April 17, 2007

Shane's Wish

On May 30 2007, Shane Bernier, of Lancaster, Ontario, will turn eight. His wish is to receive birthday cards, as many as possible.

At the age of four, Shane was diagnosed as having Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). While he did go into early remission, he suffered a relapse in July 2006 and is now undergoing a course of chemotherapy at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) until the end of June 2007, at which time he will be placed on a maintenance program with weaker chemo in 2008.

If the chemo doesn't work, he might have to have a bone marrow transplant. His six-year-old brother, Jacob, is a donor match. According to Shane's mother (Nathalie Bernier) after the latest round of chemotherapy is completed Shane will have an 80% chance of being fine for the rest of his life.

As of the last update (mid February) Shane has received a few thousand cards. He opens every envelope and reads the ones that are written in French. (His mother and grandparents read the English ones to him.) According to a number of media reports Shane delights in receiving these cards, so even if the final tally falls far short of establishing a world record, the more important goal of making an ill child happy will have been met.

While there is no official record for the most birthday cards received in a single year, Craig Shergold is believed to have received in the neighborhood of 250 million get-well cards across the span of his appeal (although Guinness World Records retired that category in 1992 at 33 million).

There is a lot of coverage out there about Shane, so if you are interested please check out some of the following:
Shane's Birthday Card Wish (with video) - A-Channel News Ottowa

Team In Training
This brings me back to Team In Training. In addition to my personal goal of completing the 2007 Chicago Marathon, I have an additional goal to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma website,
"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The Society's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has invested more than $483 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers."

Don't forget to send Shane a card so that he receives it by his May 30 birthday! Please note that he is in Canada, and it may take longer for the card to arrive - so plan accordingly!

And don't forget to visit my Team in Training page and make a donation so that we can work together to help find a cure for blood cancers like the one Shane is battling.

Training Log
So today I was supposed to do 45 minutes of cross-training. This wasnt a problem and I just hopped on the elliptical for 45 minutes. The problem was that I ate a huge chocolate-chip cookie and a bag of M&M's today - so I think I probabally worked off some of those extra calories but highly doubt I am any more prepared for a 26.2 mile run :)
I also talked to a friend today who is an experienced Marathon participant (and runner) about gear - and she offered me a few other tips. I think she is more excited than I am about the months that lie ahead and promises me that I am really going to LOVE training. Whether or not I find LOVE may be debatable - I think we might want to wait and see before putting a label on this relationship.

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