Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Personal

Just a day and a half from Frederick and it's time to share.

A long time ago, I talked about signing up with Team In Training. TNT is a great organization and has a great purpose, but for me, there is more.

Around about 1988, I met Phyllis. At the time, she was President of the Maryland Jaycees, an organization that my dad had belonged to and I was a fairly new member. I saw Phyllis as a very strong and powerful woman. In my early 20's, I was in awe and was very impressed with both the office and the leader.

Over the years, we developed a very close friendship. I joined her in some US Jaycees political endeavors and she taught me much. We drank a lot, talked a lot, and played a lot of poker.

It was at a Christmas Party at Phyllis' house in 1994 that I inquired about Deb's "status." She told Deb "of course he likes you, why do you think he invited you to his 30th birthday party!" 16 months later, Deb and I were married.

We talked religion and politics. We were almost never on the same side of either, but we always enjoyed the banter.



December, 1994, an appropriate birthday gift of cards and Jack Daniels!

Over the years, we got together regularly with friends and our quarterly poker group. Times were good.

A few years ago, word came that Phyllis was not well. She had lymphoma and was at Johns Hopkins hospital. I still don't know all that she went through back then, but she was not expected to live. A last minute bone marrow transplant saved her life, but the complications changed the way she will live.

I visited Phyllis last week in a nursing home when I shared with her my plan for Frederick. We talked about life and she reminded me that doctors predicted that she would be a memory. Through the miracles of medicine and the will of God, she lives today. It is a life that she is living, but not what she had in mind. Her family and friends are lucky to have her.

I can't help but wonder if the efforts of previous TNT participants helped to save her life. I hope that my efforts, and the generous support of my friends, family and co-workers will help save many more Phyllis'.

On Sunday, I will run in "TNT Purple" for me, but also for her.

If you have given, thank you very much.

If you have not, please consider doing so. The life you help save may be closer than you think.

Click HERE to visit my TNT web page.

Signing off until Sunday.

L'Chaim!

5 comments:

Dodger said...

Mensch

Terry said...

The cancer my Mom died of in 1996 is listed under Lukemia and lymphoma. Its a trouble disease. I'm sorry to hear about Phyillis- I always enjoyed her company while doing Jaycee stuff. She was fun. I seem to recall a bottle of Amerretto always being near by.
Good luck tomorrow. I'm rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, buddy!

Dan Seifring said...

Way to go Jeff. I have been checking the results all day.

Cheryl said...

Just catching up on your blog, to read about your MARATHON (!) and found this very touching post. My dad died from pancreatic cancer, and my daughter had a friend who survived lymphoma - just barely. It is so great that TNT exists, and that you are running for this cause, and your friend Phyllis.