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ECU faculty, students raise money for cancer research

GREENVILLE, NC   (Mar. 25, 2004)   —   A small contingent of students and faculty from East Carolina University is participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual athletics challenges.

In addition to training for three different competitions in Hawaii, Alaska and California, the 18-member Down East Team must raise a total of $74,200 by June. The money will go to research efforts to eradicate blood-borne cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Anne Bogey, director for Professional Programs in the College of Business, coaches five ECU students and a faculty member who are training for a 55K triathlon scheduled for June in Maui, Hawaii.

"They are just great. A lot of them have never done anything like this before, so it's really motivating to watch them progress," Bogey said.

The ECU students training in the King's Trail Triathlon in Maui are: Cristy Herron, Megan O'Connell, Jessica Smith, Jenna Swindell and Emily Waite. Karen Scott, a lecturer in the Psychology Department, is also training for the triathlon.

Kathryn Yandell, associate vice chancellor of University Development, is training to run in the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego, Calif. Students training for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon with coach Lance Martin are Holly Price and Jodi Morgan.

Students training for the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon and Half Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska are Kimberly Clements and Melissa Feller.

Since 1949, the society has provided more than $358 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers, said Leukemia and Lymphoma Society campaign coordinator Garrett Artz.

"Our mission is to cure blood related cancers," said Artz. "We have a lot of ECU students and faculty involved this year." Along with the athletes competing in the various events, the Down East Team has two honorary members, Amber Vance and Holly Fox, both of whom are undergoing treatment for blood cancers.

The society's Team in Training program started in 1986, after a New York woman decided to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running a marathon in honor of her ill husband. Her idea blossomed into a nationwide effort. Teams from across the United States now participate in athletic competitions to raise money to cure blood cancers. Seventy-five percent of the funds raised go directly to research to eradicate the diseases or to care for victims and their families, Artz said. The rest goes to pay for administrative and travel costs.

Bogey said she's incredibly proud of her team and the efforts they make each day to undergo the training as well as raise the money that will help out thousands of people diagnosed each year with a blood cancer.

"I've seen so much progress - I'm not worried about the race, although that open-water swim will be challenging," said Bogey. "I'm not worried about them, physically. Fundraising, I think, is the real challenge."

Those interested in donating to the ECU efforts may make checks payable to: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and send care of Down East Team, 4330 Bland Road, Raleigh, NC 27609.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481