A few years ago I lost one of my uncles to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This started a new journey in my life to help those in our community affected by blood cancers. Shortly after I lost my uncle I learned about Team In Training. LLS’s Team In Training (TNT) is a leader in endurance sports training for charity, funding significant therapies like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, which have a significant impact on blood cancer patients. After learning about Team In Training, I signed up to fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to walk/run a half marathon in South Lake Tahoe on Sept. 29. My goal this year was to raise a minimum of $2,000 by Sept. 9.
As my family is active in the racing community at Placerville Speedway I reached out to the track promoter Alan Handy to verify if it would be possible to do a fundraising event. My thought was to bring awareness to the racing fans about blood cancers as well as to raise funds to fight blood cancers such as Lymphoma, Leukemia and Multiple Myeloma, the very disease that took Mark Forni’s life way too early.
With Alan’s support my journey began to take a new light. I met people in the community, drivers,and racing fans that I may not have had the opportunity to meet before. I met folks that shared their personal stories of how they or a family member have been affected by one of these diseases. So many people’s lives have been touched in one way or another. Through these conversations I am reassured that my efforts are appreciated and that I’m doing right thing to help those in our community.
With less than a month to organize the event I started a mission to reach out to as many drivers, local businesses and businesses as far away as North Carolina associated with racing to obtain prizes for our fans. All in all over 100 gifts were available to be given away to our fans and together we raised a phenomenal $1,511 in just a few short hours to fight blood cancers. I am so overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and generosity and proud of our racing family. I am forever grateful to Alan Handy Placerville Speedway’s promoter and those associated with the track as well as all the racing fans and drivers for opening their hearts and pocket books to support this cause. Together we all made a difference in the fight against cancer.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Mountain Democrat and Bill Sullivan for promoting the event. Bill announced Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s presence at Placerville Speedway and did a fabulous job letting the fans know our purpose. I can truly say that you were instrumental to our success. Thank you.