First the Triathlon, now the Marathon
Orlando, FL, Dec. 13, 2010 – Athletics have always been a part of Steven Reinhard’s life. He participated in triathlons in college and is still a lifeguard instructor for Orange County Parks & Recreation; he never imagined his perspective of sports would change. But the competition and the athletic conditioning are no longer the only reasons he participates.
Reinhard was diagnosed in the spring of 2009 with stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer his doctor found when he noticed Reinhard’s swollen neck. After an MRI and CT scans, Reinhard began chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells in his lymph nodes. After six months of treatment, the cancer was gone and his lymphoma was declared in remission.
"But I still felt winded just walking up a flight of stairs," Reinhard said. He had completed the Orlando triathlon barely a year earlier, and felt strongly about getting back in shape for another one, now that he was well.
"With my connection to the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society," Reinhard said, "there was no better reason for me to get involved in their triathlon training program. So, once my treatment ended in September, I signed up for the Miami triathlon and began training with the team in January. Being with the group was quite motivating," he said. "I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be, but I finished!"
Reinhard had found inspiration among a group of athletes who train for long distance races as they raise money to fund the cancer research and patient assistance programs of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The group is called Team In Training, and each year it trains some 38,000 athletes who raise more than $100 million.
He is now at the end of another four months of endurance training with the team, this time for his first 26.2-mile marathon at Walt Disney World, January 9th.
It is very unusual for such a recent patient to be able to train with the team. Normally, it is for patients like Reinhard that they all run. Each runner is paired with a patient who, in turn, provides motivation to complete the race.
"I was silent about my experience with cancer the first time I trained with the group," Reinhard said, "but I see now why it’s important to share my story with my teammates."
"After completing chemo, I was determined to show that just because you have cancer it doesn’t have you. Team In Training has been a great experience and inspirational way to give back to the community. TNT and my family have been my motivation to do more, be more…"
Stephen provided his own personal account to the Mason County News of his battle:
Final Count Down
Here we go - final month till the run for my life. The training runs are going well, even managed to get in a 9 mile run in Key West. I am now looking forward to the 20 mile next weekend. Tappering off just in time for Christmas and New Years followed by the big run on January 9.
I had my year and half scan on Friday. Hard to believe it has been that long since I was diagnosed. So far I am feeling good and ready for the five year mark free and clear.
I am on my last push as well for the fundraising. If you happen to be looking to get me something for Christmas, a donation to LLS would be greatly appreciated.
Please help out if you can, even $5 would be outstanding.
Have a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Wonderful New Year!
To Sign Up
Recruitment begins in January to form teams for the late spring/early summer marathons, triathlons and century rides. To sign up or learn more about Team In Training, please visit www.teamintraining.org/cfl
About Team In Training and the Walt Disney World Marathon
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sets competitors up with certified coaches and a personal training regimen, advises on nutrition and injury prevention and holds weekly team workouts so athletes can encourage one another and stay on track. In return they raise funds for research and education and patient support programs.
Reinhard will be among approximately 1,773 TNT participants at this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon weekend January 8-9, 2011. Over the past 13 years 23,904 TNT participants have taken part in the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon, raising more than $65.5 million over that time to support blood cancer research and patient services.