The Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon is partnering up with Team in Training to raise money and awareness for blood cancers. I am a huge advocate for not only a cure but for programs that help patients and caregivers go through the process of a diagnosis, treatment plan and life after a cancer diagnosis.
As an Ambassador for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k and coach for our training program with Fleet Feet Savannah, I have had the privilege of getting to meet some of the Team in Training (TNT) runners. Below is a runner spotlight on local runner, Diane W., who is a cancer survivor and running for TNT in the half marathon.
Age at Diagnosis :: 49
When I was diagnosed, one of my biggest fears was… whether I would be around to
watch my son, Alex grow up. He was almost 2 years old and my husband, Jerry & I were
in the process of adopting him. Another fear was… what if they don’t let us adopt him
because of my diagnosis.
How Many Years Cancer Free
2015 marks a special milestone for me; I’m celebrating 10 years as a Leukemia Survivor.
I wanted to do something special to celebrate, so I set a goal to find 10 women to join
LLS-Team in Training to raise $10,000 to represent 10 years in remission and
participate in the Publix Womens Half Marathon. What better way to celebrate life than
to give back to the organization that helped me reach this milestone?
A team of 14 co-workers at Seacrest Partners, Seacrest Sisterhood is running in my honor
and have already raised $14,000. In March, I will be surrounded by Seacrest Sisterhood
and Diane’s Divas (family & friends) running and walking alongside me on the course. I
feel truly blessed to have all of these wonderful friends, co-workers and family
Type of Cancer
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Were you always a runner?
No, I was not a runner. I was a multiple sport athlete when I was younger and continued
to play competitive softball into my 40’s. By the time I was diagnosed with CML, I was a
couch potatoe with bad knees.
When did you start running?
I starting running when I joined Team in Training for the first time, in June 2012 when I
committed to fund raise and participate in the Savannah Rock n Roll. I talked my
daughter Shelley into joining with me by convincing her she was doing it for me. All the
while, I had convinced myself that I was doing it for her, to get physically fit and to honor
loved ones with cancer. Regardless of the reasons, the running did not come easy. I
wore full knee braces and started with 1-2 minute intervals. Those 60 second runs were
brutal in the beginning. I’m happy to say my knees are better, I don’t wear braces
anymore and rarely do my knees ever bother me.
Did running help you through your treatment or deal with it
Cancer changed my sense of self. I went through a whole gamet of emotions: denial,
shock, fear, anxiety, sadness, confused and uncertain about the future. In other words, I
wasn’t interested in being physically fit. Then, after watching my brother go through
more than 2 years of diagnosis, treatment, stem cell transplant and recovery o f
Amyloidosis, a rare blood disease that does not have a cure and uncertain life
expectancy, I needed a purpose. I joined TNT in June 2012 to honor my brother, Larry
Kee. He is doing well but it’s a race to find a cure.
How has Team in Training/Leukemia Lymphoma Society helped you
throughout the process (ie grants, support, and training with TNT
Team in Training (TNT) is a celebration of life, the human spirit, physical ability and
mental endurance. As part of TNT, you receive a supportive team and exceptional
coaching to help you reach your personal fitness goals and successfully complete your
walk, walk/run or run. I will be the LLS Team in Training “Honored Teammate” for the
Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K on March 28, 2015.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in July 2004 and immediately began
taking oral chemotherapy, a pill developed by a researcher funded by LLS. By early
2005, I was in full remission. Without research funded by LLS and the development of
the oral chemotherapy pill I take, I most likely would not be a survivor today.
What are you most excited about for the Inaugural Publix Womens
I am excited to be a part of this Inauguaral event, that LLS is official charity and that I’m
the Honored Teammate for it. I’m excited to have Seacrest Sisterhood & Diane’s Divas
supporting and honoring me.
Any random facts about you?
When I’m not running, I’m devoted to watching Alex play soccer year round. He’s a
member of the Georgia Soccer Olympic Development Program team and I volunteer as
the boys 2002 Team Administrator.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about an awesome runner in your community! If you want to join Diane and myself at the race on March 28th, feel free to save $10 off and use the code: VictoriaRunsSWH. And as always, check out Team in Training online. They have tons of races, in lots of cool locations that can help you get in the best shape of your life, while you save a life.
Now that’s a win-win!