The aches and pains of training for a marathon are worth it for two Buellton women because of the cause they are running for.
Colleen Cianciarulo and Sandra Featherson are taking a break from their preparation for the Nike Women’s Marathon on Sunday in San Francisco to hold a fundraiser Thursday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) at Kate’s Yogurt in Buellton. During the eight-hour event, 20 percent of the shop’s sales will benefit LLS.
The women, neighbors and friends since 2007, are members of the Santa Barbara Chapter of “Team in Training,” or TNT, the fundraising arm of LLS.
Cianciarulo, 48, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara.
Featherson, 42, is administrative services director for the city of Solvang.
It will be the first marathon for either woman, although Featherson ran with TNT in the 2008 Nike Women’s Half-Marathon, also in San Francisco.
Featherson became involved after receiving a flier in the mail about TNT and LLS. After attending an informational meeting and learning more about what LLS does, she was all in.
The recent diagnosis of a teammate’s daughter with leukemia has given them even more reason to run and raise money.
Stephanie Waxman, 30, was diagnosed with blood cancer this summer. She is the daughter of their teammate, Shirley Waxman, and her husband Ken Waxman of Santa Barbara.
A bone marrow donor match was found in September and a transplant operation in San Francisco occurred last week.
The Waxmans have been longtime supporters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Shirley Waxman has raised more than $30,000 in donations for LLS in her daughter’s honor.
Cianciarulo said she is running to get back into shape, to honor an aunt she lost to lymphoma, and for one of her patients who suffered from children’s lymphoma.
Prior to the race, all of the TNT chapters come together for a speech by a motivational speaker, and there is a party after the marathon.
“It’s a great experience,” Featherson said.
Cianciarulo said they have been training two days a week with their team and together the rest of the week. Most of the 30 or so team members are in the Santa Barbara area.
She described herself as “never being a runner,” but she believes the crowds cheering on the runners will give her extra motivation to complete the 26 miles.
“I’m looking forward to that,” she said.
Fundraiser set for Thursday
- Colleen Cianciarulo and Sandra Featherson of Buellton are holding a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at Kate’s Yogurt, which is donating 20 percent of its sales that day.
- On Sunday, they are raising more money for the same cause by running in the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.
- Kate’s Yogurt is at 225 McMurray Road, Suite E, in Buellton.
- To make a donation online, visit http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/nikesf12/sfeatherson or http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/nikesf12/ccianciaru.
- For more information on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit www.lls.org.