Thursday, May 1, 2008

Second of Firsts

Two weeks ago I went to my first LLS board meeting since Kelly's passing. I have sat on the board with many of the same people for years so they were well aware of Kelly's cancer journey and the impact she had on my life. I felt strange seeing them now. It didn't feel real, this wasn't how it was supposed to play out.

The TNT campaign director gave me a big hug at the end of the meeting and told me she wants to create some sort of ongoing memorial award in honor of Kelly during each TNT training season. Since Kelly started with the Rocky Mountain chapter, she wanted to do that for her. Oh my gosh, how that touched me. That is so nice to know that Kelly's life and her spirit will continue to be inspiration at the Rocky Mountain chapter!

I made it through the board meeting, quickly exited to my car and cried most of the way home. On a side note, I ran out of gas and had an unusual conversation with a gas station attendant that will be a topic on an upcoming post.

Last Monday I went and spoke at a Team in Training info meeting for the Rocky Mountain chapter's fall season.

This is something I have done so many times over the last nine years as part of the volunteer work I do for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am always honored when I am asked to give the mission moment at these meetings, sharing Kelly's story, connecting people to the mission.

Again, the feeling was different. I don't know how to describe it. I stumbled a bit, my voice quavered as I shared my feelings with a small group of strangers, asking for their help to put an end to the loss of these young people like Kelly and Laiken. We all have to be more relentless in our efforts than this disease. We have to do this to honor their lives. It's up to us.

Seven of the ten people at the meeting signed up before they left, seven more people to carry the fight for Kelly and Laiken. The battle rages on, but reinforcements are on the way.

Cancer-You are on notice, be very afraid....

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