I did my first Team in Training event in 1999. My wife got a flyer in the mail, basically a cold call. She was interested in a marathon and it seemed like a good cause. The info meeting was just around the corner from my office, so I tagged along to just to check it out. Ended up signing up for a century, first one I ever did.
At the time I had no connection to leukemia or lymphoma. No family members, no friends, nobody I knew was affected by blood diseases.
Because of my involvement with TNT, I've met many patients, survivors, and those that lost loved ones to these diseases. These people are one of the reasons that I've been involved with TNT for so long. The money raised by TNT directly effects these peoples live's, kind of makes it easy to stay involved. The people I've been training with over these years have become like an extended family. It also doesn't hurt that I love riding bikes.
You might say that since I'd likely be riding bikes anyway, this is not too much of a sacrifice for me to be making. Kind of like recycling, how hard is it to put the magazine in the bin instead of the garbage can, right? That's a valid argument, and might have been pretty close to the truth a couple years ago.
But now I know people, not numbers or statistics, actual people.
Because of these people I'm going to do something this week that I've never done before, I'm going to donate blood platelets. Why? Because people going through chemo for blood cancers need them. Because people I know can benefit. Because I'm blessed with a healthy body and can do it. Because it's the decent thing to do.