Philadelphia and my Sissy

One week before I attempted the Capital of Texas Triathlon, an article was publicized by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It brought both joy and heartbreak to me as I read the summary.

Sissy – my Aunt who started me on this running journey – had the Philadelphia Strain that the article speaks about.

I had to take a moment to step back and not be angry at time. I had to… I HAD TO see the silver lining, the hope, the advances that one single year makes in science and medicine. I could not allow myself to keep that dreaded wretched question in my head… you know it.

If only she had had more time… if only.

This was our family photo that was used in our Church directory. Sissy is standing on the right. I'm beside her in yellow. Momma and I wore matching suits.

This was our family photo that was used in our Church directory. Sissy is standing on the right. I’m beside her in yellow. Momma and I wore matching suits.

One line stood out to me as I read it over and over again:

the first-ever successful treatment of a lethal cancer at the genetic level

I may not be intelligent enough to discover a cure. I may not be rich enough to pay for a laboratory free of politics and filled with unlimited visionaries to identify the cause and produce a cure. I may not be influential enough to make the world change. I may not be fast enough to garner the attention of big media or corporate sports sponsors to fund this crazy journey. I may not ever win this battle that took the ones I loved.

But what I do know is that for as long as I can, I won’t ever stop. Because someone who gets diagnosed THIS year has more hope and advantages than my Momma and Sissy did just a couple of years ago.  And that’s the only way that I can make a difference.  I must continue to fundraise, speak loudly, swim, bike and run for that stranger who needs us.

I will return to the Capital of Texas Triathlon in May of 2014. I will likely not be on the podium AGAIN… but my hope is that someone out there will live cancer free as a result.

http://www.lls.org/#/resourcecenter/suggestedreading/adultpatientcaregivers/diseasespecificreferencebooks/ThePhiladelphiaChromosome

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