Monday, February 04, 2008

Starting a New Season

Having turned the corner on a new year, I’m beginning again to train for the 2008 America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride. As you may recall (I’m sure you remember all the emails I send), I am riding to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Over the next four months I, and the people I will help train as a TNT Captain, will complete roughly 1,500 miles of training to get ready for the 100 mile bicycle ride around Lake Tahoe on June 1st, 2008.

With the training comes the commitment to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Leukemia and Lymphoma society is one of the top non-profit organizations in the country for managing their funds, with 75% of every dollar you donate (excellent for a non-profit) going directly to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families. My goal this year is to raise $5,400. Since its start twenty years ago, the Team in Training Program has raised over $750,000,000 – three quarters of a BILLION dollars – for cancer research, support and education! That’s money that goes directly towards make the lives of families and patients fighting this disease more healthy and livable.

While training for the race will be a challenge with many days and nights when my legs will burn and my body will ache (if I am doing things right), the next few months for me will be comparatively easy. That's because I'm riding in honor of Reagan Feld a tough four year-old girl who has spent the last two years fighting leukemia. On January 20, 2005, Reagan's parents took her to the doctor's office because she just wasn't quite herself. She was lethargic and had been running a high fever for a week. That afternoon Reagan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Over the next two and a half years Reagan endured five surgeries, 10 bone punctures, 18 spinal taps, 40 needles/injections (at least) and enough pills to open a pharmacy until early last August she was officially declared IN REMISSION. Her fight was amazing and she’s been blessed with great support but there are so many other people who need the work of the Leukemia Society to help them in their fight against blood cancer.

Her friend Rachel has been fighting alongside her and is still needs the help of her community and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On October 25th Rachel was diagnosed with relapsed leukemia after almost two years of being off chemotherapy. The world was flipped upside down for Rachel and her family once again. Since October 26th Rachel has been undergoing chemotherapy and still need a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Because of the love of their family and parents, the work of their doctors, and their toughness Rachel’s going to beat cancer again this time and join her friend Reagan cancer-free!!!

I'm so proud that I can be a part of the work that has enabled Reagan to return to a normal life and will help Rachel return to school and life as a youngster as soon as possible. When their parents were her age, the survival rate for children with ALL was 53%, but because of the hard work of physicians and scientists supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society the survival rate is now over 85%!

I am going to cross the finish line for the cure again, but I need your help getting there. Each donation helps accelerate cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and brings hope to the patients and families who are on the front lines of the battle against these diseases.

Please donate online quickly and securely at http://www.active.com/donate/tntnca04/thjones. You will receive a confirmation by email of your donation and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you are more comfortable mailing a check, please contact me at tom.jones@gmail.com and I will send you a donation form. Also many corporations offer matching donations, please check with your HR office. Finally, please donate by March 21st to help me reach my fundraising goal.

On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support and I appreciate your generosity!

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