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Get in shape while helping cure cancer
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Lots of people are resolving to get more exercise in 2015 and many also want to do something worthwhile. I am a volunteer with an organization that helps people do both — Team in Training, part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In 2004 I joined Team with absolutely no athletic abilities. With great coaching I was able to complete a full marathon. Since then, Team in Training has supported me as I’ve walked four more full marathons, numerous half marathons and completed an Olympic distance triathlon.

While this has given me a healthier lifestyle and a bowl full of finisher’s medals, the real reason I continue to train with Team is the money they raise for research and programs that help cancer patients. I first joined in honor of a 6-year-old boy at my school who had been diagnosed with leukemia. This year, when his cancer came back for the third time, his prognosis was extremely poor. However, thanks to LLS funded research, a cutting-edge treatment has rendered him cancer free — and that’s worth more than all the finishers' medals in the world!

It’s also the reason I’ll be training with Team again in 2015. Northern San Joaquin Valley teams will train for half or full marathons, as well as a century bike ride. To learn more or sign up, go to We start pre-training in January, with our official kick off on Feb. 5.

Please join us. You’ll be healthier and you will become part of the campaign to find a cure for cancer!

— Jill Norman