Triathlon Community Rallies Around Team Marsh
Multiple events are taking place to support professional triathlete Amy Marsh, who was diagnosed with Leukemia last month.
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Multiple events are taking place to support professional triathlete Amy Marsh, diagnosed with Leukemia.
True to form, the triathlon community is supporting “one of their own.”
Amy Marsh, professional triathlete and four-time Ironman champion, recently revealed on her website she has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a blood and bone marrow cancer affecting the production of normal, healthy red blood cells.
In addition to undergoing multiple chemotherapy treatments, which began on Christmas Eve and continued into January, Amy will require a stem cell transplant.
“Emotionally it’s been a roller coaster. We really are taking it pretty much day by day. The first few days there were quite a few moments of sheer disbelief. The first week after the diagnosis was a complete blur,” said Brandon Marsh, Amy’s husband and fellow professional triathlete. “We’re still really early in this whole process. We’ve had a ton of information coming at us from every direction, and a ton of help offers as well.”
Being very fit going in to treatment has “really helped,” says Brandon: “Most days Amy walks around the hospital for 30-45 minutes in 10-20 minute segments or rides an old Schwinn Airdyne that the hospital brought up when they found out Amy was ‘a bike rider.’ Sometimes she’s been so tired that a 10-minute walk would be too much.”
RELATED: Pro Amy Marsh Diagnosed With Leukemia
For those wishing to support “Team Marsh,” multiple opportunities are available:
Cancer Care Fund
For expenses not covered by insurance, including frequent travels from their home in Austin to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a fundraising site has been established via YouCaring.
Buy Shoes, Help Amy
20 dollars from all shoes purchased in-person or online from Marsh’s local triathlon store, Austin Tri-Cyclist, will go toward supporting Amy’s medical care, according to an announcement made on Twitter.
Bone Marrow Matching
A stem cell transplant for Amy will take place after a suitable match is found. Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplants are some of the best ways to treat blood cancers. There are several ways that an individual can be a bone marrow or stem cell donor. There is a global as well as national registry of potential donors. In the U.S. it is the National Marrow Donor Program. One way to become a member of the registry is for healthy individuals between 18 and 44 years of age to register with Be The Match, a registry of blood marrow samples to help match donors with blood cancer. Joining the registry requires a swab of cheek cells, which can be completed via a mail-in package or in person at a local donor registry drive.
One such drive, facilitated by Sharing America’s Marrow and Delete Blood Cancer, will take place in Austin on Saturday, Jan. 24. Locals wishing to submit a cheek swab and join the bone marrow donor registry may visit Austin Tri-Cyclist from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Good thoughts, prayers, and encouraging messages may be sent to Amy and Brandon through Twitter (@amycmarsh and @BrandonMarshTX) and their blog, Team Marsh.
For more information on AML, visit cancer.org or lls.org.