Thinking of Joining Team In Training? Get Advice From an Expert!

Lois MarkovichThis past year Lois Markovich, leukemia survivor, long-time Team In Training (TNT) participant and board member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Northern California Chapter, decided to officially “retire” from TNT. Her last event was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon where she was a member of Team On Fire, which raised over $264,000. Since first getting involved with TNT in 1999, Lois has participated in 25 seasons and more than 25 events, so we asked the seasoned professional for advice for current and future TNTers:

“Take advantage of the team. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people, see new places, experience a new sport or get better at a sport you already know.”

“Don’t minimize the experience but live it to the max because it’s a fabulous way to be a part of something bigger than you and yet know it’s a big part of yourself as well.”

Her most cherished part of Team In Training?

“The people, always the people.  I’ve had so many great memories, wonderful teams, coaches, mentors, captains and participants.  They all do something special, sometimes with no initial connection to the cause, and raise so much money every single year.”

Lois Markovich - Isabelle and Shelby in MauiLois’s favorite event was her first Nike Women’s Marathon, where she had the opportunity to meet her team’s Honored Hero, a young girl named Isabelle who was battling leukemia. A few years ago, Lois had the opportunity to see Isabelle who’s now a healthy teenager in high school. As a young girl, Isabelle was featured on a TNT brochure (pictured here with Isabelle on the right) alongside another honoree Shelby, who’s now a survivor and spoke at Lois’s kickoff for this year’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon. After seeing Isabelle and Shelby thriving as young adults, Lois truly felt that her Team In Training career was complete.

For those of you who know Lois, you’ll still see her at LLS and TNT events as a supporter and occasional participant. Thank you Lois for all of your years of support and your continued commitment to creating a world without blood cancers!

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Announcement from LLS!


We are very excited to announce that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Greater Bay Area and Sacramento Chapters have merged to become The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Northern California Chapter!

As the Northern California Chapter, we have offices in San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Sacramento, and satellite offices throughout the area. We are so pleased to be one big chapter serving patients and their families from Monterey County to Modoc County.

Connect with us on social media or contact one of our Northern California Chapter offices to learn how you can join the fight against blood cancers today!

sidebar_icon_facebookThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Northern California Chapter
Team In Training Northern California Chapter
San Jose
675 N. First Street, Suite 1100
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 490-2666
San Francisco
221 Main Street, Suite 1650
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 625-1100
Santa Rosa
2455 Bennett Valley Road, Suite B204
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 544-4350
7750 College Town Drive, Suite 210
Sacramento, CA 95826
(916) 929-4720
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2014 Light The Night Walks!

This was an amazing year for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night Walks! In Northern California, a total of seven walks hosted over 12,000 walkers and 1,000 volunteers who all helped us raise $3.2 million to help create a world without blood cancers.

A special thanks to our 78 volunteer committee members! Without our committee members who helped recruit new walkers, engaged their circles and executed the logistics for the walks, we would never have been able to create a special and memorable evening for all who are touched by blood cancers. If you’re interested in joining your local committee, please contact Victoria Gallagher at

Thank you to all of our walkers, volunteers, committee members and supporters for helping us light the night!


San Francisco Light The Night Walk, AT&T Park – September 23, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


Napa Valley Light The Night Walk, Veterans Memorial Park – September 27, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


North Bay Light The Night Walk, Old Courthouse Square – October 11, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


San Jose Light The Night Walk, Discovery Meadow – October 18, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


East Bay Light The Night Walk, Civic Park – October 25, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


Peninsula Light The Night Walk, City Hall Plaza – November 1, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here


Sacramento Light The Night Walk, Raley Field – November 1, 2014
View all pictures from the walk here
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Chris-Mix Silent Auction to Benefit LLS!

The 9th Annual Chris-Mix, presented by Mix 104.9 and North Bay Kitchen & Bath Design Center, will be hosting a silent auction to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)! This festive show starring American Authors with Uncle Kracker and Jacquie Lee from The Voice, will be taking place on Sunday, November 30th at 7 pm at the Wells Fargo Center For The Arts.

Tickets are now on sale at the box office, which you can visit by clicking here, or at Don’t miss this concert and silent auction benefitting blood cancer research!


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The 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco!

NWM_RunnersIt was a very exciting weekend for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) Northern California Chapter! Sunday was the 11th annual Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco, a race to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and one of the biggest endurance events in the country that takes place in our very own hometown.

This year, the Northern California Chapter had over 620 participants who completed the half marathon and raised over $1.8 million! Overall, TNT had over 1,500 participants who raised more than $5 million to benefit LLS and over the past 11 years, the Nike Women’s Run Series has raised over $153 million for LLS.

It was an unforgettable weekend, starting last week with the Nike Expo, featuring a Someday Is Today photo booth and a NWM_Ben & ChristineTNT Lounge in Macy’s Union Square. Saturday’s Inspiration Dinner was particularly exciting for our chapter since two incredible participants from Bay Area teams were given top fundraising awards, Ben Wang of Team Kim and Christine Attia of Team On Fire, whose teams both individually raised over $250,000.

Sunday’s event debuted a new course to the over 45,000 participants who ran or walked 13.1 miles through the streets of San Francisco. The purple energy through the city was electric, especially for all of the participants who call Northern California home. The TNT Tunnel of Love, where all the TNT coaches and staff line the finish line to cheer on the last TNT participant to cross, celebrated one of our very own honorees, Jim of the NWM_Tunnel of Love_Jim FenolioSF/Marin Walk Team! Team In Training pictures from the weekend are now available here.

Congratulations to all of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco finishers and a special GO TEAM to all of our participants from Team In Training’s Northern California Chapter! Thank you to everyone for supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and helping us find a cure for blood cancers.

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Guest Blog: My & Team Kim’s Journey – Ben Wang, Team In Training participant & founder of Team Kim

That was the worst part about having cancer, sometimes: The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people.

John Green, The Fault in Our StarsIMG_7639

I know my wife, Kim, felt that way. Maybe it was the filter mask that gave it away, a particular hair do or the PICC line. Kim passed away nearly six months ago, from an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She had been battling it the prior two years earning brief remissions through chemo. She survived the stem cell transplant from her superhero sister Jess, a perfect match. At the end, her will to live never succumbed, knowing that I and our twin three-year-old daughters wanted and needed her, but the chemo was too strong and the leukemia, too stubborn. After being in love for the past fifteen years, I feel flattened missing her every single moment of every day.

In the ensuing weeks condolences, support and hugs came flooding in. But none of it hit the pause button on my feeling of loss. As the one left behind, I felt separated from all others without any physical evidence of the disease, just the sole inward facing loneliness and melancholy. Our friends Tom and Deanne, both Team In Training (TNT) veterans, suggested that we put a team together to honor, remember and celebrate Kim. As a runner, I had often seen the TNT purple jersey at races but was unfamiliar with the mission and the program. Deanne discovered that should we fundraise over $100,000 as a team, we would be able to name a research grant in Kim’s honor. Furthermore the research grant would go towards The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Beat AML initiative, with the aim of curing AML with advanced targeted therapies.

It made sense on many levels. Kim was a runner, was invested in her treatment and became knowledgeable about new clinical trials. Kim was also a uniter. The idea that groups could come together to do something positive would be right up her alley. It sounded almost perfect, though the idea of talking, or blubbering, about Kim and her story to strangers felt uncomfortably raw. Still it was the first time I could see the tiniest bit of daylight breaking through the gloom, the seed of which would become Team Kim.

At the kick off meeting for the TNT Peninsula team, I recounted Kim’s story and shared the nascent journey of Team Kim. Preventing my voice from cracking was challenging but I quickly saw in the gathered group of other participants, volunteer coaches and team manager, understanding, compassion, drive and community. People whom I had never met were moved and I in turn began to feel some peace that Kim was continuing to inspire people, the way she did for me every day. I haven’t stopped missing Kim, but with each Mission Moment, track practice and fundraising event, I feel less separated from others. I found some measure of solace in the sprints and the pauses, the shared words and understood silences.

IMG_4968Team Kim has now swelled to 71 runners and walkers nationwide and together we have raised over $170,000 to support AML research. We will run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco this October. I am proud of our accomplishments as a team and very hopeful that our efforts have helped raise awareness, will help find a cure and bring people together when loss has separated them. Undergoing this journey has united me back with old friends, new friends and myself.

Team In Training is about possibility, relentlessly realizing new cures for hematological malignancies and driving people to accomplish endurance events they’d never imagined they could do. In the aftermath of losing Kim, I could not imagine a life unscarred. In the end, tragedy and loss unfold before all of us. As Edward Hirsch writes in Gabriel:

I did not know the work of mourning
Is like carrying a bag of cement
Up a mountain at night
Look closely and you will see
Almost everyone carrying bags
Of cement on their shoulders
That’s why it takes courage
To get out of bed in the morning
And climb into the day.


As one of too many left behind, carrying those bags, it can feel unbearable. Climbing with Team Kim and TNT is having a family help lighten the burden each step along the way as we begin our ascent to a new normal.

Ben Wang is a Team In Training participant and founder of Team Kim, a nationwide group of TNT participants dedicated to raising money for AML research. Follow Team Kim’s story at and learn more about Kim at

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Blood Cancer

Blood cancer isn’t 10609676_10152661727613724_6359606049812725582_nsomething most people want to talk about. In fact, we’d probably be happy to go our entire lives without ever giving it a second thought.

Unfortunately, with more than 1.1 million Americans living with (or in remission from) these diseases, most of us know someone who thinks about it every day.

The statistics are improving and promising research developments are announced every day, but we still have a long way to go. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) focuses on raising awareness every day but for September – Blood Cancer Awareness Month – we’ve set an even greater challenge – raising $300,000 in 30 days.

Think about these facts:

  1. Every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed and there are few (if any) means of preventing or screening early.
  2. In 1964, a child’s chance of surviving acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood leukemia, was 3%. Today about 90% of children survive.
  3. Since the early 1960s, the survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled thanks to research and access to better treatments.
  4. Nearly 40 percent of new cancer therapies approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2013 were first approved for blood cancer patients.
  5. Multi-drug chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation was first successfully developed for blood cancer patients.

We’ve come a long way!

Last year alone, LLS invested nearly $80 million in cutting-edge research – bringing the total to more than $1 billion spent to advance cancer therapies and save lives. Yet, despite this progress, more than one third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis.

Currently, LLS-funded research teams at multiple institutions are testing different approaches to activate the immune system to kill cancer cells. They helped advance an antibody therapy that helps boost the immune system to attack cancer cells in patients with lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and are working to advance new FDA-approved targeted therapies to treat patients with CLL and other B-cell cancers.

To keep up this progress and achieve our goal of a world without blood cancers, we need to invest in more research to find cures. We need your help.

Please help us meet our goal. Donate today.

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Donate to LeukoLab in 5 Easy Steps!

Did you know you can donate to LeukoLab in just five easy steps? Learn how today!


LeukoLab helps blood cancer patients by collecting donations of blood cells from healthy donors and providing biotech companies and academic institutions with a reliable source of blood products for the development of cancer treatments and other therapies. Each donor is generously compensated, ranging from $35-850 per donation! LeukoLab has been a proud sponsor of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) since 2012, and donors can choose to have a portion or all of their money go towards their Team In Training fundraising efforts.

Your single donation can support up to 60 different research projects, helping researchers spend less time looking for donors and more time on results. Click here to view more fast facts about their donor program!

To learn more, visit, or call (510) 521-7400 ext. 280 and mention that you are a Team In Training participant. LeukoLab is conveniently located near the Oakland Airport in Alameda. Go Team!

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The 2014 Light The Night Walk Season Begins!

Over the weekend, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Greater Bay Area Chapter hosted its Light The Night kickoff to celebrate the start of the 2014 walk season!

The event was hosted at Lucky Strike San Francisco, where 300 Light The Night Walk guests were treated to breakfast, fundraising tips and a program where the 2014 Honored Heroes were introduced. After the kickoff program, guests were given special LLS baseball gear and snacks, and headed to a San Francisco Giants game in a special LLS-hosted section!


Our Light The Night Walk season has officially started, so be sure to sign up today! View all of our different walk locations below and register online at

San Francisco
Tuesday, September 23, 5 pm
AT&T Park – Pier 48, San Francisco, CA
Napa Valley
Saturday, September 27, 5 pm
Veteran’s Memorial Park – 800 Main Street, Napa, CA
North Bay
Saturday, October 11, 5 pm
Old Courthouse Square – 500 4th Street, Santa Rosa, CA
San Jose
Saturday, October 18, 5 pm
Discovery Meadow – 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA
East Bay
Saturday, October 25, 5 pm
Civic Park – 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA
Saturday, November 1, 5 pm
City Hall Plaza – 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

Sign up today!


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Join Moms In Training for our Fall Season Today!

The incredible moms with Team In Training’s (TNT) Moms In Training are back at it again for a fall season! Join this great group of moms who are getting in shape, meeting other moms and saving lives as they train for the Monster Dash, a Halloween-costumed family fun run or walk in San Jose on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

You can register for this amazing program at!

Moms In Training will be hosting fun meet-ups around the Bay Area where interested moms can attend to learn more about the program and get their questions answered! Kids and toddlers are also welcome to attend any of the meet-ups listed below:

  • Thursday, August 14 at 10 am, San Bruno ParkGO MOMS!
  • Friday, August 15 at 10 am, Palo Alto Mitchell Park
  • Saturday, August 16 at 9 am, San Jose Houge Park
  • Saturday, August 16 at 9 am, Rose Garden at Golden Gate Park
  • Sunday, August 17 at 10 am, Redwood City Stulsaft Park
  • Monday, August 18 at 10 am, Washington Park Sunnyvale
  • Thursday, August 21 at 10 am, Washington Park Burlingame
  • Thursday, August 28 at 10 am, Central Park San Mateo

The training season will kick off on August 23 or 24 at various training locations throughout the Bay Area. Children in strollers are more than welcome at kickoff and at workouts throughout the season!

Moms In Training is a flexible nine-week workout program where moms come together socially to get in shape while raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Workout groups will be available in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, South Bay and the Peninsula.

Join Moms In Training today!

Questions? Contact Stephanie Wissler at or 408-490-3130. GO MOMS!

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