Karen's Leukemia Marathon Site

August 5, 2000

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Caring Persons,

It’s a fear we all live with,every day of our lives. We try to avoid it; we hope it will pass us by, but eventually it finds most of us. You know what I am talking about: …friends and relatives asking for money. I’m afraid your day has arrived….again,for some of you. But wait. Read on. You may be surprised.

Three years ago I walked my first marathon in Honolulu thanks to the support of many of you. What helped me get to and through Honolulu was not only your support, but also the fundraising for children and adults who struggle daily with the illness of Arthritis. Walking for others and with more than just the physical challenge in mind (I was in the midst of my own life transitions - turning 45 yrs of age, recently out of a 20yr relationship, and also dealing with my own arthritis) really made a difference. Now I am back on the road again and training for marathon number 2.

The Honolulu Marathon is yet again my destination on December 10, 2000. My motivation this year began as a result,in part, of a good friend and colleague’s death and knowing of his struggles with leukemia these past three years. I have also known this disease more intimately as I watched it claim my mother and brothers many years ago. A year and a half ago,I learned that a brother of a valued friend of mine died of leukemia, bringing the issue alive for me again. My motivation to “do something” was even further enhanced by finding and then joining the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, a wonderfully supportive group of individuals and staff working for a great cause.

As many of you may know, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America,an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Leukemia,Lymphoma and related cancers,is one of the world’s leading Leukemia research organizations. What you may not know is that every year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raises research funds through their “Team In Training” program. This year, over 15,000 participants from all over the country will train to either bike, run, or walk their way to help find a cure for these devastating illnesses while raising an estimated $27 million, of which 75% goes directly into research programs.

Beyond the endurance building training program, nutritional advice (Yikes! Looks like I need to cut back on the chocolate consumption), and over 500 fellow team members reaching for a common goal, the most valuable part of the program for me is that I have been assigned an “honoree”, someone that is currently struggling with Leukemia or Lymphoma, to walk for. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with my honoree, Susan Andrews, a S.F. woman near my age who was diagnosed with a slow-growing, but incurable, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1995. We found we share many interests and passions, but most especially in the love of wilderness and the importance of being actively in community with friends and family in our lives. I am looking forward to getting to know Susan and her black lab, Henry, better as we walk together this season.

So, once again, I am asking for your support. This time for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. You have the chance to help others like Susan to bring the cure closer in view and to support me in my walking efforts with a donation (see attached sponsorship form). Remember, 75% of your contributions will go directly to research programs,100% of your donation is tax deductible.

To get ready, I will be walking hundreds of miles and hours. That is easy,though,compared to what Susan and thousands like her go through in their efforts to beat these diseases. My part will be easier with your support! The sooner I reach my $3500 goal, the better I’ll be able to focus my energy on preparing my team and myself for the marathon.

I appreciate your taking seriously my marathon quest and request for a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If you have the resources, any contribution is gladly accepted—by September 20, 2000, would be great! ( Keep in mind that you can also send your contribution any time up to a month before the marathon date ,November 10. You can even donate more than once to atone for any moral or legal transgressions you should commit between your first contribution and November 10. Photocopy your sponsorship form just in case.) If you know of others who might like to donate, please give them a copy of the form. If you haven’t the resources at any time this next four months, like three years ago, just cheer me on come December 10th.

Thanks very much for taking your time to read this letter and your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly and in great health,