Inspired Cancer Warrior Ambassadors

Team Inspiration Inspired Cancer Warrior Ambassadors in Action!

Roseann, Marilena and Chrissie in Kona.

Roseann, Marilena and Chrissie

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Marilena and Roseann in Kona at the 2013 Ironman World Championship and Team Inspiration Inspired Warrior Training Camp.

 

Marilena D’Amone is an Italian Cancer Warrior and triathlete who lives and works in London. She has an 8year old son named Miles.  Marilena was introduced to Team Inspiration through Chrissie Wellington. Marilena was diagnosed with cancer just weeks away from her first Ironman Triathlon, temporarily shutting down her iron dreams. But she wasn’t kept down for long! Marilena is back to training and dreams of going to the Ironman World Championships. Read Marilena’s blog entries about her journey here.

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Ian Leahy at the finish of his first 70.3 at Ironman Timberman in New Hampshire

Ian Leahy at the finish of his first 70.3 at Ironman Timberman in New Hampshire

Ian Leahy will be racing Eagleman 70.3 in 2016 with Team Inspiration to celebrate his 5 year milestone of being “Cancer Free”!
I was diagnosed with stage II-A nonseminomal germ cell testicular cancer in the fall of 2010 just weeks after moving from Philadelphia to Los Angeles for a job opportunity. My wife and I were on our own to tackle this life changing news. Over the course of the next 3 months, I endured a surgery and 9 weeks of chemotherapy. At the end of December, I was given the news that the treatment had worked, but that it would be 5 years before I would hear the words “Cancer Free” due to statistics with type of cancer returning. That 5 year anniversary will be December of this year. To celebrate, I wanted to do something that would not only challenge me, but also show my two young children that life can get really hard sometimes, and you choose to feel sorry for yourself, or you can use those obstacles as stepping stone to better yourself both physically and mentally. In June this year, I completed my first ever triathlon at the Tri-Rock event in Philadelphia followed by my first 70.3 at Ironman Timberman in New Hampshire in August. My hope is to complete a full Ironman with the next 1-2 years. As of now, my sights are set on the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in 2016 with Team Inspiration.
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Jessica and with her husband and two sons after completing her first full triathlon!

Jessica Hensley with her husband and two sons after completing her first full triathlon!

Jessica Hensley has been working in web design and development for non-profits for over 12 years through her company h2x multimedia, inc. She was introduced to Team Inspiration first-hand when Roseann was one of the nurses who cared for her at the University of Maryland during her two-year battle with AML, a form of leukemia. Jessica credits Team Inspiration with giving her the tools she needed to face the challenges of treatment with hope, strength and optimism. She is honored to have the opportunity to give back to TI and help other cancer patients through this role. Jessica was Team Inspiration’s honored triathlete in 2010 while she was in treatment. In 2011 and 2012 she was a runner on one of our relay teams for Iron Girl Triathlon and in 2013 she did the bike and run. In 2014 Jessica completed her dream of completing the entire Iron Girl Triathlon with her family and Team Inspiration cheering her on!
We are very proud of Jess!  Outside of her creative endeavors, Jessica loves to bike, run, swim, do yoga and travel with her husband and two young sons, both future triathletes and members of TI Warrior Kids program!
Jessica is now TI’s creative director and we are very grateful!
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BethAnn Telford crossing the Finish Line at the 2012 Ironman World Championship as member of the Kona Inspired program.

 

BethAnn Telford, is a remarkable young woman who has been battling brain cancer for 8 years and has raised over 1/4 of a MILLION DOLLARS for the National Brain Cancer Foundation through her charity called TeamBT, to help others who are battling brain tumors. She was awarded a slot for the Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 13, 2012 through the Kona Inspired program because of her relentless spirit in her own journey with terminal brain cancer and her immense efforts to help others, especially children battling brain tumors.

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John Ovelman (swimmer), BethAnn Telford (runner), and Roseann (cyclist) at the finish of Challenge Atlantic City - one heck of a relay team!

John Ovelman (swimmer), BethAnn Telford (runner), and Roseann (cyclist) at the finish of Challenge Atlantic City – one heck of a relay team!

John Ovelman is a nurse in the emergency department of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where Warrior Kid Anya received her brain cancer treatment. John is not only a nurse, but a cancer survivor. He finished treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma and is now cancer free! John came in second place at Escape the Cape just months after he finished treatment. His story: My name is John Ovelman a warrior with many battle scars, scars that represent memories. Memories that I will never forget due to the adversity that I confronted face to face.  My cancer journey started in November 2012.

When planning my treatment, I told my oncologist I was still going to work full time during my treatment and  I was going to fight this battle by not giving up on my fitness routine and great diet.  I was going to attack this cancer with chemo and radiation but also psychologically; body, mind, and spirit,  keeping up my fitness and diet and being grateful knowing that I have the support of my family .  My attack plan was  to conquer this invader fast. This was my goal from the beginning because I had my first triathlon of the season in the beginning of June in Cape May.  There was only one stipulation from my oncologist and that was I could not go to gym because of exposure to germs with a compromised immune system.  I agreed, let the war begin.
My diet consisted of all organic meals, lots of organic vegetables, fruits, fish twice a week, filet once a week and everything else was vegetarian.  One non organic item I could not give up though was pizza, I love it too much.  My exercise program consisted of kettle bell work outs in my basement, yoga, push ups, sit ups, biking,running in woods and lifting logs in the woods like ROCKY because I wanted to keep my muscle mass as well.  Working out helped me so much by releasing endorphin’s, which gave me positive thought as well as getting me outside my prison, which was the house.  Working out also helped my digestive track and my constipation from chemo.  All these tactics I chose helped me feel better after chemo even though I was tired and sick, I still stayed on my path to win my war with Cancer.
I started Chemo on December 26, 2012 and on Feb 20, 2013 I was told I was in remission after my PET scan.  It was a glorious day but I still had three weeks of radiation to go but the word REMISSION made the journey worth every sacrifice.  My triathlon in June was a success as well, finishing the race second in my age group and seventeenth out of 400 people. I still stay on my diet and workout plan today.  I feel better physically because of the healthy lifestyle.  I try to be thankful everyday to be alive even on those bad days which I have a few but nothing like being told you have CANCER!!!! Think Positively, Eat HEALTHY and EXERCISE.  Plus be THANKFUL  for your health.
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Kenneth Schweighofer_King of the Mountain

Kenneth declaring Victory over cancer!

Kenneth Schweighofer: “You have cancer.”  Those were the words that turned me from a casual triathlete that competed a couple of times a year in small races into an Ironman.  After hearing those words, I went to a bike store, purchased a triathlon bike that I couldn’t afford and hung it on my wall in my bedroom.  I promised myself that I would become an Ironman within a year, and I did.  Lake Placid 2009.  The rest is history. I completed my USAT Coaching Certification in Summer 2010, with a strong interest in focusing on disabled or challenged athletes, and helping guide them to the next level in their lives.  Using triathlon or becoming an Ironman as a path to health means so much more if you can finish healthy, happy and wanting more.  Since 2010 I have already been blessed to be part of several of my athlete’s ‘journeys’ to health, including Meagan’s road to 70.3 Worlds and Steven’s rebirth from a 300 pound man to two-time Ironman.  The reward of coaching is when one of my athletes crosses a finish line, shares the moment with their family and loved ones……and wants me there among them. Next year, I celebrate 5 years cancer-free and am stepping back to the Ironman stage at Ironman Wales 2014.   What makes this so special, is that 5 of my former athletes are all coming on this journey with me, some of them stepping up to Ironman for the first time.  For my future, the dream is to one day get the chance to race on the big stage, Kona.

Note from Roseann Dougherty,  Executive Director of Team Inspiration:
Kenneth and I met through our now mutual friend and cancer warrior, Marilena D’Amone. Kenneth has very graciously offered to be my coach for this season to help me in my quest to race Ironman Lake Placid.Kenneth is also training a group for Ironman Wales which he will be racing as well. Kenneth lives in the UK, but will be coming to race Ironman 70.3 Eagleman with Team Inspiration.  I qualified for the Ironman World Championship in 2010, fueled by gratitude and inspiration from the many cancer warriors I have been blessed to share the journey with. To have Kenneth as my coach is an affirmation of Team Inspiration’s belief that the purpose in life is to help one another!
Click here to see Roseann’s blog from her Kona 2010 journey: http://teaminspiration.org/iron-man-world-championship/
Kenneth and Team @ Ironman 70.3 Eagleman

Kenneth and Team @ Ironman 70.3 Eagleman

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Steve Brown, Inspired Cancer Warrior, Triathlete, Coach, Writer, Speaker, SURVIVOR
Steve Brown_Survivor

Stephen Brown
Triathlete * Coach * Writer * Speaker * SURVIVOR

After several years of playing high caliber soccer, Steve traded in his soccer shoes and turned his passions to multisport racing and has never looked back. Since then, Steve has racked up countless triathlons and multisport events of all distances while racing for multiple philanthropic causes. In February of 2006, Steve was diagnosed with a chronic form of leukemia. He underwent chemotherapy treatments while still maintaining his baseline fitness level, often running home from his treatments and quickly reached complete remission. By September of that year, just 7 months after his diagnosis, “RemissionMan” crossed the finish line of yet another iron distance triathlon. (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run) His diagnosis drew him to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s TEAM in TRAINING program where he signed on as a triathlon coach to help others reach their dreams while raising funds and awareness for blood cancers, like his own.  He is also a “cancer warrior” and team member of Team Inspiration whose mission is to empower individuals living with cancer by providing exercise & wellness programs that improve their physical, mental, and spiritual quality of life. Steve leverages his own positive cancer experience by connecting with other patients and their family members as a volunteer mentor with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s First Connection program, as well as the Imerman Angels patient mentoring program. He is a contributing writer whose work has been featured in Philly Health Watch, TransitionTimes.com, Endurance Racing Magazine, Philly FIT, and Liberty Sports Magazine. Brown has also published four books, all of which relate to the intersection of his cancer and multisport lifestyle. Steve and his wife live in Delaware County PA, where he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County and is their LIVESTRONG ambassador. For more please visit www.remissionman.com or contact Steve at stephensbrown@verizon.net In the words of Steve Brown – I draw parallel lines between the challenges we face in sport and those we face in life and try to use my involvement in the multisport world as a tool to encourage people to break through barriers and understand that all things are possible.”

Steve and Roseann @ finish of MCM. Steve deserves to sit...he ran NYC marathon the following weekend!

Steve and Roseann @ finish of MCM. Steve deserves to sit…he ran NYC marathon the following weekend!

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Casey and Chrissie

Casey and Chrissie sharing Inspiration at Ironman Texas 2012. Casey will be racing her first Ironman race in Arizona November 2014 with the support of Team Inspiration. Go Casey!

Casey Ann Randall FB message from Casey November 17, 2013: Are you going to be at the AZ IM tomorrow? If so I am volunteering and then signing up for next years race. I am a cancer survivor. 33 chemos, a stem cell transplant & 23 radiations. (2011-12) . I met Chrissie Wellington at the TX 2012 IM and she told me to look you up. She was so sweet and said you were a friend and to tell you that I knew her. So funny because I had just met her that day but she gave me a great pep talk, the nicest support, and I told her I was going to do an Ironman when I got healthy. Do here I am getting ready to embark on a great journey of training for the 2014 race. I’ve followed you guys but never wrote until now. Pretty excited. So how do I get hooked up with you?     Team Inspiration Response from Roseann Dougherty: Hi Casey!!!! Sorry I didn’t get this message until today but congratulations on signing up for your first Ironman and for your victory over cancer!!! IM Arizona was actually my qualifying race for Kona! I raced IM Arizona in  2009 carrying 140 LiveStrong writsbands with the name of a cancer warrior on each one! I believe this was the extra edge that allowed me to qualify for  Kona! W I would love to have you on board with Team Inspiration for Ironman Arizona. If I had seen this yesterday I probably would have signed up to race with you! Update 2015: Casey will be racing IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman with Team Inspiration.  AJ Morrison who is one of our coaches will provide a training program for Casey and our other athletes. AJ was BethAnn’s coach for Kona 2012.  It will be an honor to share this journey with Casey and her family.

Be Alive!  Casey Randall living life!

Be Alive!
Casey Randall living life!

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Andy Lambert will be racing Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research (LLR) and will be representing Team Inspiration for Challenge Roth. He was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2011 and put on a watch and wait program, but in his own words ‘they made a mistake and just want to steal blood every 3 months’. Andy, a triathlete of 15 years, is convince that his training and racing regime is keeping the cancer at bay and his conviction shows that this Inspired Warrior truly walks the talk to inspire others who face this challenge.. He wants to show other people in a similar situation, through his association with LLR, that fighting back can work.
Inspired Warrior and BRAT club member, walking the talk Ironman styel!

Inspired Warrior and BRAT club member, walking the talk Ironman styel!

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Kristen carrying the Olympic torch in 2002 while she was still in treatment

Kristen carrying the Olympic torch in 2002 while she was still in treatment

Kristin Adelman- Kristen and Roseann met over 14 years ago while training for a triathlon. One month later, Kristen, who was 29, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Roseann became her caregiver as she began treatment for the next 2 1/2 years. Throughout her treatment, Kristen and Roseann continued to do triathlons and marathons together, which gave them the hope, strength, and joy needed to carry them through this challenging journey.  They used triathlon and endurance sport as a vehicle to maintain the physical and mental strength necessary to survive the journey. Kristen is now in complete remission. Kristen and Roseann did their first Ironman together to celebrate Kristen’s victory over cancer and Kristen was a team member in  the Tour of Hope with Lance Armstrong in 2004. She has set a goal after treatment to run a marathon in every state and is now at 42 states!  Kristen and Roseann also discovered the importance of incorporating other forms of healing and strengthening for the body, mind and spirit such as meditation, yoga, visualization and energy work.
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