MEET TERESA DABROWSKI
Candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Socety's
Man & Woman of the Year
My name is Teresa Dabrowski (Overholt) and I am your local triathlete, runner, Ironman, school teacher, spin instructor, lululemon alumni ambassador and most importantly friend. I started my fitness journey when I lived in Atlanta in 2005. I started running one, two, three miles per day, which I thought was the longest distance ever!
Soon I was adding up the miles and decided to do my first 5k, then 10k, then half marathon. I had many friends and family memberswho inspired me throughout this wild and crazy journey which kept me going, one step at a time.
When I moved to south Florida, I found a running group in Juno Beach and started meeting more and more athletes who had the same goals in mind. I decided to sign up and run my first full marathon in 2008. Bob Anderson, a local superstar, helped to train and guide me every mile of my training plan. I signed up and ran my first marathon, the Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon, finishing in 4:01:46. I lost my chip along the way and was a nervous wreck about how they were going to record my time. But they did it the old fashioned way and wrote down my bib number when I crossed the finish line.
I went on to train for a few other races and another marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon. When training for this marathon, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident (runner vs. car) near the Juno Beach Duck Pond while on my 20-mile training run on September 6, 2008. This devastated me but I knew I was lucky to be alive. I had to defer my entry to the Marine Corps Marathon but kept positive thoughts as I healed over the next few months.
This accident set me back a lot with training and any kind of physical activity but as I went through each month, week, day and minute – I thought of all the people who encouraged me to stay strong and the people who were by my side the entire way. It was a long and rocky road but it’s the people in your life at that very moment that helps keep you on your feet.
I gradually started to train again mid-year 2009 and I started looking ahead at races, and even had the thought of a triathlon in my future. I am not a swimmer and did not even own a bike, but decided to go ahead and sign up for St. Anthony’s Triathlon (April 2010). At this point, I thought St. Anthony’s was a sprint race and a great race to start with. Come to find out, it is one of the biggest Olympics distance races, and I was about to compete with thousands of other experienced athletes….very shocking news!!!
Long story short, this race, St. Anthony’s, then led to my first half ironman, then a full ironman in 2011 (Memorial Hermann Texas Ironman). I never gave up. There were people who came in my life who encouraged and cheered for me all the way through. There were friends, colleagues, co-workers, family members, and others who never let me give up. Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not obsess, just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.
I am honored and thankful that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has nominated me for the Woman of the Year, another incredible life journey. I am blessed to have the opportunity to help an organization that is working to find a cure for blood cancers and in turn is helping to cure all cancers.
The money raised by the Man & Woman of the Year candidates will benefit the LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients like Sebastian and Jennifer and their families. Even though the focus is on blood cancers, the good does not stop there. Through research funded by LLS, many advances have been made in finding cures for lung, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, too. Having lost loved ones to breast cancer, I understand the importance of this ongoing work to find cures for all cancers.
I would be honored if you would join me in supporting this cause. Every dollar raised is not only a vote for me, but more importantly, a vote to stop this deadly disease.
to make a donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. As a special favor, I'd like to also ask you to reach out to others you know and ask them to do the same. I have found that so many of the people I talk to about my campaign have a connection to blood cancer and want to support our efforts. Encourage people to support my campaign to conquer blood cancer. Please forward this message to all your friends and family!