Every Kid Suffering From Leukemia or Lymphoma Deserves A Chance At A Healthy Life

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I’ve always been active–played soccer as a kid, tennis in high school, and took up running as a teen.

I would not say that I’ve always been the most grateful kid because life as I knew it was virtually pain free.

I never broke a bone or had a cavity. I’m not saying growing up is always a bowl of cherries, however being physically healthy makes life a lot easier.

But as I get older, I have had to see people lose their battles to sickness and death–there are truly no words for these vicissitudes of life.

These experiences have changed me–have led me to realize that life is a gift. And as a healthy functioning individual, we all have a responsibility to care for those around us and in society that do not have the strength to help themselves.

It makes sense to me that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has created a successful program–linked to Team In Training–because running is a very spiritual practice. People who run are often new runners, challenging themselves mentally, spiritually and physically, in ways they’ve never done before.

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Today after running the See Jane Run half-marathon in Alameda, I’m pleased to tell you I am committed to finishing the Women’s Nike Marathon 10-16-2011 in San Francisco in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I don’t usually ask for much–but today I need your help.

While I’ve never known anyone personally who has suffered from Leukemia, I watched my grandfather pass last Spring, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to see. Health is a non-issue, until you don’t have it.

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Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells. Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells in the immune system.

Leukemia is the most common kind of cancer found in children.

There are a few things in this world I find incredibly difficult to see. One of them is sick children.

Below is the video slide show of a family whose young son Gavin who suffers from Leukemia. It’s kids like this who benefit from people like you and me who care–and are given the opportunity to help by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Not All Kids Get the Same Hand of Cards

Here is a picture of me as a young’n. I was always an adventurer, a kid who saw nothing wrong with breaking rules and living a life free. That meant getting [majorly] grounded for heading with a group of kids into the neighbor’s backyard to light a pair of underwear on fire. Fast forward a few more years, I wanted to dye my hair green, but thankfully my mom forbade it.


Not all kids get to be mischievous. They are too busy surviving. Their reality is limited to hospitals, hair loss and constant physical pain.

Care and Treatment

Today, as I ran the 13.1 miles, I was grateful for the tools I had to manage the discomfort going a long distance. I had vanilla liquid food that tasted like cake frosting, I had two water bottles on my belt, and I had shoes that accommodated my arched pink feet.

All of these luxuries reminded me of the fact that when life gets difficult, having access to tools that make your journey as comfortable as possible, can truly make a difference. When diagnosed with a life threatening disease, having the treatment and care necessary can mean the world to a pair of worried parents–especially those who do not have the deep pockets for the price of good healthcare.

Trials and Tribulations

Just like any trial in life, you can’t duck under it, you can’t fly over it. The only path to getting stronger, and healing–is straight through the fire. That is a marathon lesson, and a life lesson.

I am honored to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to make sure that no child, and no person, is without tools they need to fight the disease. I ask that you donate what you can to help the Society for Leukemia and Lymphoma–and in doing so help me.

Everything helps. Even just your smiles and support.

Your adventurer and advocate,

Blake

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One response »

  1. As a physician who works in a large hospital near Los Angeles, I see these children every day. The illness doesn’t just destroy the bodies and psyche of these kids, but also their siblings, their friends and their parents.
    The only times I’ve been affected by my emotions in my long medical career was by participating in the care of these patients and families.

    I certainly will be glad to contribute to Blake’s run and will envision her running as a spirit trying to fight these two awful diseases.

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