It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since I lost my mom, Janet Warrington to cancer. Which means it was about 20 years ago that I got that dreaded news. Nobody ever wants to hear the “C” word in the same sentence as a loved one and I’ll never forget the day I did. She was on a family cruise and I was living in Colorado applying to medical school. She was too weak to walk off the ship and had bruising all over. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital to transfuse some blood and order more tests. She thought she’d be given a few pints and sent home. Her Dr warned her it wouldn’t be that simple.
For 10 years she fought the most valiant fight, in and out of remission, losing her hair, growing it back only to lose it again. But she looked pretty good with a wig, 10 years younger I’d say. I don’t think I ever heard her complain; except that the wig made her scalp itch. She carried on having dinner on the table each and every night for my father and whomever else was in town. Laundry done daily, 5 bedroom house cleaned weekly, garden kept tidy, all by her own might and refusal to give up. She had grandchildren to spoil, bunko games monthly with the ladies and of course she wanted to see her 4th son finish medical school. I was scared to death that that would never happen.
But thanks to her strong will, advances in cancer treatment supported in part by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an excellent oncologist, Dr Nazha and her faith in God, she lived twice as long as her initial prognosis. Not only did she get to see me graduate medical school, but ER residency as well. She was so very proud of me and never let me forget that.
This year I have the honor to be chosen for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s IronMan Kona team. As most of you know I have been raising money for this worthy cause since 2001. This is the program that got me into the sport of triathlon and other crazy endurance events. 8 IronMan finishes later I am back at it again, but this year is a bit different.
IronMan is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. Ive finished 8 of these beasts since 2003 but this year I have the distinct honor to race in the World Championships. I’d say it is akin to being chosen to participate in the Olympic games. Just about everyone racing has qualified at another IronMan race around the world. It is considered one of the toughest courses in the world. And for this honor I have been tasked with raising, what many would consider, a substantial amount of money. So I am asking for your generous support. If each of you reading this letter pledged $140.6 (a dollar/mile) I would easily reach my goal to raise $100,000 for blood related cancers. Your donation is 100% tax deductible and goes to a very worthy cause. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds vital research for cures and patient services. Over 73% of every dollar donated goes directly to the programs they support. I know my mom would not have survived as long as she did without the medical advances LLS supports.
Since this is such a lofty fundraising goal I will be rolling out a series of fundraising efforts, including online silent auctions, a full media campaign and maybe charity event near you. If you have any ideas for additional fundraising tools, I’m all ears. I would also be forever grateful if you would share this with 5 of your most generous friends. My promise to you is that I will leave nothing on that course on October 13th. A full 110% commitment. Please help inspire me with your generous donation today!!
Wayne Warrington, DO.
Dept of Emergency Medicine
The Queens Medical Centers