World Cancer Day – No More Heroes


If you’re reading this, thank you in advance for your time and interest.  I owe you one.

Today (Feb 4) is World Cancer Day, heralded by purple-festooned Facebook pages (#WorldCancerDay). Honestly, I think we should give cancer its due and call it F*** Cancer Day – but that wouldn’t play so well in social media.

As you likely know, I’m a runner. And like many, I run for a cause – with Team in Training (TNT), to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. Money I collect from good people like you – who donate to TNT by sponsoring my half and full marathons – goes directly to those afflicted with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease. Funds are also used to help the families of those with blood cancers; to make more treatments accessible to more people via government and research partnership; and to educate the general public.  It’s a good cause, supported by great people.

Each time I run with TNT, I run in honour of a “Hero” – a person who has suffered from or is suffering from blood cancer.  My first TNT run (Oct 2012), I ran to honour a dear family friend who lost his life to MDS after an unsuccessful bone-marrow transplant. My second run (Mar 2013) was in honour a courageous young 8-year-old going through treatment for ALL.  My third run (Oct 2013) honoured a woman (and now friend!) who had AML and whose life was saved by a very risky, but successful, bone-marrow transplant.

I’m running again in May, this time in the Ottawa Marathon and once again for TNT.  I’ve been asked who I’ll honour this time.  Should it be one of the three people I’ve already run for? Or maybe my friend who is currently battling cancer in her brain. Or perhaps my colleague, who has been in treatment for leukemia for over a year. Maybe I should run for my friend’s young son who, along with his family, just got through an unimaginable scare, when it was suspected his cancer had relapsed (when in blessed fact, it hadn’t)?  How to decide?

Personally, I’d love it if I didn’t have so many heroes readily available to chose from.

I truly believe that in my lifetime, or at the very least in that of my generation’s children, cures will be found for some cancers, and regimens will be discovered to make other cancers routinely treatable … so that we’ll have to look harder and harder to find Heroes to honour in our fundraising.

To get us there, I’m asking for your help:

  • If you have the time and are willing to sponsor me for my marathon on May, please click here to make a donation.  Every dollar counts and will be gratefully appreciated.
  • If you can’t sponsor me, that’s OK – but perhaps share this post with your friends, and loved ones via social media.  That helps, too.
  • And if you can’t do that, just take advantage of World Cancer Day to talk those you care about. Undoubtedly, you’ll learn of someone suffering from cancer that could use a hand. Reach out and help that person. Or their spouse/partner. Or their kids. Or their parents.

To inspire you:  for an example of the kinds of real difference we are making together, click here.  You might want to have a tissue or two handy – but it’s worth it.

Please make it harder for a guy like me to find Heroes to run for.  Thank you.

TS Purple