NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Two Alpharetta women are on a mission, and they’re letting their feet do the talking in their campaign to help find a cure for cancer.

The two are part of a nationwide effort known as Team in Training of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a nonprofit established in 1949. Nearly 40 years later, in 1988, Bruce Cleland rallied a NYC Marathon team to raise money in honor of his daughter, a leukemia survivor.

Team in Training is a global leader in the fight against cancer and their mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Funds raised through the organization go toward blood cancer research around the world as well as affordable but quality care for blood cancer patients.

The monetary donations are raised through the events that are organized and held by TNT. To be a part of the organization, there is no prior skillset required. The organization offers a range of activities, inclusive to everyone, such as cycling, triathlon and walking/hiking. Each chapter also has trained professionals who will get each participant ready for race day, all while fundraising at the same time.

Jane Eastham has been a part of the chapter since 2004 and has participated in over 100 events. But she said what is truly inspiring is being able to watch everyone else’s journey and their growth.

Eastham says she has been inspired to the effort in honor of her cousin who died from leukemia when she was a teenager. Eastham is one of the coaches for the Georgia chapter that trains participants for events. Not only does the chapter raise money for a good cause but Eastham also said it is a group of good-hearted people where friendships are found.

“Anybody who has the opportunity to connect with a group of likeminded, giving people that want to do something good for themselves that will help the good of others [should join],” Eastham said. “There’s a tremendous amount of comradery, friendship, caring and giving people that get together and it’s a good group of people to surround yourself with.”

Geraldine Carr, participant of 10 years, said she has also enjoyed the supportive environment of the organization because participants are all inspired to a bigger cause. Both Carr and Eastham reside in the Alpharetta/North Fulton area. But the organization encompasses the nation.

The goal of fundraising for each event varies on the number of participants and type of event.

The Georgia chapter is currently training for the Ironman Triathlon in October, an event canceled last year due to the pandemic.

For more information, or to join, go to teamintraining.org or email Campaign Development Manager, TNT, Georgia/South Carolina Region at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Karen Oddell at karen.odell@lls.org.

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