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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Team SJVC runs for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

November 4, 2013
Thousands took part in the marathon, including a number from SJVC’s faculty and staff.

It has been a long but rewarding 7-months of fundraising and physical conditioning for Team SJVC as they prepared for the Nike Women’s San Francisco Marathon held on Oct. 20th. The marathon, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through the Team in Training (TNT) program attracted over 30,000 runners. Some members of Team SJVC opted to support and run in TNT’s Disneyland Half Marathon held on Labor Day

Team SJVC will tell you that the effort they made for LLS was well worth it.

“Condition training schedules were 3-days a week, along with meetings scheduled for fundraising and nutrition counseling,” says Carole Brown, Team SJVC member. The team also put a lot of energy into fundraising that included dress-down days, marathon sponsorships and a rummage sale, which brought in $1,000.

Seven TNT members from SJVC were part of the March sign-up to run in one of the two half marathon races (13.1 miles), and each made a personal pledge to raise $2,700 for LLS. As hard as the workout schedules were, fundraising was just as difficult.

“Asking for money is one of the most difficult things for team members to do, but our LLS volunteers and staff provide resources that allow participants to reach – and even surpass – their goals,” says Nicole Weatherford, TNT South Valley Campaign Specialist. All seven SJVC participants met their fundraising goal – and finished their races.

Proud SJVC TNT members are: Carole Brown, Lauren Haney, Judy Petty, Mary Hansen, Liz Briseno, Alyssa Perry and Michelle Pimental.

Alyssa Perry, SJVC’s TNT Team Captain and Dean of Student Services for the Online campus, took her leadership role to the max. Alyssa raised over $6,550 of the $25,000 Team SJVC collected, and Liz Briseno went well beyond her initial pledge with $3,622. The South Valley total was around $80,000.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s many fundraising campaigns, including TNT, work to provide financial assistance to individuals and families struggling with the emotional and financial burdens of fighting cancer. Donations are used to provide patient advocacy, insurance co-pay assistance, patient treatment and care and financial assistance to families of a cancer patient who need bus fare, housing and help with insurance costs. (See:

“Team SJVC was very dedicated to fundraising for this cause,” says Weatherford. “They are a pillar of the health of our community.”

If SJVC runners were caught up in fundraising and training all these months, the true nature of their endeavor hit them as soon as they got to the S.F. Union Square starting line

“I wasn’t prepared for how emotional it was,” says Carole Brown. “There were people with photos of someone they wanted to honor on the back of their shirts and others who you could tell were very ill, on the sidelines cheering us on,” she says. “More than a few of us cried.

Team SJVC wore orange arm bands that read, ‘Team Aarin’, in support of the 5-year old son of runner Michelle Pimental’s good friends Monica and Ricky Flores.  Few runners and supporters do not have a close friend or family member whose life has been affected or taken by cancer.

The team pushed through the emotion, the pain and the body fatigue to the Golden Gate Park finish line. With 90-coaches encouraging, hydrating and monitoring them along the route, they felt able to go the distance.

Run times for each of the Team SJVC members felt irrelevant

“You see the 13-mile marker and that last .1 mile feels like a lot,” says Carole Brown. “I was just happy to finish.”


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