Sunday, June 29, 2008

TNT Honored Teammate Picnic

Today was the Team in Training "Honored Teammate Picnic" -- which is a picnic the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society holds each season for all honored teammates (HTM), like me, and all personal HTM, like a person's family member. Before the picnic was a walk/run, and I had the privilege of giving the "Mission Moment" today (see bottom pic) to talk about my connection to the disease and also to thank the team for all they do. I worked the Aid Station for the teams today --- it was a combo practice walk/run down at Mission Beach with the Nike Walk Team, Central Run Team and North County Run team. GO TEAM! Jen, trusty ol' pal, got up at o-dark-thirty to come out and keep me company this morning. (THANKS, JEN!)
After the run, the picnic began, and it was great! I met so many incredible people, and it was fantastic to get to know the Nike Walk Team better (the one that I'm the HTM for...). Truly, these people are amazing to be walking so far (half/full marathon for the Nike Marathon) while raising money for charity. They surprised me with a gift today -- a cute t-shirt that says, "Someone's in Trianing for Me!", and also a little teddy-bear that was holding a star because I'm their "shining star" they said. Really sweet of them to say. The bear was attached to a gift certificate which allows me to name a star and have it registered at the International Star Registry (yes, I realize this isn't recognized by scientists, but it's still totally cool). I am still pondering which constellation I want the Registry to find a star in for me...and also can't decide what to name it...yet. :) Totally awesome, and it'll always inspire me to stay strong, knowing these amazing people are out there doing all of this training for me!! (THANKS, TEAM!) The 2nd pic is of Jesse, me & Eloise -- the three HTMs and cancer warriors for the TNT Nike Walk Team. The 3rd pic is of me giving a "mission moment" to the North County Run Team, Central Run Team & Nike Walk Teams.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Delegate for the LIVESTRONG 2008 Summit!

I have been selected as a delegate for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's 2008 LIVESTRONG Summit!! It's strange to think that during the last summit in 2006, I was cruising along enjoying my summer, not realizing that that the "C"-word would suddenly become a reality in my life, making me a future delegate for the second Summit being held this July.

The 2008 Summit will bring together delegates from across the country to be inspired, empowered and trained to lead community-centered efforts to help make cancer a national priority. So, since I was chosen, I'll be heading to Columbus, Ohio for the 4 day event and will be prepared for some serious brainstorming work for those days. And, ya'll know me...I am not afraid to speak my mind. I'm thrilled with the folks that'll be there --- hundreds of delegates devoted to changing the face of cancer suvivorship and uniting together to create change! How cool is that?! Considering cancer is the #1 killer of young adults (16-39 yr olds), I'm hoping we change those stats for good. The summit track I will be working/training on is "Grassroots & Fundraising", which means I'll be helping brainstorm new ways to raise money for cancer research and bring the non-profits into the next century for fundraising (I mean, ya'll really respond well to a random postcard in the mail that asks for money? Well, that is, besides my cute Team in Training letters from me? It's time to get creative!) I'll also be keeping an eye on the "Advocacy" track on advocating change at the local, state and national level -- but if ya'll haven't figured it out, I'm already pretty vocal, so this is my "back-up" track for training. LOL. I know ya'll are asking --uuuhhhh--- wasn't she helping the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society? And the answer is YES! (And I still am very actively engaged with them as an Honored Teammate for the Nike Walk Team right now & in their advocacy programs!) This summit seeks to bring invidivuals from all cancer backgrounds and organizations to unite (we all know there is power in numbers). :) There will be a Presidential Forum on Cancer one of the evenings with the Presumptive Presidential nominees in attendance. I know McCain is confirmed, and I think Obama might be there, too. (Cancer is bi-partisan, you know.) Oh, and yes, I'm trying to connect with other Team in Training Alums and Leukemia survivors while I'm there, too. In fact, we've formed a running group already to train while we're there (uh...hello? It's a Lance Armstrong conference...the bikers and runners are out in force. There will be a lot of yellow-shirted people at Ohio State Univ that weekend).

I know you all think --- "we just love the old Julie that would only talk about work all day long (ha ha) and now all she talks about is running, Team in Training and Young Adult cancer stuff." Yup. That's true. And, I've decided that as long as there needs to be better therapies to increase survivorship/quality of life and cures for cancer, I'll keep running, keep calling the politicians and keep fighting for some attention on this issue. You think it won't affect you? Well, you're reading my blog. That means you now know at least one person with cancer. In my personal opinion, that's one person too many (but call me biased). Thanks all for your support! I can't do any of this without you!!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Marathon Highlights!!!

Total $ Raised for the L&L Society at this race: Over $12.5 Million (net)!!!
Best Running Pals EVER!: Lisa & Jen - my TNT running buddies....sticking with me all season and making it to sharing the start of our very first marathon together! (Thanks, chickadees!) Yes, running CAN be a team sport! GO TEAM!
Funniest person seen on the course: Guy holding sign saying, "Sweat is Sexy" & a Guy running in only pink speedos with "I lost the bet" written across his chest.
Biggest inspiration: A woman on the side of the road holding a sign that said, "Thanks for running for TNT. I'm a survivor." Also, I looked at my yellow "LiveStrong" wristband I wore in memory of Carolyn and in that moment knew that I would never stop running and raising funds until we find a cure for cancer.
Break-down moment: Happy tears at Mission Bay. I had just seen my family at 13.5 mile mark, and then suddenly saw this sea of purple shirts running. It hit me that I was in remission and running the race as I had wanted --- I was a survivor. I was completely overwhelmed, and Lisa walked with me a bit until I could re-compose myself.
Happiest Moment out on the course: Seeing my family and friends for the first time during the race at mile 13.5!! And, running with my twin & niece on the course!
Lesson Learned #1: I do have a limit as to how many energy gels I can consume in one run. YUCK!
Lesson Learned #2: The TNT Orange County tent in Mission Bay that had the Otter Pops ROCKED! (And next time, I need to grab a few more!)
Lesson Learned #3: I will accept food from strangers when hot, tired and delerious (hello to the happy oranges and ice during the race provided by the houses we ran by)
Life-Changing Moment: Finishing 26.2 miles and crossing the finish line of my first marathon with Lisa!
Happiest Moment: Finding Mike and Joe after the race and knowing the deal was complete! I was in remission & had run my first marathon (Thanks, Mike and Joe!) . Also, seeing Mike's shirt that this year he was running WITH me this year (instead of FOR me). AWESOME.
Moment that Meant the World to Me: Seeing Mike give his race medal to my niece. I had really wanted to give her a medal to remember the race and to ensure she learned a lesson on "girl power" and "charity". I can't believe he remembered that because I had mentioned it weeks ago,...and I am so happy he did it for me (thanks, Mike!!!!!).
Surprise after the race: Watching the Channel 10 ABC local news 11pm that night and having the anchomen show my picture, mention my name, my finish time and congratulating me on seeing through to the end of my bet (Yes, I was in the same newscast where they mentioned all the Kenyans that finished -- how awesome is that!!!!!!!)
(Pic: Mike, Julie & Joe...Judy couldn't make the race, but Mike & Joe came. Judy, Mike & Joe were the ones that started this bet one year ago. Thanks, friends!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I am a Rock Star! :)

My first marathon is over. I have officially moved to a "marathoner" status... only 0.5% of the world's population has ever finished! We raised $10,575 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and as a North County Run team, we raised ~$2.2 Million for this race! Overall, the L&L Society raised ~$12.5 Million (net) for this Rock 'n' Roll Marathon race alone!!! That is so amazing, and brings me hope that we'll find a cure and/or better therapies for blood cancers by 2015! The marathon was amazing. I am not exactly sure how to put it in words because I learned that the spirit of the marathon isn't just in the race, but in the months of preparation for the race and the challenges one needs to overcome physically, emotionally and mentally. I did complete my part of the deal from last year's marathon. Mike ran it FOR me last year while I was going through chemo, and the bet was that I'd get better and run it WITH him this year...and I did! I added Mike, Judy and Joe's names to the bottom of my race shirt as my "supporting sponsors" because they've seen me through thick and thin this past year!
Lisa, Jen and I started the race off together -- the sound of the start was so exciting...and we were off! We did great pacing for the first half of the race to mile 13.5 when we were cheered on by my family & friends in their orange "Cures Rock!" t-shirts and signs. A while after that, I started to not feel well with a nagging old IT band injury (thanks to running on the slanted I-163 highway) and in general, a little "off." Jen ran ahead of us because she was doing great! Lisa stuck with me at my pace. All three of us finished the race eventually, and it was our first marathon! I crossed the finish line at 5:54.
If you go to this site (, you can view me crossing the finish line!! If you watch the clock in the video and fast forward, move it to the clock time of 6:02:27. You'll see Lisa (left) and me (right in black shorts) running down the center, we hold our hands together and run across the finish at 6:02:34!! You can even hear the announcer calling my name. Much more to come, I promise!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Ok...there will be much more to come later, but I am so exhausted and need to hit the hay. I completed my marathon today...all 26.2 miles! WAHOO!!!! It was amazing. Life-altering. And once again, we toasted to finding a cure for blood cancers. Thank you for your support!!!


For the record, it's 3:45 a.m. I slept only 1 hour (no joke). It's early. BUT, I have a marathon today!! Wahoo!!! Mom, Dad, Angie, Jason, Elea, Thomas, Michael, Jessica, Melanie, Joe, Jeff....the list goes on....are all folks also waking up early to see me off!

The race starts at 6:30 a.m. today! If you'd like to track me online as I run, go to: and click on "live results" or go straight to: You will need my bib number which is: 14482 or search by name under "Julie Westcott." If you type it in, it'll be showing you my 5K, 10K, 13.1 mi and 20mi mark and final finish at 26.2 miles! (For some reason, it's showing all us TNT people listed as 1/2 marathoners, but they are trying to fix might just be able to see my 10K and final time as I complete the 26.2 if this doesn't get resolved.)

(RE)MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, here I come!!!

Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

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500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
January 1 - 17, 2010
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