In 1998, I became involved with the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program. Their organization can truly be credited with not only inspiring a new generation of athletes, but creating a winning combination of fundraising for a cause and sport. I was initially hired as the Santa Barbara Coach for their marathon program. For each program I trained anywhere from 25-50 athletes at a time for a destination event and additionally assisted with their fundraising goals as well. Each participant was required to raise a certain amount of money for the cause, and then train for a specific marathon event at a destination location.
After my initial involvement Coaching with TNT, I had several family members diagnosed with blood related cancers. I felt compelled to utilize my notoriety as a sponsored athlete to try to raise money for their research. I approached them regarding my Ultraman race and asked them if they would offer a similar program specifically for myself and this race. They agreed, and was able to raise just over $50,000 for them in my first attempt. I continued to raise money over the years for TNT as I raced and eventually was credited with raising over $100,000 for their cause and Coaches over 600 athletes in the 7 years that I served as a Coach for them.
I continued to Coach for TNT in Long Beach and also served as the Head Coach of the LA Chapter for 2 years, overseeing all of the other TNT Coaches for marathon and triathlon. With the research dollars raised through these programs, incredible strides in research and treatment have become available in recent years.