Deke and Leslie Bailey of Team in Training have an incredible story of survival. Their journey and commitment to marathon training started in 2010.
Please consider donating to their fundraising efforts and stay tuned to hear more about their journey to the 2014 finish line!
Although Deke and I have been running for quite a while, our real journey began two weeks before the birth of my son (our first child) in August 2010. Damian was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Anderson was born on Thursday, August 12, 2010 and the new father began chemotherapy on Monday, August 16. It was a long road with a newborn, new parents and tackling cancer. Much of the first 6 months of our son’s life is a blur to Deke. Nevertheless, Deke has been in remission since February 2011. Through the encouragement of his oncologist, a longtime marathon runner and participant of Team in Training, Deke joined the 2012 Boston Marathon Team. That April marathon was one of the hottest in history but he finished and we couldn’t be prouder. He raised almost $40,000. In January of 2013, we welcomed our second child, Leighton Ann, to our family. Once month to the day later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s. What are the chances?
Deke was already training with TNT for the 2013 marathon but he had more reason to run. Deke raised about $60,000 for TNT. Because of his fundraising efforts, he won 2 tickets to the VIP bleachers at the Boston Marathon finish line. His good friend and I were waiting for him to cross when the first bomb exploded directly across the street from where we were sitting. As we were trying to get off the grand stand, the second bomb exploded. We were lucky to escape unharmed. It wasn’t until later that we realized the magnitude of the explosions and the devestation they caused. Simultaneously, Deke proceeded toward the finish line until he hit a wall of runners at mile 25.5. That is where the race ended for him. For 45 minutes, we had no idea where each other was. All he knew was that I was waiting for him at the finish line. We finally had an emotional reunion outside our friend’s apartment near the Public Gardens. I completed my last round of chemotherapy on July 29. I’ve been in remission since August 2013.
Despite the cancer diagnosis, we both know we are lucky.
Lucky to have a cancer with proven treatment, blessed to have two beautiful and healthy children, and enormously lucky to escape the events of April 15th physically unharmed (emotionally, well, that’s another story).
So I’m running to give back… raising money to help others have the same outcomes as both Deke and I. And also running to honor those effected by last year’s marathon and to honor the running community in general.
I’m a 38 yo (almost 39 on 12/27) wife and mother of two. I’m a native of South Florida and moved to Boston in 1993 to attend Boston University. This will be my first marathon although I consider myself a long-time runner. Running was my therapy during treatment. I’d manage to get out on the weekends during treatment to get some miles in. A time to reflect and be alone with my thoughts and the outside world. I ran the BAA 10K during treatment and ran the BAA Half and Tufts 10K post-treatment. You can’t control much during cancer treatment, so you embrace those things you can….like your run and your motivation to get out there.