Three years ago I began my journey with Team in Training, a division of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I began for two reasons: I wanted to run my first marathon and I had heard of a sweet girl, Victoria, who had lost her battle to Leukemia. I felt this was a way I could accomplish my goal while also helping others. After my first season with TNT I was asked to return as a coach. I have now completed three more wonderful seasons helping others to accomplish the same goal and help to find a cure for blood cancers.
Little did I know that God had placed me exactly where I needed to be for what took place last summer. In August 2009 my precious Dad was diagnosed with Light Chain Deposition Disease (LCDD). This is not a blood cancer but a blood disease. However, it is treated just like the blood cancer Multiple Myeloma. This is an extremely rare disease. Only one thousand people a year are diagnosed and of that thousand only ten percent have it without also having Multiple Myeloma.
February 11, 2010, my Dad lost his battle to this disease. It has been the most painful experience. I miss my Dad more each day. But through the pain I learned I had a decision to make. I could focus on the pain or I could continue to make a difference to others in similar circumstances. So I will continue working as hard as possible with the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
On my last visit with my Dad we talked of my upcoming races. I told him about a great race in San Francisco that I hoped he could come to. He just gave me his encouraging proud smile. The day he died my Mom told me his goal had been to live to come and see that race and that he wanted to get better and run one with me. He will not be there but he will be in my heart.
I have decided to make this even more of a challenge. I am not going to do another 26.2 miles but I am going to lengthen it to 39.3 miles. I will run the San Francisco Nike Woman’s Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on October 17th and the following week on October 25th I will run the Dublin Marathon (26.2 miles). My goal is to raise $15,000.
I hope you will help me reach this goal by going to my website http://pages.teamintraining.org/cfl/nikesf10/jknightfwe Please help me make a difference in the lives of so many more that are fighting these cancers. If you or a loved one has had a blood cancer please let me know I want to add them to my list of Honored Heroes.
Thank you all who supported my past endeavors with TNT and I look forward to these upcoming seasons where I get to coach again and run in honor of my biggest HERO my Dad.