Last year, on a whim, I decided to join the NYC chapter of Moms in Training. I came across it at a time when I was looking for somewhere to volunteer. This was a no-brainer…. get some exercise, meet new moms, help cancer patients and be a good role model for my children. Perfect!
This was before Moms in Training went national with 30 cities across the US and Canada. This was before there was a Moms in Training Leadership Committee, which is made up 100% of moms who thought so much about the program that they decided to volunteer whatever spare time they had to this great organization. This was before I met Lucy, Alex’s mom who writes about her journey on Alex Fights Leukemia.
Alex was 15 months when she was diagnosed with leukemia and has been such a brave little girl. She hasn’t known life in any other way than in and out of hospitals. Alex has become our local heroine, and my first race was dedicated to her recovery. She still has a way to go, but last time I saw Lucy she gave me the great news that Alex has the green light to start attending mommy and me classes, and interacting with other children.
Imagine not being able to take your child to the supermarket, or a playground for fear of germs. Imagine sitting by your baby’s bedside in the hospital for days and weeks at a time, over and over again. Imagine holding your baby in your arms while she receives anesthesia, and walking your sleeping infant into the operating room for yet another surgery. No mother should ever have to go through this.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) was one of the first organizations to invest in Dr. Carl June’s research when everyone else deemed his research to be too risky and unconventional. Treating leukemia patients with a strand of HIV virus? The results are astonishing. LLS has invested $30 million in Dr. June’s research since 1990 and continues to invest in cut-throat ground breaking research like his (I highly recommend you watch this video to find out what he’s done – it’s amazing!).
The survival rate for childhood leukemia in 1949, was zero, while today it is 90 percent. To date, Moms in Training have raised over $500,000, 95% of which goes straight to the cause, either towards helping patients or medical research. Most of LLS’s medical findings are tested and eventually rolled out to fight other types of cancers as well. I have been so overly impressed by the organization, I can’t even put it into words.
Now I am about to embark onto my third season with Moms in Training. I have met new neighbors, made friends, and lost some of my baby weight (I still have a bit to go – but it’s getting better every day :)!) I ran 2 races already, which I never would have thought possible a year ago. I have joined the leadership committee and am trying to recruit new moms to join our growing little family, because no mother should watch her child suffer.
Would you like to learn more about LLS? Are you interested in finding out if there is a Moms In Training team in your area, or maybe even starting your own team? Do you live in NYC and would you like to join our team? Go to or you can ask me directly in the comments! Would you like to support me in my next race (coming up in June)?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya.
Photo credit to the author.
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Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home.
Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!