Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fundraising my way to Santa Cruz 70.3

It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve endured the sport of Triathlon, but I find myself once again wanting to challenge myself and raise money for cancer in the process!  I won’t be doing another FULL triathlon due to some health issues I have encountered over the last 2 years, but I do have my heart set on doing half that distance. 

On September 13, 2015 I will be participating in the IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz.  For those of you who don’t know what this entails, let me give you a little breakdown.  It’s a 1.2 mile swim in the ocean (which I am terrified of), a 56 mile bike ride along Highway 1 which usually includes some headwind (wind and I are not friends), and a 13.1 mile run.  The run will probably be my biggest challenge.  The reason I have been out of the triathlon circuit for the last few years is solely due to a joint disease in my ankle called PVNS (Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis).  This “rare” disease (1.3 in a million get it) causes a tumor to grow in my ankle and deteriorates the bone and joint.  It ultimately resulted in the need to have two ankle surgeries and 17 days of radiation treatments all within a year span between October 2013 and July 2014. Receiving official clearance from my orthopedic surgeon and radiation oncologist to begin running, with the suggestion of no more than one half marathon a year, I decided to take that opportunity to use this triathlon for my once a year half marathon race; throwing in a little swimming and biking in the mix!  Since I began running again in late November, my distances have not gone beyond a 10k distance (6.2 miles).

I feel confident, excited and passionate not only for this opportunity to train, but also to raise funds for those who have in the past or will in the future suffer from Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Although my fundraising efforts fund the organization of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, one thing remains; cancer is cancer and it does not discriminate.  I do this for ALL who have endured this awful disease. And ironically, the PVNS in my ankle mimics cancer.  I have found that many people in my PVNS Facebook support group use Gleevec, which is a drug used by Leukemia patients. And if my PNVS returns a third time, this could even be my next course in controlling it.  

Like before, through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program, I will not just be training for myself, but in support of an organization that is dedicated to curing Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma and improving the lives of patients and their families.  In exchange for fundraising, LLS will help me train for the race, provide coaching, medical guidance, and will put me together with other triathletes of similar skills. Last time I trained for a triathlon through TNT, I raced in honor of a personal friend and my grandmother.  I will again race in their honor along with others who are close to my heart and for families who have had loved ones who have battled some form of cancer. Below are the wristbands I wore during my Ironman race back in 2012 and they will be the ones I race for again for in September, along with some other very special people.   

 Raymond Souza ♥ Jessie Cardoza ♥ Lexi Delgado ♥ Lisa Bonnet Johnson ♥ Josh Hoffman ♥ J Gazy ♥ Carmen J ♥ Catalina R ♥ Darlene Montalvo ♥ Kym Fortino


As I am given this opportunity once again to race, I have three simple GOALS:

1.  Cross the finish line on September 13, 2015 in Santa Cruz, CA!
2.  Raise $1,800.00 or more for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!
3.  Bring HOPE, ENCOURAGEMENT and SUPPORT to anyone who struggles with obstacles in life.  We don't have to let our circumstances steal our joy.  For those who physically can not do what I can, I DO THIS FOR YOU and it is YOU who inspire me to keep pushing forward!

You can help me achieve these goals in very simple ways. Your words of encouragement and positive reinforcement will go an incredibly long way in helping me complete this endurance event. Your financial support will not only help save the lives of those afflicted with blood-related cancers,but also make their lives more comfortable and manageable while they are fighting – and winning against - the disease. Consider also that many of the strides that are made toward curing blood-related cancers translate into making a difference in fighting all types of cancers.  

If you feel inspired please pass my page along to ANYONE who might be inclined to help or even join the cause! Every contribution will have an impact, will be acknowledged personally by me, and will be appreciated by so many.  Please also find out if your company matches financial donations. If so, it could double or even triple your financial contribution.
 From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU, for taking the time to visit my site and support my efforts to make a difference!
 Blessings and Thank you for your support and encouragement ~ Tyza a.k.a. "IronTy"