end of January it showed 459.3 miles.  I then did a calculation of what I thought my mileage should be during this time and it came to approximately 640 miles.  Here's my POINT...my training for Dallas full, Houston full and Austin half...pretty much equaled the distance to travel to those races...I thought it was pretty ironic ; )

Austin half also marked my 12th half marathon and it was where I ran my VERY FIRST half marathon 3 years ago!  Take a look at this blog post from 2010.  MILEstone!

What made Austin even more special is that I was with two dear friends...Jessica and Kalee.  It was a quick trip but boy we had some laughs especially on the course...and some tears...and every single hill was worth it.  I love these ladies and I loved running next to them! 


We had some special visitors on the course...right after the split where the marathoners go to the left and the half stay to the right there was a water stop that was supported by Superhero Kids.  I was quite thankful we were on the half course this time around : ) Georgia, our friend and honored hero from Austin...her family volunteers for the organization and they were working the water stop.  As we rounded the corner I saw a huge GFORCE sign...and then I saw Ivy (Georgia's sister) passing out water...and then I saw Georgia with a sign for me and her Dad with a sign for Jessica. I simply can't describe the feeling...it was AWESOME!  It was just what we needed for the final two miles and the big ole, steep hill that was hiding around the next corner.  

Side note for the signs:  GFORCE is for Kalee's son (Grayson) who is currently battling leukemia - its their team name and the shirts we wear when we run for Grayson; Jessica's sign said "Go for Grant" as he is adjusting to life with epilepsy and for Houston we fundraised for the Epilepsy Foundation; and my sign said Just Keep Swimming because it is a motto Georgia's used during treatment (from Finding Nemo) and I used it back when I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2011. 

Georgia is 9 months OFF TREATMENT and continues to do well.  She is having some issues with her left ankle and some bone loss that they are keeping a close eye on so please send prayers her way that they determine the right course of treatment for that.  Until then she gets to wear that fancy boot but as you can tell it doesn't slow her down!





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Sunday, February 10, 2013

One Love for 80...Help Needed

80 and his mom's hand
Aidan (or 80) as some call him is a TNT honored hero and he needs our help!  I have not personally met 80 and his family but Andy, my friend, knows them and I get my updates from him as well as the One Love for 80 facebook page.

80 and Andy this past weekend
80 has had a long battle with leukemia most recently that diagnosis has turned into AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia).  80 needs a bone marrow transplant but his family members are NOT a match and currently there is not a match in the registry so we need MORE people to sign up as donors!

On Sunday, February 17 in Prosper there will be a BONE MARROW DRIVE...please come out and get swabbed. By getting swabbed this puts you in the database with two organizations - Delete Blood Cancer and Be the Match.  We encourage you to get familiar with both.  Delete Blood Cancer is the one sponsoring 80's drive this weekend.  You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. If you are found to be a match, you will be notified separately and given more information on additional testing.


ONE LOVE FOR 80 - Bone Marrow Donor Drive
Sunday, February 17, 2013
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church
4255 E. Prosper Trail 
Prosper, TX


I have a PDF that I can email if you have a church group or organization that you are willing to email this information too or you can just send the link to this blog.  We need as many people to get swabbed...not only for 80 but for others whose life depends on finding a donor!


Please do not let a lack of information or misinformation STOP you from getting swabbed or becoming a donor.  Click the above image to learn the FACTS.





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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Pep Talk

I think we all need a pep talk...


Wanna know how you can be GOODER?  Wanna know how to make your life AWESOME?

Get that air flowing through your nose...get that heart beating! JOIN the TEAM!

Get out of your comfort zone and join this season of Team in Training...help find a cure...help defeat cancer.  Do something for yourself...and do something to help others...help change the world!

North Texas Kickoff is this Saturday, February 9 at 2:00pm at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie that is for marathon, cycling, triathlon and hike teams (yes we have hike)!  If you can't make it out there you can still sign up! Training starts the following weekend. I posted the events in a previous blog post.

My dream...well I have a lot...but one high on the list is a cure for cancer and in the meantime I'll settle for cutting edge treatments that LLS and TNT are funding as I type this!  Those faces on my blog banner...I know them...I know their stories...they have touched my heart and together we will be successful...we will find a cure because we are on the SAME team!

Let's get to it...and be AWESOME together!

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fundraising First-Grader


What more can Will and I say...we have a fundraising 1st grader on our hands! And we are PROUD of it!

Last year Abi raised over $250 with Jump for the Heart. Her goal this year is $100...at first she said..."Well maybe I can raise $40" but we knew when she ran down the stairs with this letter that her goal might need to be a bit higher, so we encouraged her to do $100.

We hope that our involvement and fundraising efforts is an influence but we also have to give a shout out to Coach Rodriguez at her school...she hears what he is saying...whether that is how to play a sport, about good hygiene, healthy eating habits or how kids need new hearts. So thanks Coach...you make a difference!

If you are willing and can donate $5...Abi would be grateful and so would we. She is learning a valuable lesson about helping others. Our friends and family continue to support us and together we can change the world.


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