Ok, technically, it's not an "Ironman", at least not in the brand-name sense, but it is the full iron distance of 140.6 miles. On August 1st, I will be competing in the Vineman full course triathlon as part of Team in Training's Ironteam. I've been a participant and mentor for Team in Training cycling events and Livestrong challenges for the last three years, but this is my first triathlon. We are about halfway through our 10 months of training, and have our first half-iron practice tri in three weeks. We also have a fundraising deadline coming up fast, and I could really use your help!

It may sound like a daunting goal for a first time triathlete, especially since I am neither a runner nor a swimmer. But it's not any more daunting than the task of finding cures for cancer - especially when congress has decreased funding for the National Cancer Institute three years running, now.

We need your assistance to find a cure! You can help by donating to my fundraising campaign in one of two ways: The simplest way is to donate via credit card at my fundraising page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/V...n09/ColinKelly

All donations are tax deductible. I know times are tough for many people due to the current housing market and volatile economy, but if history has taught us anything, it is that these things will come back and improve with time. Unfortunately, with blood cancer, time can be the enemy….until we find the cure.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society estimated that blood cancers will have struck an estimated 138,530 people and kill 52,910 people in the United States alone in 2008. That's one person in the U.S. newly diagnosed every 4 minutes and one dying every 10 minutes. The good news is that death rate appears to be decreasing, so the research is working! But the bad news is that the diagnosis rate appears to be going up. Leukemia is still the leading disease-related cause of death to children under 15 years old.

Please help with the fight. Any and all amounts matter. Once again, you can donate through my web page, http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/V...n09/ColinKelly. If you prefer, you may also mail a check made out to the "Leukemia & Lymphoma Society" to me. Ping me for my address.

In addition, many companies offer a corporate matching donation program. Please check to see if yours is one, as that's a very easy way to double your donation!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for your support.

Regards,
Colin