When Kieran Holohan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2009 at the age of 42, he was given a 30-percent chance of survival—and that was if he went into initial remission and found a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. However, because of a new research study partially funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Holohan was able to participate in a new, less invasive form of treatment. The married father of a baby girl adopted a mantra: “I want to be able to dance at my daughter’s wedding.”
As he went through treatment, Holohan benefited from another type of support from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: the First Connection program. He was introduced to a survivor of AML, who calmed his nerves and listened to his story. In their conversations, Holohan learned about Team in Training (TNT), and he set a goal for himself: to run the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. He crossed the finish line that year, raising more than $67,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
As he prepares to complete his second ING New York City Marathon, Holohan considers the impact that he and more than 650,000 TNT participants have had on accelerating research for fighting blood cancers.
Today, Holohan is in remission. He has participated in many events with TNT and has raised more than $85,000. As he gets ready to join TNT in celebrating its 25th anniversary on the day of the Marathon (November 3), he is celebrating yet another unlikely achievement.
“As a result of running races nonstop since the beginning of 2011, I’ve been able to beat more odds,” Holohan explains. “The odds of me being sterile as a result of the chemotherapy treatments I received were quite high. Today, I am happy to announce that through steady exercise, I am not sterile, and in fact, my wife is 17 weeks pregnant.”
To learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and to register to run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon with them, visit their website.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg