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Examiner
  • Team in Training: The Little Girl Who Started a Running Revolution

  • Meet Bruce and Georgia Cleland, the inspirational father-daughter duo behind Team in Training.
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  • Scan the crowd at just about any marathon, cycling event, or triathlon across the country, and you’re bound to see them: A horde of athletes proudly wearing the iconic purple-and-white green shirts, emblazoned with the logo “Team in Training.” These runners, walkers, cyclists and swimmers are all part of a massive movement to beat blood cancer, one mile at a time, borne of one father’s crusade to honor his tiny daughter by running a marathon. Team in Training (TNT), offers training and group support to recreational athletes who complete endurance events nationwide to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Since its inception in 1988, TNT has raised over $1.4 billion for blood cancer research and patient services. Now the nation’s largest endurance sports training program with more than 600,000 participating over its 25-year lifespan, the organization was founded in 1986, when Bruce Cleland received the type of news no parent ever wants to hear: He learned that his two-year-old daughter, Georgia, had been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. “In a word, it was terrifying,” Bruce recalls. “At that time, whenever I heard someone had leukemia, it was usually a death sentence. In those days the survival rate was only about 5 percent.” RELATED: How to Raise Money for Your Charity Walk Beating the odds, little Georgia went into remission after two years of rigorous chemotherapy and radiation treatment. But the experience left Bruce feeling restless—and determined to act. One night, while tossing and turning in bed, Bruce hatched a crazy, ambitious idea: to run the upcoming 1988 New York City marathon in Georgia’s honor. “It seemed like a really difficult thing to do, but a heroic thing to do,” Bruce, a former rugby player, explains. “I thought if I could get some other people involved and form a team where we all depended on each other and leaned on each other, all had a common goal of raising money for a very worthy cause like leukemia research…it just seemed to me that that might work.” [caption id="attachment_117126" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brought to you by: Spry Living

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