Thursday, March 17, 2011

Team Papa - The Unabridged Version

Team Papa began as a small but mighty group of runners, cyclists & triathletes that joined Team In Training to raise funds for blood cancer research. We "endure for the cure" to celebrate the life of Bill Crawford, known as Papa to his grand-kids. Since we formed "Team Papa" in 2007 we have raised over $60,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You don't have to run, swim or cycle to be on this team. Every donor becomes a lifetime member of the elite club. Join Team Papa today with a donation, no matter how small (or large) donate here Donating is easier than spending every weekend in spandex, dining on Clif Bars and drinking Gatorade.

This year Team Papa is heading to the Pacific NorthWest to ride from Seattle to Portland July 9 & 10.

Enjoy the pictures of Team Papa through the seasons.

Melanie & Papa having lunch before The Ave 2007

At the finish line of The Avenue of the Giants 2007.

At the finish line of Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon 2007.

The Ave 2008 - Running with Lauren toward the finish line.

Solvang's Finest 2008

America's Most Beautiful Bike 2009

Hugh completing Loveland Tri, 2009 (a one man Team Papa)

Hugh, Sarah & Neil at finish line of Solvang's Finest 2009

El Tour de Tucson 2009

Neil & Marshall finishing Wildflower Olympic Distance Triathlon 2010

America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, 2010

I wonder who will join Team Papa next? Teams forming now:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Way I See It... # 259

I'm not a big fan of Starbuck's coffee but I can get behind this one thing. Apparently they have/had a campaign where they print "The Way I See It" quotes on their cups. This one sums up my thoughts pretty well.

The Way I See It #259

“People say, Oh I could never do that! But when you meet cancer patients you understand the bravery and spirit those people show each and every day. Their struggles motivate and inspire you to test the limits of your endurance and to cross that finish line. You’ll be surprised by what you can do.

-John Kellenyi,eight time marathoner and leading fund raiser with the leukemia and lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

When we finished El Tour de Tucson in November we agreed to take a year off. Then I learned my friends dad died of cancer, my first TNT mentor died of cancer, a few more friends were diagnosed with cancer. How could I sit on the sidelines when I can do something.

So I'm on the spring cycle team, helping participants exceed their own expectations of what they can do physically and cheering them on as they raise funds to find a cure for cancer.

Consider the challenge join a TEAM. Information meetings going on now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

OMG! What are the odds?

What are the odds that 50% of ONE family can be diagnosed with cancer? A million to one... a billion to one? These guys should head to Vegas!

I'd like you to meet my team's newest honoree, Jim Pixton (left). Not only is he an honoree but he'll also be participating in a century with me. Talk about a tough guy!

Here is the story in his words:
The short version is that the Pixton family have three TNT honorees and we love being associated with Team in Training.

The longer version is as follows. It’s all true—I swear. We can confirm that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

My wife Jennifer and I have four kids. The youngest, Porter, is five. He was born in November 2003. In March 2004, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML), a particularly nasty and rare type of the disease. Chemo doesn’t cure it; only a stem cell transplant has shown promise for long-term survival. Fortunately, his big sister , Eliza, now nine, is a perfect match. He hasn’t gone into treatment yet because the cancer hasn’t flared. We feel very fortunate about that.

In April 2004, I joined Team in Training to keep from going crazy and do something to contribute to the fight against blood cancers. One month later, however, I noticed a lump on my neck and went to get it checked out. In June of 2004 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and started chemotherapy. Although I ultimately wasn’t able to ride the High Sierra Century because I was between my fourth and fifth rounds of chemo, I still did all the training rides including the final 80-mile ride at Point Reyes. I went with my family to Mammoth to cheer the team on. I finished six rounds of chemotherapy in October and was one of the first groups of under-65 patients to use a wonder drug called Retuxin to treat high-grade lymphoma. Retuxin was developed by a research fellow using funds from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

We thought the Pixton Family had filled its cancer quota, but in January 2008 my wife Jen went to her doctor with stomach pains. It turned out to be a tumor the size of a football on her right ovary. After an emergency hysterectomy she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and did three rounds of chemotherapy. Jen finished her last round of chemotherapy on April 1, 2008. To celebrate her one-year anniversary she signed up with Team in Training and completed the Solvang Century this year in March.

Our family has been so blessed with support and friendships from Team in Training. The Leukemia and Lymphoma’s website was the first place we turned to for answers about blood cancers. We’ve received financial support through their patient reimbursement program. We hope we can continue be honorees and ride with Team in Training for many years to come.

Keep up the great work. Go Team!


Please help me reach my $5,000 goal with a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We can find a cure!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reasons to Ride

Why do I ride? Because I can. Because I know what it's like to watch a loved one endure chemo. Because I've heard too many stories of cancer diagnoses. Because I have lost someone to cancer. I do this because I want to save someone else from that experience. So when people ask me why.... it's to save a life.

Please read on meet my team's honorees... These people inspire me to get on the bike, climb the steep hills, share the stories of families dealing with cancer treatments and ask for your support with a tax deductible donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

If you know someone who has been afflicted with a blood-related cancer, I would love to ride in their honor. Please let me know their name(s), relation to you & feel free to share a short bio. These people will inspire me on each training ride and I will wear a bracelet for them on race day.

I will continue to endure until there is a cure.

My Personal Honoree - my dad.

The following was written by my mom to introduce the team to my dad when we rode in his memory last season:
First and foremost, Bill Crawford was a husband, dad, and grandfather. He loved his family beyond measure and that love was returned in full. He also loved his friends and made legions on his journey through life.

In 1994 Bill began to feel weak and tired and found a lump in his groin. After a few tests it was confirmed that he had lymphoma. Although a die-hard Cal fan, he spent several months at Stanford Hospital where he underwent an autologous stem cell transplant and chemo treatments to battle Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thanks to advances in research and medical treatments his life was extended almost 15 wonderful years. Those years included the weddings of his children, adventures with seven grandchildren and countless gatherings to celebrate and enjoy all of life’s great gifts with extended family and lifelong friends. He made the most of every moment.

In 2002 Bill again experienced fatigue, he was weak and extremely anemic, sure signs of MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) a pre-leukemia. Bill received the occasional blood transfusion, took maintenance medications and continued living every moment, never showing any signs that cancer returned. While most patients with MDS live a few months Bill treasured another 6 years of life.

On March 19, 2008, Bill passed away from complications of pneumonia. Bill was a great fan and supporter of his children’s involvement in Team in Training. They have completed Triathlons, Marathons, and Century Rides to raise money in the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders. Bill’s indomitable spirit is with us in all we do, and today we honor him again.

Honoree Myland

Please meet Myland. Here's his story:

At the beginning of TNT's Summer 2006 season, my wife, Carolyn, was beginning to train for an endurance event and raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her goal was to finish the race and meet her fundraising goal. My goal was to stuff fundraising letters and to watch our two young boys while she went to her various TNT trainings, fundraisers and events. In July of 2006, everything changed drastically when I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Now our goal was to save my life.

We received the shocking news while on our annual family vacation in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We had to fly back to San Francisco immediately so I could begin treatment for this life-threatening disease. From July until December 2006 I was in and out of the hospital at UCSF Medical Center for a month at a time receiving chemotherapy. Although the treatments were keeping the leukemia in check, my only real chance for a cure would be to have a bone marrow transplant. Finding a suitable donor proved to be extremely difficult because of my ethnic background. We were told we had a one-in-a-million chance of ever finding a donor. Miraculously, a few days before Christmas 2006, a donor was found! I had the transplant in January 2007. It's been more than two years post-transplant and I'm feeling great!

Carolyn and I never thought we would be on the other side of the fight. However, through our involvement with TNT we never felt or will ever feel alone in our fight. Participants' commitment to TNT and the mission of LLS has given us endless hope, inspiration and strength. We can't put into words how thankful we are to those who decide to join the team and take up the challenge to find a cure. TNT participants ARE making a difference in our lives and others fighting blood cancers.

A'ohe hana nui ka alu'ia. HELE HUI! (No task is too big when done together. GO TEAM!)

Honoree Sheryl

My name is Sheryl Braum and I was diagnosed in 2001 with Hodgkin lymphoma. I had a mass in my chest that was literally the size of a football. It collapsed my left lung and pushed my heart back into my chest cavity and oh yes, it gave me a blood clot as well. I went through several surgical biopsies, bone marrow biopsies, chemo and radiation and went into remission for 15 months. However, I had a cancer relapse and underwent more high dose chemo and an autologous stem cell transplant. Since then, I have had the great fortune of being in remission. I have had a few scares that have bought me some more hospital time in the ICU-but all is good and life is GREAT! I want to thank all of you for taking the time to train and raise money for blood cancer victims. The money that you are raising will help many people out there who are counting on research to save their lives. I know, because I have been one of them.
As a fellow TNTr I have had the chance to ride a couple of centuries in seasons past and have met some phenomenal people-people like you who care enough to truly give back and help out others in need. I am in awe of all of you because of your commitment to train, endure and matter (TEAM)! Please do not hesitate to ask me how I can help you with fundraising. I am only an e-mail away (+:

With much thanks,

Hodgkin lymphoma IIB/large, bulky mediastinal mass Stanford V chemo & rads
relapse 15 mo. later high dose chemo & autologous stem cell transplant remission since 2002 big scare 2009-but biopsy=negative