Running for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society

The first marathon I ran was the 2011 Chicago Marathon and I ran it for my favorite charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I learned a few things about fundraising for charity that first go round, the most important being that its not easy. But neither is running a marathon. So when I decided to run this year’s NYC Marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I knew the challenges that were ahead of me.

It’s overcoming those challenges that makes the whole experience so much more meaningful. The realization alone, that the challenges I will face are microscopic compared to those of the folks I’m raising money for, is enough motivation to get me through the hardest training run. The added weight of involving all the people that have joined the campaign by donating, will get me to the finish.  Hopefully in BQ time. Sub 3hrs 5 minutes.

While searching the list of charities available for the NYC Marathon, I was saddened to see that my favorite charity, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, was not on the list. After days of browsing through different charities, I saw the link to LLS. I’d recently volunteer-bartended a LLS fundraiser for my 10 year old sister Alex, who’s classmate is in remission. The family thanked and praised LLS so much for helping them through the tragedy and that struck me on a very personal level. I also realized that a lot of the children that were seeing their wishes come true by the Make-A-Wish Foundation had blood cancers, so in a way, I was still helping them too.

There are few charities as organized as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you’re involved in your running community then you’ve most likely heard of Team in Training or TNT, as they go by (because the alternative was Tit). If you haven’t heard of them, it’s a program created by LLS that offers marathon training assistance in exchange for fundraising. They set you up with a local (or remote) coach that sends you training plans and tips to help you through your training. Although I believe it’s a great program, it’s not for me. I feel that its geared more toward beginners working for their first marathon goal. However, the attention to detail and the highly organized fundraising platform that they use is for me and definitely went into consideration when choosing.

After choosing, LLS, Weeks went by and I had no idea how I was going to approach the fundraising this time around. Although I love supporting charities, I genuinely hate asking people for money. So when I saw that a guy on Kickstarter was raising money to make potato salad, it inspired me (fyi: he’s raised over $50,000…..to make potato salad).  I knew right away I was going to somehow have to piggyback on his campaign.

So I decided to start a war with him. I would boycott of Potato Salad until my goal of $1500 is reached. Check out my LLS fundraising page here, Michael’s LLS Fundraising Page, and my facebook page here, Michael’s Facebook Page to see some of my antics.

It’s been just over a week since I started this campaign and I reached just over 50% of my goal last night.  The campaign is moving faster than I ever thought possible and it’s all been through social media.  With so much time still left, I know we will reach $1500 and hopefully even exceed that!  With that said, I want to personally thank the followers of this blog who have donated already and ask those who haven’t for any contribution.  Join the fight against blood cancers by donating to LLS and/or make the symbolic gesture with joining my boycott of potato salad! With your help.

Just click on this link to join the fight 🙂

***BLOG SPECIAL**** If you donate today I will personally and randomly shout your full name at a water station volunteer along the marathon course!

Thank you all!

-Michael

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