Friday, January 30, 2009

Double Trouble! Tyson Twins are Racing for a Cure!

* I know this post is long, but PLEASE read! *

It wasn't too long ago (ha ha) that you supported the "Tyson Twin" sisters by buying endless rounds of Girl Scout Cookies and sponsoring us during school jog-a-thons. Now in 2009, times have changed, but we are back to hitting the pavement and raising money for an amazing cause. We are raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as participants in their Team In Training endurance program and running the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon—Together!

How did we get here? First, it was Angie’s nephew, Andy, who found out he had leukemia. Then, just as our world stopped spinning with that reality, we found out in 2006 that I had Acute Mylogenous Leukemia as well, after I had already battled cancer once before. I ran my 1st marathon in June 2008 as a celebration of survivorship, and Angie was at the race to cheer me from the sidelines. Last year, you all helped me raise over $11,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society --- and Angie & I are back to do it again --- double-time!!! WONDER TWIN POWERS, ACTIVATE! I found out over the holidays, that my cancer is back and is a difficult reminder that a cure has not yet been found. BUT, I know that 3 times is a charm to kick cancer to the curb!!! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch the destruction this terrible disease causes.

I have lost many dear friends to this disease, and their spirits stand as a representation of the more than 1500 Americans that die of cancer every day. More than 7500 people in this country alone - have died of cancer in just the 5 days that have passed since I found out I was running on TeamLIVESTRONG for the Lance Armstrong Foundation at the prestigious Boston Marathon (!!!) --- and more than 250 have already died this morning since I had my 1st cup of coffee. And so, the “Tyson Twins” are joining together this year to raise more funds to—once and for all—kick cancer to the curb!

Your donation will make a difference to some people you know . . . us! The math is easy. If every one of YOU (yes, I'm talking to YOU, my blog followers) donates $52.40 to my fundraising (that's $1 for every mile my twin and I will each run -- total of 26.2 miles per marathon per twin)... WE WILL BE ABLE TO RAISE over $11,000 for the L&L Society in a WEEK!!! Or, consider donating $100 for every hour we'll be out there on the course (~ 5 hours = $500!). If you donate $50 to my fundraising efforts, I will wear a special ribbon in honor or in memory of the name of your friend or loved-one. I'll make sure it's the cancer awareness ribbon color of their type of cancer, too, in order to spread awareness of how far-reaching this disease is in the U.S.

And, if you pass this note on to your friends and re-post it to your profiles to pay-it-forward, just think of the possibilities! (Hit the green "share it" link below.) Trust me...if I'm going to train to run the following marathons between now and June while going through my cancer treatments --- you can handle the pain of skipping your Starbucks for a week and giving to an AMAZING mission that helps save lives like my own.

Julie's Upcoming Races:


  • THE Boston Marathon (4.20.2009) ----> as an honored member of TeamLIVESTRONG supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation

  • San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (5.31.2009) ----> with Team in Training, supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society AND my twin sister is running this with me as her 1st marathon!

  • Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (6.27.2009) ----> with Team in Training, supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Thank you very much for your support. CURES ROCK!!!

To support us and donate to the LLS, go to: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/rnrseatl09/jwestcott OR click on the "cures rock" logo on the right side of this page.

If you'd like to support my fundraising efforts as I run on TeamLIVESTRONG for the
Lance Armstrong Foundation at the Boston Marathon, go to: http://www.livestrong.org/grassroots2009/juliewboston09

PLEASE PASS THIS NOTE ON TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS, TOO! PAY-IT-FORWARD!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Youth [Cancer] Culture

Ypulse Guest Post: Youth [Cancer] Culture

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TNT Summer Marathon Season is Here!

Tonight was the Kick-off Event for the summer season of Team in Training, an endurance program that raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We just wrapped up our Winter Season with the final marathon of the season (Carlsbad Marathon) this past Sunday. And, now I'm back for more! :) This season, our team will be running either the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon OR the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle marathon -- and some of us will be doing the "double header" (BOTH!). Our first practice is this Saturday, January 31st at Moonlight Beach (Encinitas, CA) at 8am ...or at other locations depending where you live in San Diego. It's not too late to join! It's an amazing experience to run for a good cause...running for others, not just for "you." For more information, go to: http://www.teamintraining.org/ or sign up at our practice. Also, you can read the "Run for a Good Cause" article in Women's Running by clicking here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Victory! & stories to come...

CONGRATULATIONS to the Team in Training Carlsbad Half & Full Marathoners on your races today! I promise more stories and pictures to come, but here are a few from our morning Cheer Station (out at the Half 5mi/8mile mark, OR Full 15mi/21 mile markers). I may not have been able to run, but I sure had a grand time keeping smiles on runner's faces!

Carlsbad Marathon is here!


It's late on the eve of the Carlsbad marathon, so you'll have to pardon me if this blog entry is short. I know so many of you have supported me in my training this season for this race. Unfortunately, due to injury, I am unable to run tomorrow. It's a strong reminder that it was the 5 month journey of training 6 days per week....and not the last final day of a race...that matters. I will post more tomorrow and on Monday. However, I did want to share with you how I painted my Team in Training (TNT) tank for our race day (which I'll still be wearing as I cheer from the sidelines for my team and mentees). It's a statement to UNITE across cancer organization in the fight against cancer and to LIVESTRONG! We also had our Inspiration Dinner / Pasta Party tonight for all the TNT teams in town for the race...hence the silly group photo I posted of our Coaches, Captains & Mentor staff.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Off and Running

Did you know that it is predicted that by 2010, cancer will be the #1 cause of death in the U.S.? It is already the #1 cause of death in Australia, which is where the LIVESTRONG Global Campaign to create cancer awareness officially kicked off!!!

"Doug Ulman, President/CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, along with Lance Armstrong, spoke at the Royal Adelaide Hospital along with South Australia Premier Mike Rann, Australian Treasurer and cancer survivor Wayne Swan, UICC President Dr. David Hill, Cancer Australia CEO Dr. David Currow, and Dorothy Keefe who heads the Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre."

Click this link to see today's LIVESTRONG Blog post on the Global Campaign. Off and Running

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Photography by: Liz Kreutz. Enclosures from Livestrong Blog's Off and Running article, 1/19/2009.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Surprise!

Surprise! That's exactly what my twin sister did to me this weekend when she showed up at my Team in Training (TNT) Run Team practice on Saturday. She actually drove down at dawn, to meet us for our 7am practice. We had a great time, she had an opportunity to see how a TNT practice is organized, and she was able to meet my running friends. Our Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Marathon team raced today, and our Carlsbad Marathon team has their race next weekend. Unfortunately, my high ankle-sprain injury and stress injury has me side-lined from my race unless it improves, BUT I will be cheering at the 21 mile mark for the team if I'm not running. So far this season, our team has raised over $136,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support patients and research for blood cancer. AMAZING! While it's always sad to see one season come to and end, I am very excited about the TNT Summer Season, which starts on Jan 31st. I'll be back on the team as a Mentor, again, as we train for the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll AND Seattle Rock 'N' Roll marathons. (Yup, I'm doing "double header" races for a cure!) I'll keep pounding the pavement until we find a cure for cancer or until my body wears out...and I'm betting on the cure! :) CURES ROCK!
Pic #1: GO TEAM!
Pic #2: Run Team meeting - 77 degree sunny day in the middle of winter at Solana Beach, CA!
Pic #3: L to R - My twin & me hanging out at Fletcher Cove after TNT practice

Lance Armstrong: A Different Type of Legacy

It's all over the news --- LANCE IS BACK. After over 3 1/2 years off from professional cycling, he returned to the sport this week at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Here's the link to an article about the cancer numbers Lance Armstrong will be wearing during his comeback. To stay up-to-date on Lance's Tour Down Under (and the upcoming Tour of California), check out the updated LIVESTRONG Blog at: www.livestrongblog.org !!!

Lance will be riding a bike that has two numbers on it: 1,274 and 27.5. The 1,274 represents the number of days since he last raced professionally in the 2005 Tour de France. The 27.5 stands for the approximately 27.5 million people who have died from cancer worldwide during that span.

“Sometimes this disease does not need money, it needs attention and exposure and awareness,” Armstrong said. “It needs people to step back and look at that bike, and go, ‘Jeez.’ They see two simple numbers, and they think: ‘Why haven’t I heard? Why am I not thinking about this? Why haven’t I stood up and demanded change because of this?’ ”

I am one voice in a LIVESTRONG grassroots army that has been, and will continue to, stand up for change, for prevention, survivorship and research. Lance left an incredible legacy when he won 7 Tours de France...and now he's looking to leave a different kind of legacy. He's not just racing for himself now, but for the LIVESTRONG Cause, to leave a legacy on global awareness about the issue of cancer.

If you want to know how you can help, start by joining a local, grassroots LIVESTRONG Army in your area. Go to the LIVESTRONG Army sign-up page to select your army and officially register. http://my.livestrong.org/joinlocalarmy If you're in the Southern California area, please join our local San Diego LIVESTRONG Army (Select "San Diego" on the drop-down list.) Our local army is getting geared up for Amgen's Tour of California that ends in Rancho Bernardo/Escondido in February 2009, and we're very excited to spread the word of the LIVESTRONG message.

Also, here are other ways to link to our local LIVESTRONG Army of San Diego: Web, Facebook & Twitter.

LIVESTRONG!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Caregivers LiveStrong

(Note: This is a long post, but it's worth the read, trust me.)

It is easy for me to always stay focused on the battle of cancer...on the patients, warriors and survivors. The past six months has brought people into my lives, like Luine and John, that are caregivers for people with cancer. In Lulu's case, her fiance just received a totally clean pet scan from his very serious battle with lymphoma (we're excited for you, Tim!), and they just settled on their wedding date finally. In John's case, the story is different, which John tells through his own words below. It's a reminder to me that we're not done fighting cancer yet. No matter how hard people fight, there are still those that lose the battle, and we can't give up in speaking our voices, raising money for a cure and helping family members and caregivers support their loved ones through it. My mom was an incredible caregiver for my granddad in his final battle with cancer (he passed away in December 2005), so I know how important that role can be in the fight.

I met John at the LIVESTRONG Summit 2008 in Columbus, OH. He was my first friend of the Summit, as we met up pre-Summit to go for a run around the state capitol before the Presidential Forum on Cancer. He was attending because he was a caregiver for his mom. Their family and his strength in telling her story, completely defines what it means to LIVESTRONG. Through his posts and emails, I was drawn into the world of Vivian (his mom), and her amazing spirit, wonderful family and battle with cancer. Without ever knowing me, she touched my life with inspiration, and I thank John for sharing his story. She fought with grace to the end of her time with us on January 5th.

John kept an online journal about their journey with his mom, which I encourage all of you to take the time to read. Click here. You'll find endless inspiration and strength in the pages, and I assure you that you'll draw more strength from this family that you'll ever be able to give them, even in this difficult time they face. I was truly touched by the eulogies that were posted (see site for all of them), and asked for John's permission to post his about his mom. I've included it here, and I think it speaks for itself:

John’s Eulogy for his Mom (Sat. in NY vers.)
On behalf of my entire family, including my Grandmother back in North Carolina, thank you all for coming today to honor and remember my Mom. It’s obvious to us that she was truly a special lady – someone who touched the lives of many people - in simple every day ways – who always put the needs of others before her own.

The combination of the warm gathering of friends and family these last few days, the comforting words and music of this beautiful service this morning, the glimpse into our family memories through the photos we’ve shared, through my sister’s touching eulogy a moment ago, along with the online journal we’ve been writing to chronicle Mom’s determined and dignified battle with cancer these last 13 months – there’s really nothing more to do or say.

I believe we’ve honored and celebrated her life in a way that she would enjoy and appreciate.
For those of you that have shared our journey through the CaringBridge web site, - we simply can’t thank you enough for that support. For those of you that haven’t been to the site yet, I invite you to consider taking a look at it sometime - to experience my Mom’s courageous and inspirational battle with cancer, - a battle she fought with unwavering strength, dignity and grace until the very end. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. But don’t feel bad if you haven’t seen it yet - because my Mom didn’t either, in fact, she never did. She was old school, - a self-proclaimed dinosaur when it came to computers and the internet…and proud of it. She really had no interest or intention of ever attempting to “log onto” anything - or email” anyone or “surf a web” – as far as she was concerned, - a cordless phone was high tech enough for her - and all she ever needed. She actually preferred a corded phone because she couldn’t misplace one hanging on a wall.

We did manage to print out the guestbook pages for her every few weeks - so she could enjoy reading all the warm wishes and prayers that were coming her way from our friends and family. She was truly touched, comforted and amazed – by the outpouring of love, care and concern that came from virtually everywhere – from as nearby as down the street in Charlotte and from here in New York and from as far as the other side of the world from our family in Australia – and the hundreds of points in between.

Andrea and I originally approached writing the journal on CaringBridge simply as a convenient way to communicate with our family and friends - to quickly and easily keep them up to date on how Mom was doing. But we soon realized that it had the potential to be so much more than that. We saw it as a way to honor and pay tribute to Mom’s spirited cancer fight - and to perhaps provide an honest and candid view into our lives - as we struggled as a family through this difficult time - dealing with something so unwelcomed, unwanted, and extremely evil and heartless.

We thought we could provide a sense of hope, inspiration, and strength to the people we cared about - by showing that an ordinary family like ours - can do extra-ordinary things for the people they love when challenged. I believe we accomplished that goal and it will remain a source of great peace and pride for us.

What we also realized - is that the journal was also serving a more selfish interest. We found that by creating a journal entry on any given day, we would immediately be rewarded with an overwhelming show of support from people near and far. Whenever we needed to feel that support and love, we knew what to do and you never let us down. Your guestbook entries, emails and calls have given us the very same hope, inspiration and strength - that we set out to provide. For this we are forever grateful - because it tangibly helped carry us through this most difficult time of our lives.

In closing, and in the spirit reflecting just how truly selfless my Mom lived her life every day, - I know that she would want you all to know - that her untimely death at the hands of cancer last Monday night - represented only one of more than 1500 other Americans that died of cancer that very day. More than 6000 people in this country alone - have died of cancer in just the 4 days that have passed - and more than 500 have already died this morning.

Cancer takes one American from us every minute, - ripping apart families, friendships and communities without conscience. I’m sure you agree that this is simply unacceptable.
So in honor of my Mom and the millions of other cancer casualties, fighters, caregivers and survivors, - I encourage you all to join the good fight to make this horrible disease a thing of the past - so that good people like my Mom - can be here with us longer - doing good things for their families, their friends and their communities. I’m convinced, - and so was Mom, - that together we can all make a difference. The time is now. LIVESTRONG.

Once again, peace, love, health and happiness to all of you and our heartfelt thanks for your friendship, concern, support and prayers.

Warm regards, the Zeidner’s, Scalise’s and Great-grandma Pierini

Sunday, January 11, 2009

TNT - Racing for a Cure

It's hard to believe that our TNT Winter Season is wrapping up. For the Carlsbad half/full marathoners, we're officially in taper mode, and our run was 6,7,8 or 10,11,12 miles. (Thanks to my ankle injury, I was still cheering from one of the Aid Stations.) The Rock 'n' Roll AZ group is ready for their race next weekend (good luck!). It was a great practice at Lake Miramar, although windy. You can feel the nerves and excitement as everyone faces their upcoming races. For many on the team, this is their very first half or full marathon! It's been a difficult week of news, of which I'll write more about later....BUT...it's been amazing to see our team pull together and support the LLS Mission even more! Thanks to all that sent some happy love from Mile 11 or Mile 21 during the WDW Half and Full Marathons this weekend. CURES ROCK!
Today, the TNT Walt Disney World marathoners just finished their race (CONGRATS!). Early this morning, I started to get text messages from our team coordinator, Heather, as she saw each of our teammates hit the Mile 21 cheer station during their race. The photos of teammates smiling and holding up their medals (a.k.a. bling) at the finish-line are truly priceless. I saw pics of my name on some of the teammates shirts, received text messages from folks, and I'm honestly very touched. I am also proud and inspired by the heroes that raised money for such an amazing cause...while overcoming some personal and physical hurdles and milestones to complete their race. Team in Training raised over $7 Million dollars for the WDW marathon!!! I can't wait to see the RNR AZ and Carlsbad teams hit their goals, too! I owe you all hugs (I hug heroes).
Pic #1: TNT teammates finished their WDW full marathons today. Look at that bling!
Pic #2: Coach Bill keeping me company at my Aid station at our TNT Saturday practice.
Pic #3: Pooh pointing to my name on Asst. Coach Happy's shirt during his race. (Thanks, Haps!)
Pic #4: Wow...looks like they were having a miserable time along the course (just kidding).

GO TEAM!

Lance Armstrong, Tour Down Under

G'day, mates! As Lance Armstrong just wrote on Twitter, "So much for sneaking into Australia...my old journo buddy Rupert Guiness says since I didn't twitter for 10 hours, it tipped them off. Haha. " Here's a post from the Australian Herald Sun about Lance and the Tour Down Under: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24891975-11088,00.html This marks the beginning of his comeback to racing...and better yet, bringing global awareness to the fight against cancer! LIVESTRONG!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Perspective on Life's Bum Rap

A great link was sent to me from my friend, Peter Lamothe (Development Director at Yale Cancer Center), who is a cancer survivor himself that LIVES STRONG. Peter uses it to re-charge his batteries and for inspiration of the happier times during a battle.

Thriving After Life's Bum Rap
By JANE E. BRODY
Published: August 14, 2007
For many people who survive a cancer diagnosis, and even for some who do not, the experience gives them a new perspective on life.


In case the link above doesn't work, copy/pase this into your browser: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/health/14brod.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dr. Gupta for U.S. Surgeon General? ROCKS!

President-elect Barack Obama has nominated Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the role of Surgeon General, according to news reports. He is the medical correspondent for CNN, and a neurosurgeon. He's also on the Board for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Click here for the Washington Post article. Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General? This ROCKS. He came to the LIVESTRONG Summit in Columbus, OH this past July 2008, as part of a cancer panel working with the Summit Delegates to help make cancer a national priority.
(Pic #1: Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the LIVESTRONG Summit, July 2008, Pic #2: Cancer Panel at Summit: Doug Ulman, Dr. Bernadine Healey, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, E. Gordon Gee, J.D., & Lance Armstrong)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Team in Training: Final Prep & 20-miler

The winter season of TNT is beginning to wrap up. We've raised ~$130,000 this season, of which 75% will go towards the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission! This is all due to your beautiful generosity and willingness to join in the fight to leave cancer quakin' in its boots.

Tomorrow, we help the teammates running the Walt Disney World and Rock N Roll Arizona marathons in their final race prep. We also help the Carlsbad marathon teammates complete their 20-mile practice run starting at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA. It'll be a busy day for the Mentors and teammates! :)

The "Cures Rock!" annual TNT fundraising campaign will be kicking off this month, as we head into our TNT Summer Season. My eyes are set on the double-header of the Seattle and San Diego marathons coming up. Mike will be back to coach the Boston Marathon qualifier "Hit" team for the races. It's going to be a kick-butt season, so keep reading my blog or sign up for an RSS feed. During TNT summer season in 2008, our North County Run Team raised ~$2.2 Million for the charity, and we'll be going for record fundraising this upcoming season, too.

Thank you to everyone who supports our team, whether through donations, working Aid Stations or riding your bikes along our team to cheer us on. You are all a part of our larger "Team," and I would like to thank you all!

(Pic from L to R: TNT Off & running! 18-miler from Fletcher's Cove, Solana Beach, CA)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolve to Find the Amazing in '09

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As we head into the New Year, why don't we all reflect on this past year of 2008? Remember the friends and family you've loved, and maybe even lost, this past year. Remember those that are still in the fight for their lives. Remind them every day this year that They. Are. Warriors.

We all have amazing stars in our lives. Let's take a moment every day to be grateful for their presence in our lives. In the year of '09, let's resolve to find what is most amazing in ourselves, our lives, our spirits --- and pay it forward. Let's believe in one outrageously, impossible thing every week and then make it a reality. Let's all become a "Yes man" or "Yes woman," find our inner-rebellious streak, and never say no, can't, don't, never and I give up. CURES ROCK. (Cancer does not.) Let's resolve to unite, and kick cancer and pity to the curb in '09.

Sl√°inte!

(Pictured, L to R: Julie and her 'soul sister,' a cancer warrior and amazing woman of God who as of March 2008, rests in His grip.)

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 http://www.livestrong.com

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

We *Heart* Our Fans

Cures Rock! on Facebook

Donate & fight to kick cancer to the curb!

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
All Content and Images (unless specified otherwise), Copyright Cures Rock! 2007-2012.