Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Racing for a cure

Seven years ago, my good friend Patty Conlin sent me a challenge: She was running a marathon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The society's mission is to cure lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Patty's former husband, father of her daughters, had lymphoma, and she wanted to do something to help. Did I want to join her?

Now, at that point I had never run more than six miles at one time. I had only run 5K races, and so 26.2 miles seemed pretty daunting. I thought I might do my part for the cause by writing a narrative piece about a first-time marathoner running for Team in Training.

Silly me. I became that first-time marathoner, although I have yet to write that piece. Still, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. That June, I ran the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, raising over $4,000 for research to help cure blood cancers.

Now I've learned that a friend and fellow children's writer, Becky Mabry, has been diagnosed with lymphoma. My friend Alice McGinty and I have decided to run the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon on May 3, 2008 to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Becky's honor. Here's how you can help: I am asking you to help me meet my fundraising goal of $2,000. You can pay online at my website: http://www.active.com/donate/tntil/tntilSLatta.

And here's the deal: I'm going to sweeten the offer: the first person to make a contribution of $25 or more on my website gets a pair of Team in Training socks! Yes! I will send them to you! I'm sure they're nice and comfy and they're probably purple and green, which I think is a rather nice color combo. Plus, your contribution is 100% tax-deductible and helps save lives.

If you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, and I'm not making any judgements here, you can send your check, made out to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to me at Sara Latta, 1101 W. University Ave., Champaign, IL 61821.

OK, end of pitch. You all are gems. Take care.

Now playing: John Frizell & Randy Edelman - My Home Is Virginia
via FoxyTunes


Sminthia said...


In honor of my sister, who turned 50 last week. A survivor of Hodgkin's disease, first diagnosed in 1991. She now competes in triathalons.

And in memory of Cindy, who died last week of breast cancer, at 43, leaving a husband and two young children.

We have come so far, but we have so so far to go.

Sara Latta said...

Oh, sminthia, you are so awesome. Thank you! I will remember your sister and Cindy every step of the way, I promise you. 43. So damn young.

Send me your address at saralatta1 at sbcglobal.net and you get the socks.

Sara Latta said...

Oh, and congratulations to your sister on beating Hodgekins and turning 50! Triathlons...I did two sprint triathlons, the baby kind. They're tough.

Lufus said...

Run, Sara, Run!

Sminthia, my condolences for your friend and her family.

Sara, will you add my mom to your list, too? She died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma on 9/22/93, just two weeks after her 65th birthday.

Sara Latta said...

Thank you so much, Lu! I'm so sorry about your mother. What is her name?

Lufus said...

Other than "Lu's mom"? Sorry, I forgot that important part - Trudy Dwyer.