Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cures Rock! Tour: Adventure Ahead!

In 2006, I heard three words that nobody should have to hear in their lifetime: “You have cancer.” At the time, I was 31 years old, had a great career and was training for my first marathon. Cancer? What!?!

Months later, I was still battling treatments, but my friend, Mike Sheehy, ran my marathon for me while raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as part of the Team in Training organization. (Probably the only sub-3 hour marathon I’ll ever be able to claim…) Part of the deal was that I’d kick my leukemia to the curb and run the marathon with him the following year in 2008. And I did.

I can verify from my own experience how inspiring it was to know that someone was out there running for me, while I was running my own endurance race with chemotherapy. Over time, I’ve learned there are teams of folks out there doing just that --- racing to save lives and
to raise funds to find a cure for blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Since then, I’ve fought cancer three times, and I am very happy to say that I’m cancer-free.
(That’s right -- it’s three strikes, and you’re outta here, Cancer!) Along the way, I’ve met some incredible people with amazing stories to tell, and we all have something in common: Cancer.

To be honest, I’ve had enough, and it’s the reason I founded the “Cures Rock!” campaign to raise funds and awareness about cancer in young adults (ages 18- 39). Cures Rock! has become a growing grassroots organization of survivors and cancer warriors with passion to change the world and end the stigma of cancer.

Recently, a group of my friends and I were sitting around trying to find ways to do four things: create awareness of blood cancers, cheer on families and patients in their own battles, say “thank you” to medical teams, and raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Let’s face it. Today, we YouTube, Podcast, Blog, Wiki, Facebook and Tweet. We wanted to create awareness of blood cancers by harnessing that energy and “taking it to the streets” with an extreme challenge, break down global silos, and inspire those impacted by cancer around the world through our love of online social media, endurance sports and music.

Keeping all these things in mind, we created the Cures Rock! Tour (CRT). The CRT is an ultra-run from San Diego, CA to Phoenix, AZ (over 500 miles) that will raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My friend, Mike Sheehy, will run an ultramarathon – more than 31 miles or 50km – each day for 17 days straight. He’ll be accompanied by a Relay Support Team (I’ll be on that team!) and anyone who is interested in running with him. The run will begin on January 1, 2010 at Cancer Survivor's Park and finish at the 2010 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon on January 17th. Along the route, we are going to visit hospitals and patient families impacted by cancer.

Here’s how you can be involved in the Cures Rock! movement to kick cancer to the curb:

DONATE to this amazing cause. I realize these are challenging economic times for us all and charitable contributions are harder than ever to raise. I also know that most of you share a connection to cancer in some way and have a desire to make a difference in the lives of those that are living with it today or that may face it in the future. 100% of your donation will go to LLS and is tax deductible. (We're covering our own expenses for the Tour.) Please make a secure online donation by visiting this link: Cures Rock! Tour Donation Page.

• PASS IT ON. Tell EVERYONE you know. Please pass on this e-mail or the tour website to anyone you think will also be willing to support the tour (either financially or through in-kind gift donations). Facebook it. My Space it. Email it. Text it. Talk about it. Please help our grassroots campaign. Even if someone cannot donate, we’d love for them to be aware of the LLS Mission and Cures Rock! campaign. If your company wants to be a sponsor, please email me.

• Follow my Cures Rock! Blog at:

• Follow us on Twitter: CuresRock. (Hashtags: #CuresRock & #CRT2010)

• Join the Facebook "Fan" Page:

Thank you for being involved in an amazing cause. We all know that cancer doesn’t discriminate and can impact any of our lives at any moment. In the 5 minutes you’ve taken to read this blog post, someone new was diagnosed with blood cancer. I am committed to this challenge because my ultimate hope is that in my lifetime we will see a cure for cancer --- and that one day, my nieces and nephew will say, “What’s cancer?” The only way to keep that hope alive is to pass that expectation on to as many people as possible, which is what the Cures Rock! Tour is going to do. Together, we CAN make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Thank you for joining our small group with an extreme challenge. I know together, we can make this a reality. Your support of the Cures Rock! Tour and our incredible journey is greatly appreciated. CURES ROCK!!!
1. Colin, Mike & Julie (CRT Teammates) at Cancer Survivor's Park, the location of the 1st day of the Cures Rock! Tour.
2. Sisters kicking cancer's bootie at the LIVESTRONG Challenge - Austin.
3. Cures Rock! Tour logo

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