Karin Best has something big happening the first weekend of June this year. To honor her husband’s battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, she is taking on the physical challenge of a century ride. That’s a 100-mile bike ride. Karin will participate in the America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on June 2nd. This is Karin’s first century ride, but not her first endurance event; she has completed countless marathons, half-marathons and triathlons, all with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training ® (TNT) program, and all in honor of her husband, Mark.
Mark was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January of 2006, when their son Bennett was only three months old. Mark had been experiencing back pain and instead of a herniated disk, they found out he had tumors from his tailbone to his neck, including one tumor as large as a football. Mark started treatment immediately, and in June of 2006 he went into remission, but was told he needed a stem cell transplant. That fall, Karin, Mark and their son moved in with Karin’s parents in Atlanta so that Mark could receive a transplant from Northside Hospital. October 13, 2006 was his transplant day – or his new birthday – as many patients refer to their transplant day. The Best’s were able to return to Savannah by Thanksgiving, but Mark had to stay in isolation at home until February. Seven years later, Mark is still in remission, but the type of cancer he has is bound to return. Mark and Karin are hopeful they have at least 15 years until it comes back. They are avid supporters of Team In Training, hoping the funds they raise today will help find a cure for Mark tomorrow.
After Karin completes the century ride in Lake Tahoe, she will be awarded the prestigious “Triple Crown” award from Team In Training, for having completed at least one event in each sport that TNT offers – a marathon, triathlon and century ride.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program is the world’s largest endurance sports charity training program, and is currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Since 1988, TNT nationally has trained over half a million runners and has raised over $1.3 billion towards the fight against blood cancers. TNT began in Savannah in 1996, when a group of nine runners trained for the Chicago Marathon. Those nine joined 28 other runners in Georgia, and as a team they raised $95,000 for blood cancer research.
For more information including sign up dates and event schedules, attend the Savannah TNT Information Meeting on Thursday, May 16th at 6pm at Fleet Feet Sports (3405 Waters Avenue) or visit www.teaminintraining.org/ga.