Ceri Lines wrote -
I survived leukemia and feel like the luckiest man on the planet. Now I want to do something for others who are facing the disease.
Since being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in early 2011, going through a year of intense chemotherapy, then slowly building myself back to hope and health, I now prepare to enter my second year of remission in my cancer-free "new life". Although it is still early days, with the official 'cured' period for leukemia being 5 years after treatment, I feel stronger and more hopeful than ever before. I want to celebrate this, and raise real hope and help to other sufferers by taking part in a series of endurance events, the first being Ironman Taiwan this year.
Not everyone is as lucky as I have been, having received amazing support from family, friends and a great medical team. There are many patients unable to get treatment for financial or environmental reasons. There is also a shortage of doctors and nurses to take care of everyone, and there is much research to be done to find more advanced, less drastic cures.
As a passionate triathlete and endurance racer, I feel like the luckiest man alive every time I hit the road for a run or bike ride. I would love to share my good fortune in some way, or to contribute to help the less fortunate sufferers of blood cancers. I want people who face seemingly impossible odds, as I did, to know that there is hope beyond the disease and intense treatment it requires. That is it indeed curable and there is a chance to become everything you were before, and more.
I would like to begin this campaign by taking part in the Taiwan Ironman event in November this year. This is a high-profile event that truly celebrates the journey to becoming the best you can be and overcoming physical and mental hardships, both of which played a huge role in my survival through the intense chemo sessions when things looked very bleak. The race is held in beautiful Kenting, on the southern tip of Taiwan, and involves a 1.9km swim, 90km bicycle ride, and 21km run. I aim to finish on the podium if possible, to prove that it is possible for determined survivors of serious diseases to not only become well again, but become stronger than they ever were.
Although still undergoing medical treatment and under close observation, I am now deep in a daily training program in my hope to achieve this goal. I am also signed up for other major events, including the Challenge Taiwan international triathlon series. It is extremely exciting for me to be in a position to merge my passion for racing with an opportunity to truly help others in need of both hope and further aid. Please consider making a donation, however small, to help make miracles become reality to others, as they did for me. Thank you!