My Fundraising Page

Concuring Cancer Together
Oct 15, 2016

    Welcome to My Light The Night Walk Fundraising Page!

               

                Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer in the United States. Every 9 minutes, someone actually dies due to blood cancer. That’s just here in the USA and doesn’t even count those from the rest of the world. If you do the math, over 150 people a day lose their life to this fight in our country alone. In fact, the most common form of cancer in people, under the age of 20, is Leukemia. Every time I think about that I get the chills. Every. Single. Time. I have Leukemia. Knowing there are thousands of children out there with stories just as tough as my own, or worse, is a really hard pill for me to swallow. The only thing that gives me any sort of comfort is knowing I can use my story to inspire others and to be a voice for those children who need it… desperately.

                 In 2014, about a year into my journey dealing with cancer, I had my first experience with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. One of my best friend’s had lost a family member to Leukemia, so they do this walk every year. When they invited me to come I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I definitely had no idea that it would have such an impact on my life. Light the Night Walk is a fundraising event where over 200 communities across the country participate in a memorial walk, every fall, to raise money for funding LLS research in hopes of curing blood cancers. In this way, we can all take steps together to end cancer around the world.  They call it Light the Night because everyone walks with illuminated lanterns. The colors of the lanterns indicate how that person has been affected by a blood cancer. That year, the white lantern was for survivors, yellow represented someone who was supporting someone else with cancer, and the red lantern was for a loved one lost. Fortunately for me, I was able to walk with the survivor lantern. That doesn’t mean my story came without struggle or that there weren’t times when I worried I might be represented by a red lantern soon.

                As technology advances and more research is done on cancer, we are learning that our environment plays a really vital role in what happens to our bodies. That can be anything from ingesting harmful chemicals, from what we eat and the products we use. Also, stress levels and the cortisol our bodies produce to deal with stress can have an impact. I grew up in an extremely stressful environment. For starters, my mom and my brother are both diagnosed Bipolar Manic-depressive. If you have ever met anyone with this chemical imbalance (that’s really all that it is), just try to imagine for one brief second what it was like to have two of them in the same household.  Trust me, one brief second is all the time that you want to spend there. I also grew up with two parents who never really got along or, at least, I have no memory of them getting along much. When I was a sophomore in High School, they ended up getting a divorce. After that, all hell basically broke loose.

                I grew up playing sports. I was never a really big guy but, by the time I had graduated from High School, I weighed nearly 260 pounds. I had zero knowledge of what good nutrition consisted of. I drank alcohol and ate every Twinkie, Ding-dong, and fast food I could get my hands on because it was all readily available to me just like it is for most Americans. When I was in college, things only became worse. I drank heavily, partied even harder, and eventually became depressed with where I was in life. I wasn’t living up to my potential and I was going down a path that wasn’t right for me. I am sure just about anyone can relate to that horrible feeling at some point. What I didn’t know was that I hadn’t seen anything yet. Not even a glimpse. Things can ALWAYS get worse….and they did.

 

                From the day I turned twenty-one and until I was about twenty-five, I was having horrible luck with health issues. I broke my hand, had shoulder surgery and two knee surgeries, and even my appendix decided it had enough of my crap and wanted out. Once they took the appendix out, I was in and out of the hospital for at least a month dealing with one infection after another. It was extremely tough on me mentally. It just felt as if every time I got back on my feet, something else would come around and knock me back on my butt. I was convinced that I was cursed. Did I break a mirror? Did I do something that made God want to punish me? I always had tons of questions without answers. I eventually decided I was going to take my life back. I wanted to be in control again. I wanted to be happy and the first place I started was with my health. Even though I had other problems, my health is what bothered me the most.

 
 

     

                                                   

                That is when functional fitness entered my life. I ended up joining a Crossfit gym and utterly fell in love with it. For the first time since I gained all of that weight, it just started melting off like butter. I still had no idea what I was doing with nutrition but I was working extremely hard and feeling better than I ever had before. I was going way overboard and even training two to three times a day and six to seven days a week. That was extremely unnecessary. Within a four month period, I brought my weight down to 183 pounds and was ready to start competing in local fitness competitions. I was the happiest I had been since before I was 16 years old. I felt like I finally had control over my life and things couldn’t have been better. I was absolutely loving it!

                One day, I walked into the 6:00am class I always attended and started the warm-up. I was only about two pull ups into it, when I suddenly got this shooting pain up the back of my neck and into my head. I instantly dropped to the ground, couldn’t see anything, and was in excruciating pain. I spent the entire class just lying there and not wanting to move. My cousin ended up convincing me that I should go to the hospital, even though I was against the thought at first. After being there for hours, they told me they couldn’t find anything wrong with me other than I had a migraine and my white blood cells were too high. They suggested I go see my regular doctor to keep an eye on it.

                Over the next month or two, I went to my doctor every week to have my blood tested. Every time I went in the numbers got higher. I am not sure if I was in denial or just never thought much about it. The doctor didn’t seem alarmed either but finally after one visit he tells me, “If your white cell count is up one more time, I am going to suggest you go see a Hematologist and I will recommend one to you.” Sure enough, they were higher the next time and I ended up having to go see another doctor. What I didn’t know, at the time, is that Hematologists in the United States are also an Oncologist.

                When I got to the doctor’s office in a building next to the hospital, I thought the location was weird but quickly let the thought go. When I walked in and tried to find the doctor’s office number on directory, I couldn’t find her name. That seemed odd and it sort of started to weird me out. I looked over and I saw another board that had the title, ONCOLOGY, above it. I thought to myself, they can’t possibly think I have cancer. I walked over to the board and, sure enough, the doctor’s name I was looking for was there and my heart just sunk like a rock dropped in the ocean. As I am waiting in the room to see her, I am totally in my own thoughts and not paying attention to anything being said to me. She walks in, introduces herself, and sticks her hand out to shake mine. All I could do was look up at her and ask, “You guys think I have cancer?” That’s when she responded back with, “Yes. I am sorry, but you have Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.” Whatever little bit of heart I had left in my chest just utterly shattered and the course of my life dramatically changed forever.

                The doctors tried to tell me it was alright, everything was going to be fine because they caught it so early, and that it is one of the least lethal stages of Leukemia. However, they also told me I should know that, if I went into the worst stage, there wouldn’t be much they could do for me. That is pretty much verbatim. I still cannot believe they said that to me. Within 6 months, they started to see signs of blast cells in my blood which meant that I was headed for the worst stage, acute. That’s when everyone started to get really scared. Most notably, myself, even though I didn’t really admit it to anyone. I honestly thought I was going to die. I started having to take bone biopsies every 3 months for over a year. Those were very painful. I quickly became extremely miserable. I was bed ridden all the time, had the most excruciating headaches you could imagine from the chemo, and was totally losing control over my life once again. I slipped into an extremely deep depression and felt like I was in a hole so deep I would never climb back out. When I wasn’t lying in bed sick, I was sitting on our back porch just staring into space and thinking about how unhappy with my life I was. No matter how hard I searched for peace, I couldn’t find it because I wasn’t taking the necessary steps to make it happen.

                One day I woke up and remembered lying in my bed thinking to myself that this cannot be the rest of my life. I refuse to just sit here in this bed and rot away like I had begun to do. Something had to change. So after about ten months or so of all this, I crawled back into the old gym I was once a part of. The two coaches that had taken over the gym, while I was gone, were phenomenal. I approached Mike, the head coach, and told him what was going on in my life and tearfully asked him for help. I told him I desperately needed someone to help me get back on my feet. Within about two months of working with him and Kaleigh (the other coach), I had completely revamped my nutrition and learned how to eat a healthy diet. Through functional fitness coupled with nutrition, I started to gain my strength back.

                Mike and Kaleigh had given me my life back and I could not be more grateful to this day. It made such a profound difference that they actually became my business partners and we opened up our own gym to help change more and more lives for the better, just as we had changed mine. Our gym at SICFIT Round Rock is designed to empower people so they can handle any curveball life throws at them. It is our mission, at the gym, to help people create longevity and fulfillment through a holistic lifestyle. Gone are the days when you need an entire cocktail of prescriptions to deal with your health and wellness. I am living proof of what a healthy lifestyle can do for you. Over the next two years, I finally reached molecular remission! I had gone from the least lethal stage, up to the worst stage, and all the way back down to the best level of remission and all within a two and a half year period.

                Having cancer has actually been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Through those hard times I was able to find my passion in life and also my gift. My passion is to help people because I know better than most what it feels like to feel helpless. My gift is my innate ability to calm people and make them feel comforted. The rest of my life is going to be devoted to bettering other’s lives. That is why I have teamed up with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk fundraiser. When I went to that first walk a few years ago, what stood out to me the most was how very few white survivor lanterns there were, compared to those for supporters and loved ones lost. That hit me incredibly hard, because it really put it into perspective just how truly lucky I am to be alive. I want to raise as much money as I can to make sure one day there is no child out there that has to feel the way I felt or die from a blood cancer and be remembered and missed by a loved one carrying a red lantern. Stand up and join us in our fight. Take steps to help us all live in a world without cancer. Come walk with me on November 12th, if you can. Even if you can’t join us as we Light the Night, Please donate today!

 

 

 

If this story has inspired you and you would like to donate, please use the DONATE button at the top right of your screen!

 

If you would like to walk with a lantern, please hit the VIEW TEAM PAGE to the top right of your screen and register as a team member. Once you are a team member, you either have to donate $100 to yourself under team members or raise a $100 to get your lantern, a wristband for access to food and a t-shirt!

 

Thank you so much for helping us take steps to living in a world without cancer!

 

Light The Night Walk

November 12th, 2016 at 6:00pm CT

9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617

 
 

Supporter Comments

  •  
    "We can all learn a lot from the man you have become. Thanks for sharing your story, friend. "
     

    Terrance Jones

    Tue Oct 18 12:28:02 EDT 2016

  •  
    "I hope you continue to inspire others with your story!"
     

    Cody Bell

    Wed Nov 02 11:26:52 EDT 2016

  •  
    "You're amazing Travis! Thank you so much for sharing your story and I am so proud of everything you have accomplished in such a short time. You are an inspiration to Bryant and I everyday. We miss you so much! Keep up the amazing work and thank you for being you! :)"
     

    Kali Kostreba

    Thu Oct 20 12:49:55 EDT 2016

  •  
    "We are so proud of you! Love from Pop and Aunt Kay Kay"
     

    Dan and Kay Boren

    Wed Oct 19 08:05:44 EDT 2016

  •  
    "Love you Travis!! I'm hoping to do the walk with you on the 12th! "
     

    Ashley Pax

    Wed Oct 19 03:53:08 EDT 2016

  •  
    "So sad that you have had to suffer from having Leukemia.. Hopefully your will be in remission forever..God bless you.."
     

    Ruby Lee Boren

    Sun Oct 16 12:11:11 EDT 2016

  •  
    "So proud of the man you have become. Love You, Nanny"
     

    Linda Chapman

    Fri Nov 11 05:35:14 EST 2016

  •  
    "Love you Travis. So proud of you!"
     

    Courtney Burgess

    Fri Nov 11 02:28:41 EST 2016

  •  
    "For you Travis!"
     

    Patti Maund

    Fri Nov 11 12:42:20 EST 2016

  •  
    "It's not much, but we love and support you through all of this! We're so proud of you!! ~Mike, Kaleigh, and Ella"
     

    Mike, Kaleigh and Ella

    Fri Nov 11 12:34:18 EST 2016

  •  
    "Let put cancer in the full mount, ground and pound, then choke it out! OSS!#BJJtobeatCancer"
     

    Dedan Rodriguez

    Fri Nov 11 11:54:52 EST 2016

  •  
    "You are amazing and a true inspiration! Proud of you. "
     

    Celene Loredo

    Fri Nov 11 10:53:27 EST 2016

  •  
    "Love you Trav!"
     

    Kelly Simmons

    Fri Nov 11 10:41:43 EST 2016

  •  
    "Love you Travis! I am happy to help you reach your goal! :)"
     

    ruby Kinard

    Fri Nov 11 10:39:21 EST 2016

  •  
    "You've got this!!!! Your courageous fight is the definition of putting CAN in cancer. We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished."
     

    Danielle, Amanda, Anslee, & Makaya

    Fri Nov 11 10:33:45 EST 2016

  •  
    "Love you cousin!! "
     

    Linnzi Wimberley

    Fri Nov 11 10:32:12 EST 2016

  •  
    "Thanks for being a champion for those in need! You are amazing!"
     

    Tracy Chapman

    Fri Nov 11 10:29:56 EST 2016

  •  
    "It's been inspiring watching you go through this on top of opening a gym. Best of luck. "
     

    Cody Whittington

    Fri Nov 11 10:26:00 EST 2016

  •  
    "Travis, you are amazing. Stay strong in your faith. God Bless You! "
     

    Don & Paula Lagrone

    Fri Nov 11 12:14:17 EST 2016

  •  
    "Good luck and loved reading your story! I met your Dad earlier this year, so I am happy he shared your story!"
     

    Dawn Sgarlata

    Thu Nov 10 10:48:58 EST 2016

  •  
    "Travis, We are so proud of you and your efforts with this cause. You are an inspiration to many and we look forward to seeing you continue to encourage others and fight on! "
     

    Grant and Teresa Brashear

    Tue Nov 08 11:22:17 EST 2016

  •  
    "We are proud of you Travis. Lymphoma took my mom in 2011. So happy to see you kickin' it's a$$. Prayers for continued health and wellness. Love Rick and Becky Mallory"
     

    Rick and Rebecca Mallory

    Wed Nov 02 03:30:05 EDT 2016

  •  
    "Travis, you are an inspiration to all of us. Your work will, most certainly, enrich the lives of and give hope to those afflicted with these devastating blood-cell-related cancers. "
     

    Rebecca Gruchalla

    Wed Nov 02 11:11:15 EDT 2016

  •  
    "You are truly making the world a better place - so proud of you, Travis!"
     

    Katie Burgess

    Fri Nov 11 02:00:44 EST 2016

  •  
    "Travis, You are such an inspiration! We are so proud of you and are so lucky to have you in our lives. Joan and Wes"
     

    Joan Burgess

    Fri Nov 11 03:59:25 EST 2016

  •  
    "We love you Travis!"
     

    Brooke Peterson

    Fri Nov 11 03:42:59 EST 2016

  •  
    "Because we love you so so much!"
     

    Ellen and Kurt

    Fri Nov 11 11:29:01 EST 2016

  •  
    "Great job Travis and I wish more were like you!"
     

    Robert Peterson

    Fri Nov 11 11:20:45 EST 2016

  •  
    "So glad that by joining the gym I have had the opportunity to meet you... You inspire me to be better and do better both in and out of the gym. Thank you for all you do!"
     

    Taryn Ostendorf

    Wed Oct 26 04:32:36 EDT 2016

  •  
    "Travis, My heart breaks for all you have been through! My prayer is that Jesus be the center of all that you do. Choose Him first! Put Him first and you cannot fail. Thank you for sharing your story. Continue to be a blessing to all that you meet. ❤️. Glenda"
     

    Glenda De La Rosa

    Sat Oct 15 10:09:34 EDT 2016

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $7,895.00 | Goal: $0.00
 
0 %

My Team

 
Team Total: $8,445.00 | Goal: $7,500.00

Make a Donation


We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Linda Chapman $1500.00
Tracy Chapman $500.00
Luke & Najla Kayyem $500.00
Tana Boren $500.00
Grant and Teresa Brashear $250.00
Kenneth Mcallister $250.00
Jordan Boren $250.00
Myrna Chapman $120.00
Robert Peterson $100.00
Rebecca Gruchalla $100.00
Larry Blann $100.00
Taryn Ostendorf $100.00
Brian Knorr $100.00
Kali Kostreba $100.00
Dan and Kay Boren $100.00
Susan McLeod $75.00
Cameron Bell $50.00
ruby Kinard $50.00
Ashley Pax $50.00
Courtney Burgess $30.00
Linnzi Wimberley $30.00
Cody Whittington $30.00
Dawn Sgarlata $30.00
Billy Ledsinger $30.00
Cody Bell $30.00
Bank of America * $25.00
Revay Van Hoy $25.00
Katie Kupec $25.00
Taylor Brewer $25.00
Terrance Jones $25.00
Danae Salmon $20.00
Steven & Brooke Peterson $10.00
Kodi Sisk  
Jason & Taryn Luther  
David and Melinda Harris  
Alex & Chris Payne  
Ashley Simmons  
Joan Burgess  
Sarah Jackson  
Brooke Peterson  
Meighann Walker  
Sarah Teveldal  
Katie Burgess  
Patti Maund  
Mike, Kaleigh and Ella  
Dedan Rodriguez  
Ellen and Kurt  
Adam Wiste  
Jena Baker and Casey McGl...  
Mary Morrow  
Celene Loredo  
Kelly Simmons  
Melissa Wilson  
Donna Wimberley  
Danielle, Amanda, Anslee,...  
Lisa Ritter  
Ashley Ulbricht  
Destiny Taylor  
Don & Paula Lagrone  
Nathan Acheson  
Rick and Rebecca Mallory  
Janice Foulk  
Travis Boren Boren  
Ruby Lee Boren  
Kelly Shearn  
Glenda De La Rosa