Teachers run and rock & roll for cancer research

Alie Perkus

Two of Wayland High School’s finest are taking on a mammoth challenge. On June 27, Helen Rainoff and Corey Lowen will be raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by running in the inaugural Rock and Roll Seattle, in Seattle, Washington. The race is one of a number of “Rock and Roll” marathons planned across the nation. Live Bands will perform at every mile for each of the 26.2 miles of the marathon.

And to gain more funds, they are sponsoring an all school talent show, to take place May 29th and 30th.

Lowen and Rainoff are members of the 40 person Massachusetts League of the Team in Training, which meets a few times a week with coaches. To train for this grueling challenge, Lowen and Rainoff have a strict schedule: three to four times a week, they run a ‘short run,’ anywhere from two to five miles. Then, every weekend, they run a ‘long run.’ Recently they ran twelve miles.

Over the past twenty years, over 380,000 participants have been participating in various half marathons, marathons, triathlons, bike rides, and hiking trips for the Leukemia Society.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society LLS web site states that “we have invested more than $600 million in research since 1949 – over $71 million in 2008 – specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”

The Society cites the overwhelming statistic that “every five minutes, someone in the United States learns that he or she has leukemia, Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma. Every ten minutes, someone dies of a blood cancer.”

To help raise money, Lowen and Rainoff have organized the talent show for students, faculty members and administrators. Everyone is encouraged to sign up.

Regarding the talent show, Ms. Lowen said, “We would like all groups to sign up. Students and teachers are thinking of teaming up to do performances together, which is really exciting.”

All profits will go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The “talent is from the high school,” but “we would like to sell tickets to anyone in the community who wants to go. What we wanted from students was to be in the talent show. That’s how they can help,” mentioned Ms. Lowen.

When asked why they are running this race, Rainoff answered, “For me it’s been a personal challenge because I’m a long time survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and know that all the years that I was going to through treatment there were new treatments becoming available, and many of those treatments came from funds from the LLS society.”

Lowen said, “I’m doing it because Ms. Rainoff is a survivor and working hard to do this. She and I are doing it together. I realize the importance of being on her team. We are hoping to increase people’s awareness and to raise funds for cancer research. ”

Ms. Rainoff added that “research into blood cancers benefit research into other cancers too.”