And this is the one I want most.
In my daily check of organizations accepting applications for Boston marathon bibs, I finally took a real look at Team in Training. I know about Team in Training, and how they’re known for their skill in building athletes and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have friends who have run with them. I have friends who have worked for them. But for the first time, it clicked. Leukemia. The disease that took my grandma almost 4 years ago.
My grandma was one of my closest friends and biggest supporters. The hardest part of leaving Los Angeles to go to college in Boston was leaving her and my grandpa. I cried when I told them over the phone that I had finally made the decision between UCLA and Brandeis. My grandpa was diagnosed with brain cancer during the first semester of my freshman year, and then passed away just a few days after I came home for the summer in May 2005 at the end of the school year.
In early April 2010, my grandma had a transient ischemic attack (TIA – like a mini stroke but without the lasting affects) and ended up in the hospital. Through the blood tests they took, doctors realized that she had acute lymphoblastic leukemia — a form of leukemia most often found in young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, and then in the elderly.
My grandma was diagnosed at the beginning of April. I flew out to L.A. on Friday, April 9th. My mom picked me up from the airport, we drove to my grandma’s house and picked her and my uncle up, and the four of us drove to the hospital for my grandma’s daily (?) blood transfusion. Maybe it was every other day. I spent that entire afternoon with my grandma. We dropped her back at her house that evening. She went into a coma that night, and passed away on Saturday, April 10.
With the Boston Marathon in April, running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would not only allow me to raise crucial funding for an organization dedicated to fighting the disease that took my grandma away from me; it would also recognize the four year anniversary of her death.
I just mailed in the application. I cried while I filled it out. If I’m accepted to the team, I know that the next 6 months will be physically *and* emotionally grueling as I deal with the grief I still feel after three and a half years. Fingers crossed.