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I'm an Explorer, Engineer, Writer, Public Speaker, and Entrepreneur. I write about exploration, travel, and science. 

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Friday
Jun212013

I'm training for a Half-Ironman!

Almost 3 years ago, I decided to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) while training for the 2011 Houston Marathon. After finishing, I vowed 2 things: 1) never willingly run 26.2 miles in a swamp ever again and 2) I need to continue supporting the LLS in the future, however I'm humanly able to. The impact of personal donations goes a LOOOONG way to funding research that directly leads to treatments for blood cancers. One day, money from the LLS could cure cancer. Completely. Gone. Wiped off the face of the Earth. Become a distant memory. Small steps will get us to that goal.

Now, I'm helping LLS again and this time I'm training to participate (i.e. not get eaten by sharks) in the Big Kahuna Half-Ironman Triathlon in Santa Cruz, CA, on September 8th, 2013. It's a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run (apparently people do these things one after another without stopping so I thought I'd personally investigate why this is considered fun). My minimum fundraising goal is $3,300 and this money goes directly to the LLS to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.

When I started, I didn't have a personal connection to the cause. Now, I have many. The survivors of blood cancers are some of the most inspiring people I've ever met. Many people-- people I knew before and people I didn't know-- have come forward to share their stories and this has proven to me the disturbing reality that cancer touches everyone, including those you might not expect. At the kickoff event, a young man about my age got up and told a packed auditorium about discovering he had leukemia when a university nurse pulled him out of a college lecture hall after test results from a routine doctor visit alarmed the doctor enough to track him down immediately. His white blood cell count was over a hundred times higher than it should be. After 10 years of treatment, including 2 experimental medications that were initially dropped from NIH funding and kept going by the LLS, he is leading a healthy life and has not had any transfusions. Personal donations through efforts like this have literally kept him alive to manage a disease and be a good husband and father. Of course it was hard not to see myself in this man and not imagine how my life would be different had I been pulled from a university lecture class ten years ago.

So if you can help me out, please make a small (or large!) donation to help me reach this goal. ANY amount helps and remember, charitable donations are tax-deductible if you need that extra motivation. Or you can just cure cancer yourself and save me from testing my will against the sharks in Monterey Bay. But if that's your plan, please get on that ASAP because I have to rent a wet suit in two months. Ready... GO!

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